NICHOLAS ASSOCIATES GROUP
TALK MODERN WORKPLACE

Chris Myers from Nicholas Associates talks about how they used M365, Teams and VOIP to continue working remotely and increase productivity during lockdown.

Chris Myers - Nicholas Associates

Who’s Chris?

Chris Myers, Head of ICT, Nicholas Associates Group

I worked in the ICT industry for 22 years, started out as an IT apprentice, progressing through different IT support and IT engineer roles over years, before making the step into ICT management about 15 years ago.

I have worked for Nicholas Associates Group for 10 years, as Head of ICT I have responsibility for the company ICT strategy, IT network and all key business applications.  During my 10 years at Nicholas Associates Group we have implemented many large scale projects, adding new technology to our portfolio, which has enabled the business to grow significantly, add efficiencies and service our clients better. I am passionate about delivering excellent customer service to our business and our clients.

When the country went into lockdown, how did your business react to being able to work from home?
What did you do well, and what could have been better?

Overall very well, the business acted swiftly to ensure all staff could work from home effectively with the appropriate IT equipment, utilising technology like VoIP soft phones and Office 365 etc, MS Teams / Zoom.  We also had staff that are key workers, they continued throughout the pandemic working onsite servicing our clients in the food sector, ensuring their safety was also very high priority.

With hindsight, the key area of improvement would have already having all staff equipped with a laptop / mobile device, the would have helped with the initial IT admin burden.  This is something we are rectifying asap moving forward.

What’s your personal opinion on productivity when working remotely?

My personal opinion is that productivity hasn’t been badly affected, and in some cases it has actually improved, there can be more distractions in the office. I think this does depend on a person’s job role though. The technology is available for productivity to be maintained during lockdown and we have seen this in our business, we have continued to operate very well. 

Has the pandemic altered your IT strategy in anyway?

Not really, we were already on a path to enable secure working from anywhere through cloud based platforms etc.

I think the only key changes are ensuring all staff have the capability to work from anywhere in any job role i.e. laptops / remote desktops and to accelerate our use of Office 365 especially Microsoft Teams.

Do you think that your business will return to “normal” eventually or has it changed forever?

I think we are already seeing the business return to a new normal through making our key offices Covid19 secure, increased remote working and ensuring the business runs more efficiently through better & faster adoption of technology.

As a leader in IT, what’s your advice to other companies if we have a 2nd wave of lockdowns?

Ensuring your business / staff has the capability to securely operate from any location is key. Also to adopt where possible technology that will add efficiencies to your business, for example O365, VoIP soft phones, secure remote desktops etc.

Ensure your staff have the right IT equipment for their job role, but also ensuring they can be flexible for any working environment (Tablets, Smart phones, Soft phones and laptops). Review how efficient your business is and review where cost savings and efficiencies can be made. Use your key IT partners to support you and seek their opinions and advice.

Nicholas Associates Group are the UK’s partner of choice for talent management solutions, from Apprentice to Boardroom.

Their group of recruitment companies are specialists in their fields, supporting talent from Apprentice to Boardroom.

From construction, engineering, finance, and more, their mission is to enable people to be their best, with a broad portfolio of recruitment and business improvement services. Nicholas Associates support your operational goals and contribute to the development of a successful talent attraction strategy.

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