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Our approach to managing work during the current pandemic

Updated 24/03/2020

It’s a challenging time for everyone at present, Coronavirus (COVID-19) will cause serious disruption to normal life over the next few weeks and months. As of 23rd March the UK Government has announced everyone must stay at home to protect the NHS and help save lives.

We took preventative measures on 12th March to start working remotely and conduct client meetings over video calls.

At Studio 24 our main concern is staff health & business continuity. Our current focus is to continue delivering projects, supporting websites for our clients and supporting our team members. This will mean some changes to our normal service, we appreciate your understanding during this time.

This post details our business continuity plans for our clients. We’ll review the situation again Tuesday 14th April and we’ll update this post as needed.

Stay safe everyone.

Working arrangements

For the foreseeable future:

  • The Cambridge office is closed
  • All staff are working remotely
  • We’re giving staff more flexibility on working hours, our core hours are 10am-4pm
  • You can contact the team via the normal phone number or email
  • All client meetings will take place remotely over video call or phone (we prefer video calls where possible!)
  • Staff members won’t be attending any conferences, events, or undertaking any foreign travel, on behalf of Studio 24

We are fortunate that in our industry it’s easier to work remotely. We’ve had flexible working in place at Studio 24 for over three years and are fully setup to work remote. However, these are not normal times and we ask all clients to be understanding while we deal with prioritising work and dealing with any increased staff time off.

At present we do not believe this will cause any major disruptions to client work, however, we may need to prioritise project work and support issues as the situation progresses. Please be assured we are taking all reasonable steps to ensure continuity of service. And please let us know if you have any questions or concerns. We’re here to help.

Business Continuity Plan

We have drawn up business continuity plans to ensure we can service our clients and keep our team safe and healthy.

Projects

Our intention is to service projects as close to normal as possible, though we do expect there will be some disruption to service due to increased time off for staff.

Therefore, the PM team are drawing up project prioritisation plans so we can ensure we spend our time in the right place.

In general we are using the following rules to help with this:

  • Spread work out more to mitigate the effect of staff absences and increase flexibility for the team
  • Prioritise projects with launch dates in the near future, spread out other projects
  • Look to schedule new projects further in the future to ensure we have space in the schedule. We’ll only prioritise new work if there is a clear business need (or the project is for a key worker)
  • Regular weekly monitoring of studio workload with Emma & Simon
  • Regular weekly virtual board meetings to monitor the situation and offer support to the leadership team

If you want to escalate any project issues please do contact Julia or Emma.

It’s essential at this time to go slower, to make sure we can sustain our normal work and support both our team and our clients.

Support

We are amending our support SLA to ensure we can offer a high quality service to clients. Critical issues will continue to be looked at same day, all other issues will have extended support response times.

We are also adding additional backup staff to work with the normal Support team to help respond to issues in a timely manner.

If you want to escalate any support issue please do contact Claire or Emma.

Please note any important support issues that come in from clients that are classified as key workers (e.g. schools, food delivery services, scientific research organisations working on COVID-19) will be prioritised.

Our updated support SLAs are:

Critical

Complete loss of service, web application cannot be used.
Resolve within same day.

Major

Severe loss of service, application can be used in a restricted fashion.
Resolve within 3 working days.

Minor

Minor loss of service, impact is an inconvenience.
Resolve within 10 working days.

Non-urgent support

If you have any non-urgent support please email us on [email protected] and the team will get back to you. Please try to include:

  • What the problem is
  • What you’d expect to happen
  • The URL of the affected page
  • Try to include details of what web browser you are using. If you have difficulties with this you can use the Support Details website.

Clients

We’re contacting all clients to confirm remote contact details for key client contacts. We’re also asking for a backup contact person in case of illness.

Staff

In practical terms we’re planning to have increased staff absences during this time. PMs are identifying backup staff for key people on all current client projects to help with any increased time off.

We’re supporting our staff as best we can during this time. Specifically if any staff think they have Coronavirus symptoms we will pay up to 10 days sick pay at full pay (this doesn’t affect their normal sick pay allowance).

We’re also giving all staff one week extra paid holiday to use as they wish, to help with additional caregiving, childcare or simply self care days. We’re prioritising time off requests for those who look after children or dependents.

Where staff need further time off, for example working part-time to look after a dependent, we’ll look to support this.

Calling the office

We use the excellent Moneypenny telephone answering service. All calls to the office number will either be forwarded to a team member or we’ll take a message and get back to you later.

Sending us post

We can accept letters (we have a post box now!), please try to avoid sending us any parcels. Julie or Simon will aim to visit the office weekly where possible to pick up post.