We’ve been catching up with members of our team to find out how they are managing remote working. This week, we spoke to Martin Murphy, Administrator at our Glasgow office. Find out how remote working has been treating him…
What is your job role at James Gibb?
I started working as a temporary administrator with James Gibb at their Bellahouston office just over 1 week before the Coronavirus forced all their offices to close. My first thought was, oh well that was nice while it lasted, hopefully they will get me back in after this is all over. Thankfully, James Gibb is not that type of employer. I was told I could work from home taking calls, allocating enquiries and emails to the relevant contacts/departments and I would be supported and receive ongoing training whilst doing this.
Can you give a brief description of what your role entails?
Initially, I was trained up on taking incoming calls to Client Support, updating the clients account records and directing the calls to staff who could deal with each individual enquiry including payments, development issues, repairs or financial enquiries etc. Over the last 5 weeks, I have completed 7 x 1 hour external online training sessions on the various functions available on our database as well as completing around 8 hours of study on the James Gibb internal training site.
What does your working day look like now you’re working from home?
I have always prided myself on being an early riser and getting to my workplace/station long before I need to be and that hasn’t changed. I am up 2 hours before I start work to ensure I’ve had my coffee and my computer, monitor and phones are all set up and working. I then take a look over the emails and prepare myself and my dining room table/office for the day ahead. This will include answering from 10 to 15 calls every hour as well as getting involved in sending out information/emails/updates etc to the clients replying to incoming emails as quickly and professionally as possible.
What has been the biggest changes or challenges in your role?
I think that being new to James Gibb and hardly having time to get to know people’s names and faces, never mind their job roles before the lockdown, was my biggest challenge. I was thinking how difficult it was going to be working on my own from home and trying to find out who I should be passing the enquiries to, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Before I had even set up my phone system at home, I had a printout of every member of staff, all their positions, locations, job roles, extension numbers, mobile numbers, email addresses and a list of team leaders through to Directors that I could pick up the phone to or email if I had any questions or problems. I was then invited to set up Microsoft Teams so that I could get to meet everyone in the team that would be there to support me and within minutes of that first video call, I felt as if I had worked with James Gibb for years as everyone was so welcoming and helpful.
How have you adapted to the changes?
I have previously run my own businesses and worked at Director/Manager level, so I had a bit of an advantage, as I have always been very organised and learnt how to time manage and react to change over the course of my very varied career. This has ranged from working as a doughnut maker at Krispy Kreme when they opened at Braehead a few years back, to running a two branch recruitment company with a turnover of over £2million.
Working remotely, how do you stay productive?
My role is very reactive as the calls are constant and in between calls I have a responsibility to help deal with our email enquiries. My working day is 09.00-5.00pm and my wife usually has to let me know most days that it’s after 5.00 pm as the day flies in.
Do you have any interesting or funny lockdown stories to share?
Within 1 week of the lockdown the Directors had arranged a quiz night allowing us to finish an hour early and join in via Zoom. It was great to see so many people from the company participating and all the pictures showing who was who. The quiz was hosted by one of the Directors and it was just one of the ways that they have tried to keep everyone’s spirits up during this trying time. I hear they are planning an online karaoke next, should be very interesting.
What are you most looking forward to when this is over?
Like most of us, I miss seeing my 2 children who don’t live at home. Although we video call every few days, it’s not the same as a big hug.
I also run my own karaoke shows in 2 local pubs at the weekend and since the lockdown I have been hosting a 1 hour show, 3 times a week via Facebook. Although this is fun, you can’t beat the interaction of a live audience and a couple of beers with the regulars whom I have known for almost a decade now.