For the past couple of months, like many, we have been working from home. We have always had flexible working arrangements, but having to conduct all of our office life remotely was an unexpected shock. As a close-knit team, we are all individuals, but we make something better together.

Initially it was lonely – isolating; challenging in different ways, but like everyone we have adapted, have embraced the remote technologies; the office chat client remains a hub and is now more important than ever to keep the conversation going.

While our project work has evolved, there has also been the opportunity for R&D during the moments of downtime; the chance to build up libraries and generic embedded platforms for problems that customers commonly ask us about, so that the building blocks are there, ready for the future.

What we are doing now

Now that we are starting to move out of lockdown into a “new normal” of social distancing, our projects are still ongoing – from important telecommunications infrastructure to industrial firmware and custom control software.

We are always looking for new opportunities. The prospect of building on some of the gains of the lockdown, such as cleaner air and how we can contribute to food / manufacturing security or the renewable energy and transport sectors, is exciting.

How we are protecting our team

We are still predominantly working from home, and limiting the number in the office to one or two by arrangement only, with strict social distancing and only where there is a definite need, for example to access customer hardware, carry out essential maintenance or water the office plants.

In addition to the usual office hygiene, we are providing hand sanitiser, reusable masks, and recyclable paper towels to remove the need to share towels; meanwhile team members have been independently buying their own reusable masks to reduce the amount of waste.

We are still supporting our team members who are shielding, protecting our team members who are at-risk, and are doing everything that we can to reduce the spread of the virus in the community.

How we are protecting visitors and our customers

We are still taking deliveries, and visitors by appointment. We are observing the government guidelines in order to keep everyone safe.

We are still helping to support embedded software that we wrote 15+ years ago for our customers, where high-reliability infrastructure and a long service lifetime is critical.

What about the future?

We should all draw inspiration from the fact that we have been able to fundamentally change our way of life in a matter of days; that we have used a climate of urgency to collaborate – locally, nationally, and internationally – to tackle a global crisis; take hope from the fact that peer review and input from scientific and other bodies has become a part of the public consciousness and political norm; that we can summon an army of volunteers in a day, realise that flexibility is the future, and harness commercial interests and the will of the people to repurpose engineering, manufacturing, even the resources of schools and private citizens to address our most urgent needs in a matter of weeks.

At LeoTel, we have weathered other crises in the past, and although this one is different and it seems a long time before it will be past, we are determined to make it “business as usual” here, we are still here, we are resilient, and we are ready for the long term.