Published on: 15th December 2020
As we approach the festive period and the end of 2020, I wanted to share my thoughts on what has been a year like no other - both personally and at Frank.
It still remains a challenging and uncertain time as we move between national lockdowns and local Tiers, however the scientists and vaccines have given us hope and optimism of more normal times resuming in 2021.
When I last wrote on the Frank blog in April, I talked about how we were adapting to this new virtual way of working and supporting the NHS. Today we still remain working virtually from home: it wasn’t having an impact on our ability to support our clients and we also wanted to reduce the risk of spread of the disease amongst ourselves and family members, so we have stayed at home. Pitches, scoping, training and any client project meetings are all online and our company mileage has fallen off a cliff - we definitely don’t miss the M6 or M1 travel on a Friday afternoon!
As the Government starts to talk about lifting restrictions in the spring of 2021, we are thinking about our most effective way of working in the future. Interestingly, from a survey that we ran in the summer with our staff, it was face to face contact with each other and social chats of the office that they most missed - something that Zoom/MS Teams calls just can’t replace. We have also moved a number of our own internal processes online throughout the year and will continue with these even when we move back to the office, as we find it a much more efficient way of working. We certainly do recognise that certain tasks and activities can be done best in the office and others remotely.
In the last 6 months we have seen a pick-up in activity and business, as clients require more digital support for COVID based projects, digital platforms to help reduce hospital admissions and an overall recognition that old incumbent technology has not been fit for purpose during the pandemic.
At Frank we have continued to invest in 2020 to support this growth in our business adding a number of new hires in project management, support, content, design and development. I was also pleased that we took the decision to run our successful graduate work experience programme with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) remotely for the first time, eventually offering a place to a talented new developer who joins the team in January 2021. We wish Richard Eskins, Senior Lecturer at MMU who retires this December, all the best and thank him for his support over the last 7 years with our web development programme.
Finally I wanted to send my best wishes and a Merry Christmas to all our staff, clients and partners as we look forward to a new year and a more positive 2021!
Managing Director, Frank