Lockdown Week 3: Thoughts from Lorna’s desk

storm clouds

As we enter the third week of lockdown here in the UK, I wanted to put together some of my thoughts from the last couple of weeks – and share some of the things we’ve been up to here at redwigwam.

During these turbulent and unprecedented times, myself and my team have thought deeply and purposefully about what our role is within society during the crisis. We want redwigwam to be a crucial platform and lifeline for some of the keyworkers and unsung heroes across the country who are keeping the country moving. Our job is to help our communities support each other, to keep the business supply chain moving and quite frankly help families to pay the bills. We’ve called this our “Let’s stay afloat” drive.

We are proud to be supporting some of the UK’s supermarkets with staff through these challenging times, and to be part of the effort to keep Britain moving.

I’m hearing some wonderful stories from some of our wigwammers, new and old – some who’ve come to us from corporate careers, doing jobs they would never have imagined just a few weeks ago.

One of these is wigwammer Simon. He’s come to us from a corporate career, and has been working as retail support in a supermarket. I love his inspiring words:

“This is not a time for pride or image, the country needs people to keep the supply chains going…”

These people are the unsung heroes of the workforce, and we’ll be sharing some of these stories over the coming weeks. Our workforce of almost 120k wigwammers are playing such a pivotal role – and are here to support businesses across the country.

It’s been a huge effort for everyone involved – I just wanted to acknowledge the tenacity and resilience of everyone in the redwigwam team through what has been a challenging couple of weeks.

As a high growth scale-up, our business is moving faster than we could have ever predicted – one week we were seeing huge challenges affect us as the hospitality and leisure sectors started to be impacted and then the next, huge swings into the delivery arena. We’ve had to adapt and react at speed. We’re seeing record numbers of people signing up to find flexible work with us at the moment – more than 2,500 last week – and looking like the same again this. In these uncertain times, our priority is helping our wigwammers find work – and for our customers to keep their doors open.

Running a business through a global pandemic, and a nationwide lockdown is certainly an interesting experience.

For us, adapting to home working was relatively simple – most of the team work from home regularly anyway, only using the Liverpool office as a pop in point once or twice a week. We have remote office software set up and are used to meeting and communicating virtually. So, I have every confidence we can continue business as usual throughout these challenging times.

But do we want business as usual? Or should we use this break in normality to challenge the status quo and question what we are doing?

I’ll throw the challenge I set the redwigwam team over to you.

Ask yourself, is what I am doing making a difference? If the answer is no, then stop, reflect and change. Learn what isn’t working and move on. React quickly – be decisive. And stick to your decisions.

Time is something we seem to have a lot of at the moment. But are you using yours wisely?

It’s so easy to waste it, and frustrating to end the day wondering what on earth you have achieved.

Behave like you would in a ‘normal’ environment. Make a to-do list (with the most difficult thing at the top!), manage distractions (appreciate this isn’t always easy, especially if you have children at home too) and most importantly, keep in regular contact with your colleagues.

I talk a lot about agility in business. All of the redwigwam team are well versed in the importance of moving quickly and staying ahead of the competition – and I believe that is more essential than ever in the current situation.

Here at redwigwam, we’ve moved our planning to a weekly schedule. While the long-term business plans are still in place, at the moment, we need to be reactive to the market situation (which let’s face it, is changing on a daily basis) and responsive to both our customer’s and wigwammers needs.

Please do get in touch if we can help you at all. We’re here whenever you need us. Don’t forget, we’ve removed our booking fees for the time being, allowing you instant access to 120,000 vetted temp workers all over the UK. All you pay is the hours they work, plus payroll costs (NI, holiday pay etc). A simple recruitment process with no long-term commitment which can enable you to access an on-demand workforce during these turbulent times.

I’d like to close with a quote which is relevant to us all at the moment:

“She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails”

Stay safe, stay well.


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