Community & Environment

Working-from-home test a success

Hamilton City Council has successfully tested a key component of its business continuity plans in preparation for further potential impacts of COVID-19.

Today (Friday 20 March) saw more than 30% of the Council’s 1000+ staff performing their roles from home to test the organisation’s technology and systems for working remotely.

The testing was part of the Council’s commitment to continuing to deliver services to Hamiltonians no matter where its staff are located.

Staff in primarily office-based roles from teams across the Council were involved, including its call centre, human resources, communication and engagement, planning, and governance, as well as back-of-house positions at community facilities across the city.

No major issues were reported during the testing, with staff able to carry out their normal tasks with very little disruption.

Chief Executive Richard Briggs says no stone is being left unturned to keep the city running as effectively as possible in the face of COVID-19.

“If the Government and Ministry of Health advise further restrictions on social interactions, and our staff don’t need to physically come to work to perform their role, we’re ready to keep working,” he says.

“Today’s testing was to ensure Council staff can be kept safe and continue to deliver what our community needs.”

Contingency plans were already in place to maintain essential services such as clean drinking water, wastewater, and rubbish and recycling collection. The testing was to determine that other Council services could also be maintained.

Mr Briggs is proud of how the Council’s staff and systems have responded to the testing.

“Coming to work and socialising with colleagues can be an important contributor to people’s wellbeing, especially at a time like this,” he says. “Our people leaders were in contact with those working remotely, about how it was functioning and their personal experience.

“Our people have shown they’re willing to do what’s necessary during this period of uncertainty, and our systems have proved to be robust.”

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