Editor's comment for September 2020

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Social media optimisation image (25)

Lots of talk at the moment about employees returning to work – or not as the case may be.

COVID-19 has forced us to rethink just about every element of our lives and one of the biggest changes – forced by lockdown of course – is working from home. Where possible, many of us have been doing plenty of it recently. Those that could, have.

From a wider, national perspective, the pandemic may well have sparked somewhat more permanent changes in certain sectors. I was reading a BBC survey recently stating that 50 of the biggest UK employers – ranging from banks to retailers – have said they have no plans to return all staff to the office full-time in the near future. 20 however have opened their offices for staff unable to work from home.

Working from home sometimes isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, particularly under the somewhat strained conditions of recent months. I’ve read stories of families vying ferociously for real estate on kitchen tables up and down the country: Dad working on his laptop trying to participate in a Zoom meeting; Mum, who works in a school office trying desperately to update her school records remotely on an antiquated laptop running Windows XP ready for the new term that’s now upon us.

Throw in a couple of kids being home schooled into the equation and it was a disaster waiting to happen. Having an office space at home is a godsend. Trying to work perched on the end of your bed definitely isn’t.

I can see for people working in cities like London where office space is frighteningly expensive that it’s an attractive proposition. Factor in extortionate public transport costs getting to and from work and the savings are significant.

But in an industry like manufacturing people traditionally like to deal with people face to face and I’ve really missed not being able to go out seeing customers as much. As far as the PES team is concerned, I much prefer being in an office – it’s just much easier for us to communicate and share ideas. We’re more productive.

So after a few months of home/office working, I was really pleased to be able to jump in the car and visit NuMachine in Hereford. I was even more pleased to discover that the company has really bucked the trend in recent months and has invested significantly in new machines and equipment.

5-axis work is particularly lucrative for the business – which is why managing director Brandon Davies has purchased two Mazak CV5-500 machines recently. Much of NuMachine’s work is in difficult to machine materials and the ability to process components complete in one hit has increased productivity massively. Read all about it on page 40.

Company

PES Media

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