Video conferencing technology has allowed Thames Water staff to continue to provide essential services during the coronavirus lockdown.
Many of the company’s 6,000 staff are working from home to help combat the spread of the virus but have been able to hold vital meetings thanks to video calling services such as Microsoft Teams.
The programmes allow them to speak to colleagues, customers and representatives from external organisations face-to-face, allowing them to carry out vital work while protecting against the pandemic.
Those in the water industry are classed as key workers and Thames Water staff are continuing to work to provide clean and wastewater services to more than 15 million people across London and the Thames Valley.
More than 30 people took part in an online procurement event for the new Guildford sewage treatment works, which provided information on the project to prospective bidders. It was run as a live event through Microsoft Teams, with the project team from Thames Water delivering a presentation and question and answer session to dozens of contractors and suppliers.
Chris Ward, Thames Water’s procurement business partner, said: “Despite being unable to carry out the event the way we usually would, it was a huge success due to our use of Teams.
“The presentation was seamless and the question and answer session worked well, while attendees also commented on how much easier it was to take part.”
Microsoft Teams has also been used to help test new equipment at some of Thames Water’s operational sites, which ordinarily goes through days of testing at the supplier’s premises.
Across the business, Thames Water has seen a 104% increase in the use of Teams in the last month, with staff using the service for more than 1.6 million calls, messages and other interactions.