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Maintenance in COVID-19: What’s changed and what’s not

4 June 2020

While COVID-19 has transformed many aspects of life, business and the operating environment, it is encouraging to note that amidst all of these, many important things still remain.

Business is as usual – just not as we know it. If so, what can we be certain of in these times?

When COVID-19 was first categorised as a pandemic, Programmed conveyed to customers the steps that would be implemented to manage on-site works and to keep staff and customers safe.  

For many customers, this provided them strong reassurance given the nature of their business and sites involving large communities of residents, the elderly, students, shoppers and the like. Programmed’s enhanced procedures in line with COVID-19 requirements would help ensure that any on-site work and on-site presence did not place customers or their staff at risk.

Yet for many others, safety is and has always been a priority at Programmed; and it was for them business as usual with Programmed, albeit with heightened protocols in accordance to official COVID-19 procedures.

As an anecdotal example of this, Programmed checked in with a customer soon after the communication on safety and on-site approach was sent. Programmed was informed that while the customer appreciated the email, it merely confirmed what they already knew of Programmed and so garnered only a quick read.  

Continued customer care

At Programmed, the approach to COVID-19 requirements involve a commitment to keep on working alongside customers and certainty of the pandemic’s eventual passing.

Until that happens says Terri Hosking, Executive General Manager, Programmed Property Services:

“Retaining a key focus on people – ours as well as those within the communities we live and work – is the best means we have of navigating our way to the other side because we are indeed in this together.”

Through regular conversations with customers throughout this difficult period, a resolute understanding of changing customer needs has emerged, together with the ability to help customers urgently address these.

“Customers looking to reinforce and protect their sites with more stringent hygiene regimes are calling on Programmed.

They’re relying on our knowledge, washing, painting and commercial cleaning services as well as our national supply arrangements to assist them with site protection, prevention and sanitisation strategies.

The fact that we have a large readily deployable workforce local to each site, region or state is making it infinitely easier for customers to activate plans quickly.”

Adapting core capabilities in cleaning and washing has also enabled Programmed to modify key services to help customers achieve their site sanitisation requirements.

“Our experience in health and manufacturing sectors with strict hygiene environments requiring rigorous safety practices are proving extremely useful.”

Flexible Maintenance

Terri reassures customers of active and continued collaboration. “We acknowledge our customers’ concerns in relation to continuing works. We make certain our Pandemic Management plans incorporate and align with individual customer safety requirements, needs, site plans and all official COVID-19 requirements.”

Programmed is working closely with customers, providing them with options to maintain current works while still abiding by official social distancing, health and safety requirements.

Using technology, the company is also facilitating electronic sign ins and making safety documentation available online, thus limiting the need for face-to-face interactions.

Additionally, Programmed is working with customers in a collaborative way to ensure rescheduling of works as and where required.

A third option, which is proving to be extremely beneficial, is to bring forward any future works that can be completed now using safe work methods aligned specifically to COVID-19 requirements.

“Conducting future works now is an effective use of downtime and shut downs. Organisations and businesses undertaking works now prepare themselves for an efficient post-pandemic return that will free them to focus on key priorities then: sales, revenue and growth.”

Works that would otherwise affect daily operations can be done now with little or no impact at all.

Terri encourages people to talk to Programmed if they’d like to discuss what options they have for their properties.

Meanwhile, customers are assured of Programmed’s well-prepared guidelines for any on-site works including:

  • Compulsory flu shots for any staff attending a customer site
  • Social distancing rules with minimal face to face and physical contact
  • Continued restriction to business-critical only customer visits e.g. supervisory needs, project oversight, incident investigations etc.
  • Using phone/electronic means to conduct communications, pre-start or other site meetings where possible
  • Strict adherence to all COVID-19 requirements as it relates to the works, sites and communities Programmed operates in
  • Complete cessation of works where requested by the customer or as instructed by the government


The same operational and social distancing approaches apply to staff to help keep them safe and minimise exposure or potential spread of the virus.

Support measures for staff at this time continue to include:

  • Facilitating work from home
  • Office rotations for when personnel are required to be in the office for business-critical functions
  • Limiting travel by suspending all cross-border travel and non-essential domestic travel
  • On-going emotional and mental support via access to professional counselling programs

These, in turn, ensure Programmed continues to maintain business operations to support customer needs.

Staying Connected

“As the situation continues to evolve, Programmed will maintain continuous alignment with our customers, employees and communities while keeping everyone safe. This won’t change,” emphasises Terri.

“Despite the shifting landscape, Programmed continues to be here and here to help.

It is times like these that care, empathy and compassion truly come into play. Our consistent practice of these values has made its conscientious demonstration easier and more natural in such a crisis.”

Terri invites businesses and organisations to reach out: “Please, get in touch if we can be of assistance. Together, we’ll see this through, journeying along the path of continuous improvement and innovation to adapt to, and shape, the new norm that will form the future state of business.”  

For more information, please contact Programmed.

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