Mitie: Frontline Heroes in the COVID-19 Response
Most adults in the UK will have been impacted by the vital work carried out by thousands of Mitie colleagues in the past 18 months. As the UK’s leading facilities management company, Mitie is a key supplier to the UK government’s COVID-19 testing programme, and has played a pivotal role in helping communities monitor and control coronavirus infections.
“We have more than 11,000 Mitie colleagues working in test centres across the length and breadth of the UK, and 65,000 colleagues in total on the frontline” says Simon Venn, Chief Government and Strategy Officer, Mitie. “We call them our frontline heroes, and they’re delivering everything from cleaning and clinical waste management, to security and intelligence services.”
Mitie is already running more than 138 test centres but that figure is expanding to 175 regional and local fixed testing centres in the coming months, alongside a further 105 mobile testing units across Great Britain. “It's a huge capability,” Venn says. “And now that lockdown restrictions have eased and we enter a new phase of the pandemic, we stand ready to support local communities as and when they need to respond to potential outbreaks.”
Alongside infrastructure and boots-on-the-ground services, that also means intelligence. Mitie leverages AI and ML technology to analyse a variety of data streams to predict spikes and outbreaks at both the micro and macro level. “Horizon scanning is a key component of our ability,” Venn says. The company also tracks developments in other countries such as Israel, which shares many parallels with the UK’s situation.
“That puts us in the best possible position to act proactively,” Venn says. “Everything we do has a scientific thread running through it. Cleaning, for example, is no longer about mops and buckets. It's about nanotechnologies, sprays that leave antibacterial films on surfaces, and UVC air handling technologies that kill airborne pathogens. It's this underlying science that gives us a real edge when it comes to turning the tide on the pandemic.”
As the economy reopens, Mitie is extending its expertise and support to the business community.
“We're really proud to share our expertise, to help get Britain back to business as quickly and as safely as possible,” Venn says. Mitie’s research shows that more than half of British employees working from home say they are ready to return to the office, but a third are concerned that their office’s aren’t COVID secure.
“In that vein, we've created a comprehensive guide called Getting Britain Back to Business, to help companies prepare for a safe and seamless return to the workplace and our guide is all about facilitating that. Many of us have experienced working from home, and the one thing that the pandemic has proved is that it is possible to do so,” Venn explains. “But it's also highlighted how difficult it is to build genuine social rapport. That's where you really need that face-to-face time with your colleagues.”
The Mitie COVID-19 Checklist Assured mark takes that one step further. “This is really about us working in genuine collaboration and partnership with our customers. It’s been developed based on our experience of creating and managing efficient workplaces, as well as leading organisations through the current pandemic,” Venn says. “For me, to be declared Mitie COVID-19 Checklist Assured is a way for all of our customers to demonstrate that they've taken the strategic and responsible steps to provide a safe, secure workplace for all of their people."