The Government’s recent proposals to relax Sunday trading laws are being heralded as a way to not merely make retailing more flexible and high streets more competitive with on-line sellers, but that the change would also offer a huge boost to the economy as a whole.
There has inevitably been opposition from the Keep Sunday Special campaign, but longer opening hours will struggle to give the same boost to shops and other businesses as occurred recently in a town where all the parking ticket machines were out of action and the public suddenly found they could park free of charge.
With the economy having turned the corner two years ago now and the number of people in employment close to record levels, many UK businesses are already booming and looking further afield for fresh markets, as well as new ideas.
For instance, many commercial organizations have adopted the Continental practice of ‘hot desking’ where staff share workspaces flexibly, booking their time in the office and meeting rooms, rather than having their own place. Also, with the UK having to look towards Asia and other expanding markets as the Eurozone continues to suffer, there is a growing need for our working hours to overlap with other time-zones.
What all this definitely does mean, though, is that the different buildings where people actually do their jobs – from selling shoes to trading shares – are actually in use for much longer periods, and probably seeing a much higher footfall. All of which means increased wear and tear.
For facilities managers, therefore, this implies an increased workload coupled with far fewer windows of opportunity to carry out essential maintenance and repair work. They too will have to work more flexibly and target more resources at problems which arise; or risk coming into conflict the business managers trying to meet business demands.
These are amongst the reasons then that Plastic Surgeon, the UK’s only national #cosmetic repair specialist, has seen its work for the #facilities management sector grow strongly in recent years: prompting it to continue expanding its own workforce and developing new repair techniques.
While many of its Finishers are involved with snagging tasks for the UK’s housebuilders, or rectifying accidental damage in people’s homes on behalf of insurance companies, Plastic Surgeon routinely has personnel working ‘out of hours’ in a variety of premises.
This has included going into Oxford Street stores in the middle of the night to restore tired display counters, or repairing plasterwork and column casings in hotels’ public areas once guests have finally gone to bed.
In many cases Plastic Surgeon’s sensitive ‘Smart Repair’ treatments allow surfaces such as doors, skirtings, worktops and even ceramics to be saved when replacement might appear to be the only solution. This is not only more sustainable and a significant cost saving, but it can also drastically reduce disruption within a busy workplace.
We keep hearing our politicians telling us that the economy is on the mend and that “the UK is open for business”. And many of the country’s hard pressed facilities managers are discovering that Plastic Surgeon can help them stay open.