The hours lost during August were 61%
less than that of July!
"It was becoming increasingly difficult to meet customer SLA’s due to the number of staff absent due to illness. The number of hours lost to illness was rising steadily, principally caused by the influenza viruses that were sweeping the country."
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Hours Lost 178 168.5 312 236.3 229 321.3 307 119
The Customer: The Sydney Help Desk (SHD) provides a 24 hour / 7 day support service for the customers of a leading global Information Technology and Telecommunications outsourcing vendor. The SHD is one of five international help desks linked to give customers worldwide, a continuous follow-the-sun service. The mission criticality of the customer systems demands the vendor provides a robust service bound with extremely tight service level agreements (SLA). These agreements are based on response time to customer queries and mean time to resolve issues. High financial penalties can be invoked should the SLA not be met. Therefore, the SHD service is dependant on the availability of a high skilled team with expertise in a wide range of computer hardware, systems and applications software, and telecommunications networks. The help desk facility is a state-of-the-art 800m2 open office area divided into workstations separated by half-height partitions to facilitate communication. Interaction between staff is necessary given that a customer query frequently required expertise in more than one technology. Ten closed offices and meeting rooms surround the central area (figs. 1 & 2).
The Issue: It was becoming increasingly difficult to meet customer SLA’s due to the number of staff absent due to illness. The number of hours lost to illness was rising steadily, principally caused by the influenza viruses that were sweeping the country. The potential results was either customer dissatisfaction and possible payment of penalties, or incur a prohibitive additional expense by maintaining excess staff levels to cover for absent team members to ensure that service levels were met. The
Objective: The SHD was searching for ways to reduce the high levels of lost hours caused by cross-infection throughout the help desk area. Staff were already immunised under the company’s occupational health and safety program and isolation was not an option given the need for interaction.Any new program was to be first evaluated on a cost-benefit basis and then trialled over a minimum of two months with the hours lost being the principle metric. A minimum reduction of 30% of the peak month of June was deemed to be a successful trial.The SolutionThe SHD elected to proceed with a trial of the WEIN VI-2500 air purification system supplied and installed by Edge Management based on the following: The speed with which the system could be installed as the problem had to be addressed urgently.
The positive results of two clinical studies into the effectiveness of the VI-2500 for virus protection (2003) and bacteria control (2001) by the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, (Environmental Health Foundation, Department of Environmental Health University of Cincinnati Division of Environmental and Industrial Hygiene). This University is one of the world’s leading aerosol research laboratories.
- Initial downward trending in lost hours could be expected in the first week of the trial.
- Portability of the system as the SHD was moving to a new building within the next year.
- The low cost of the air purification system.
- Operational costs were negligible.
- Easily implemented with minimal incursion on operations.Six VI-2500s were installed on the perimeter of the open area on low profile tables to minimise any impediment to staff movement with an additional two VI-2500s located centrally.
Installation: The system was installed and operational on 25th July, 2003. Six VI-2500s were installed on the perimeter of the open area on low profile tables to minimise any impediment to staff movement with an additional two VI-2500s located centrally. Although ten units were originally specified, (800 m2with each VI-2500 rated for 80 m2 coverage), eight were found to be sufficient. A VI-2500 was located in each of the surrounding offices and meeting rooms. No changes were required to any facility or staff operations, or infrastructure including power distribution, air-conditioning plant and ducting.
Outcome: The hours lost during August were 61% less than that of July. August 2003 was reportedly one of the heaviest months across Sydney for lost time due to influenza viruses. It is important to note that the lost hours in August were the least for any month in 2003 including the summer months of January and February (see below). Based on this excellent result, the trial was deemed to be an unqualified success and further rollout of the system is being investigated.
For further information please contact Mark Webley on 0411 711 013
or email email@example.com
Is Your Office Making You Sick?