On 16 March, considering the acute situation caused by Covid-19 pandemic, the French authorities have said that a confinement of the whole population would be effective from 17 March at noon.
Working from home would become the norm for a long period for all sectors and obviously UIC included.
All staff would work from home and need specific technical means to continue fulfilling their roles for the railway sector and to serve UIC Members.
An upfront decision had already been made to allocate laptops to most UIC employees.
We had a new challenge to face: identify, test and implement robust solutions that would allow UIC to go on working as before confinement and we addressed it by deploying before the end of the same week, from 20 March, solutions to organise audio and video meetings easily, safely and efficiently.
Within five days, all UIC departments could organise their work and hold meetings with their usual partners in an almost normal way: hold regular meetings and exchanges with international participants located on the five continents and therefore ensure full continuity of UIC activities.
Thanks to the implemented technical solutions, working habits have very slightly changed and everybody has been able to carry on working as before (or almost), sometimes even in better conditions.
Board meetings are being held every week in the most efficient way, ensuring constant management of the organisation.
Project group meetings are being held as usual but remotely.
Meetings with large audiences (several dozens of participants from all over the world) are being organised on a regular basis.
UIC has managed this most critical phase with professionalism and has shown once more its reactivity, availability and reliability.
The strategic “cloud” approach already implemented a while ago has widely facilitated the process.
Everyone already had full access to their files, documents and applications.
Since mid-March, UIC has been successfully experimenting a new way of working using the latest available technologies at the service of our Members and the whole rail community.
“Share – Open – Connect”, which are more than ever our leading principles, are extremely meaningful in the current context.