At PRA Health Sciences, we live our core values every day. These values aren’t just words, they’re actions.
The dictionary defines resourcefulness as the ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. To PRA employees, Resourcefulness is a value that means taking a can-do approach and dedicating ourselves to improving and evolving our organization in our drive for solutions and innovations.
From the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak, our team of Facilities professionals has gone above and beyond normal requirements and expectations and has embodied this innovation and dedication during constantly evolving, unpredictable times. Facilities has personified resourcefulness on a global stage, providing its unique insight, expertise, and leadership as PRA led the response to the global health emergency.
As businesses and industries around the world were forced to make adjustments to their operations—and social distancing measures and various local stay-at-home ordinances brought some organizations to a virtual standstill—Facilities was instrumental in ensuring there was as little disruption to PRA’s business and operations as possible as we serve our clients and our patients.
“Our Facilities teams were immediately impacted at the very beginning of the pandemic and were quickly resolute in identifying and providing urgent PPE requirements for our CRAs and implementing changes to our working practices for our operations in China, which gave early indication and planning to the rest of the global business of the challenges coming their way,” said Keith Waterman, Executive Director of Real Estate, Facilities and Procurement for the Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa Region.
Facilities has a huge range of responsibilities that creates an accommodating and functional work environment for employees and is vital for the productivity of PRA’s core business. COVID-19 essentially increased worksites by the thousands, as kitchens, bedrooms, and makeshift areas throughout the house became employees’ official worksites as offices were closed in compliance with governmental and public health orders.
Facilities continued providing support to these employees to ensure these new, nontraditional working arrangements are functional, effective, and ergonomically optimal. They have also partnered with various work units, including Process and Learning Management, Talent Acquisition, HR, and IT on tasks and special projects that have helped the departments continue to meet key goals and milestones throughout the course of the pandemic.
“It really has been rewarding to see everyone come together as a team to work towards common goals and meet key deliverables,” said Kyle Canfield, Senior Manager of Facilities – Americas. “As with many departments, we have taken the time to continue to evolve our processes and refine our skillsets to provide the highest level of support possible across our office portfolio. We know that often working behind the scenes to support key business functions has a much larger and lasting impact on PRA’s continued forward progress as a global organization.”
Our Facilities teams were immediately impacted at the very beginning of the pandemic and were quickly resolute in identifying and providing urgent PPE requirements for our CRAs and implementing changes to our working practices for our operations in China, which gave early indication and planning to the rest of the global business of the challenges coming their way
Keith Waterman, Executive Director of Real Estate, Facilities and Procurement for the Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa Region
As PRA employees—and most employees around the world—settled in and began adjusting to working from home, the Facilities team maintained a constant presence in the office, ensuring locations were open and available for essential personnel who were required and authorized to work onsite.
Facilities performed risk assessments and implemented extensive changes and safeguards at all PRA locations to ensure that working environments are COVID-safe. This includes:
- Managing and increasing cleaning protocols to ensure a safe and clean environment
- Ensuring all locations have adequate disinfection stations at entrances and throughout the facility
- Managing desk allocations and rearranging common areas and meeting rooms to adhere to social distancing guidelines
- Installing signage and guidance to promote social distancing and safe practices
- Installation of plexiglass screens to ensure safety where required
- Tracking occupancy data
- Transitioning postal and courier services for contract documents to be signed from home
A major, critical undertaking Facilities spearheaded to ensure the health and safety of PRA’s global workforce was procuring personal protective equipment (PPE) for office-based employees, traveling employees, and those embedded at client sites. This was during a time when PPE such as masks, face shields, and gloves was hard to come by due to unprecedented demand—and also some panicking and hoarding from an anxious and unsure population.
Facilities coordinated with PRA’s Clinical Vendor Management and our Medical Affairs team to determine the appropriate PPE, identified reputable vendors that could supply the required levels of PPE at an appropriate price point and in accordance with individual countries’ regulations and guidelines, tracked and managed inventory levels, and coordinated and tracked individual shipments to employees.
As resourceful, flexible, innovative, and agile as Facilities has been during the unprecedented times when the world closed down, they have been equally as instrumental in leading PRA’s COVID-19 recovery and the safe, phased return to the workplace and to clinical trial sites around the globe as restrictions are lifted by country, state, and local governments.
PRA’s employees, clients, vendors, partners, and patients can rest assured knowing that offices, labs, and all PRA facilities and locations will be clean, safe, and open for business because of the care and the watchful eye and oversight of a global Facilities team that embodies and exemplifies resourcefulness—during routine workdays and global health emergencies.
As one customer noted, “When the world came to a stop, PRA Facilities kept going!”