Lindsey’s story: Supporting Key Workers

We’re proud to have 50 hotels that are open to support key workers including NHS staff and vulnerable groups.

Whilst the majority of our hotels remain temporarily closed, we’ve made changes in our open hotels to keep our customers and teams safe, such as introducing perspex screens with 2m distancing taping in reception and social distancing and safety advice notices throughout the hotel.

We speak to Lindsey who is Assistant Manager at Travelodge Edinburgh Central, one of our Travelodge PLUS hotels and a couple of miles away from Royal Edinburgh Hospital.

Hi Lindsey! What does your job currently entail?

I am putting more emphasis on constantly communicating to my team and customers on the importance on staying safe in this critical time. I am stringent that we are all following public health and government instructions. Initially, it was challenging incorporating all of the health and safety procedures aligned with Covid-19 but now it has become a way of everyday life.

Are you working extra shifts at the moment?

No. We have two teams working at the hotel. I have my own team and then I have a supporting team made up with colleagues from the other Edinburgh Travelodge hotels. We have a lot of parents working across our Edinburgh Travelodge hotels and giving them flexible working hours so that they can balance home and work life is essential especially in the current climate where parents also have the responsibility for home schooling.

What kind of customers are staying in your hotel at the moment?

We have a range of customers staying with us at the moment. This includes NHS workers and other critical workers such as emergency service workers, carers, shop fitters who are fitting Perspex screens into the local shops and medical workers.

Is your hotel team doing anything different whilst operating in the lockdown?

Right from the start of the outbreak we have had strict instructions in place to ensure that we were all following public health and government guidelines so it has become a way of life for us now.

However we have introduced more safety measures as a result of the lock down. This includes a daily briefing I give to my team on the importance of social distancing and the importance of constantly washing your hands. We have signage in all public areas of the hotel advising customers and staff on the importance of washing your hands and social distancing.

We have added floor markings highlighting the correct distance where customers need to stand in the reception area. We are also monitoring how many customers can check in at any one given time.

We have hand sanitisers on the reception desk for customers to use and we are having perspex screens fitted on the reception desk too. All staff have gloves and hand sanitisers to use whilst working in the hotel. We are constantly sanitising all areas within the hotel, our office and equipment.

What are the challenges of operating a hotel in the current climate?

The biggest challenge is keeping everyone’s spirits up. We have to keep positive, be safe and focus on moving ahead – It’s the only way to beat this horrible virus and keep a sense of normality.

How do you feel about being one of the 50 hotels that Travelodge is currently operating in the Covid-19 lockdown?

I feel extremely proud to be part of Travelodge’s front line team and to support the Edinburgh community – especially the NHS and other critical group workers.

It is such a privilege to play a small part in our country’s history. At Travelodge we are just one big massive family that spreads across all corners of the UK and the united support you get is so overwhelming. The company is stringent on health and safety and we have the correct polices in place to ensure that everyone is safe to work which gives you the confidence to come into work.

I am also incredibly grateful to have such an amazing team – without them I wouldn’t be able to do what I do. A massive thank you, to every single team member at Edinburgh Central.

And finally, how do you find managing your work and your personal life amidst the outbreak?

Being a working mum is a challenge at the best of times but it has become more challenging and even more tiring in the current climate. My husband is currently looking after our daughter and in charge of the home schooling Monday to Thursday. I take over on Friday. We are very lucky that Travelodge is a great supporter of working parents and I have the flexibility to balance my home life with work and I can do the same for my team members too.