As lockdown continues we talk to Rob McAllister, partner and head of practice operations at property consultants Glenny, about the challenges the company faces during Covid-19 and what processes have been put in place to help staff.
With the unprecedented obstacles businesses have to deal with due to the Covid-19 situation, how have Glenny staff coped with life under lockdown and especially working from home?
Our team has shown remarkable adaptability and resilience – there has been a genuine spirit of “we’re all in this together”. Obviously adjusting to working from home when, by the nature of what we do most of the team are usually out and about, is a challenge; logistically, socially and in terms of managing mental health.
Have any challenges been overcome to help with the new working environment for the team?
We’ve been looking at adopting a more agile way of working for a while so rather than seeing it as an obstacle we’ve used this opportunity to test how we might work in the future. As a partnership we feel it’s important to make this experience as positive as possible; sustaining morale and mitigating the impact of yet another culture change when lockdown and social restrictions are lifted. In some respects what we’re heading towards is more of a challenge than what we’ve been through so far.
How is Glenny ensuring the health and wellbeing of its staff is looked after during this time?
We’ve used every communication tool available to us to ensure we speak, see each other’s faces regularly, and do what we can to maintain a sense of “team”. This has been both task-focused and social. We’ve also ensured that social contact has been maintained with our furloughed workers.
Would you say it is business as usual for Glenny, and what are your top three priorities when lockdown is lifted in the future?
Very much so. Our focus from the start has been on delivering the same level of service just from different locations. It’s hard to plan too far ahead as we don’t know what the future looks like, but what we do know is that, as a people and knowledge business, looking after our team remains at the top of our agenda.
If we had to identify three priorities, it would be ensuring our team continues to feel valued, respected, trusted and needed; identifying and fully embracing new tools and technologies to improve services to our clients; and looking at our established patterns of behaviour and taking as many positives as we can from this situation by challenging ourselves and asking what our clients really need from us and how we can best deliver that to them.