As the country takes another major step forward today towards coming out of full lockdown, a light-hearted survey recently undertaken by Projex personnel has revealed some of the good, the bad and the surprising, from what has been a roller coaster twelve months
A better work/life balance and improved efficiency have been the biggest winners with nearly everyone saying they will never take the simple things for granted again. Unsurprisingly, pretty much everyone was also looking forward to resuming some socialising from today, when pubs and restaurants re-open outdoors, bringing the chance to reconnect face to face with family, friends and colleagues.
From a work point of view, the challenge of keeping sites open and safe, whilst adhering to constantly changing information and a situation nobody had ever seen before, were regularly referred to in the survey, as was the potential of burnout from back to back online meetings replacing face to face meetings.
Strangest moments ranged from a client twerking on a call (you know who you are!) to signing off final accounts for a major development in a large room with everyone sat individually 4m apart.
Having to introduce one way systems on site, keeping different trades separate and finding new ways for refreshment breaks were among some of the practical obstacles our team had to overcome in order to keep projects on track and on deadline, with one PM commenting:
“The way that teams have worked together to get projects started/finished under unique circumstances in new ways and by barely skipping a beat has been really impressive. That construction sites seem to be one of the safest places to be again is testament to everyone’s hard work.”
Like many other businesses, personnel had to quickly get to grips with communicating online rather than face to face and the use of Teams has become a regular part of our lives now, hopefully improving project communication and reducing the need for as much travel going forward, but also, importantly, providing a much needed substitute in the middle of lockdown for (virtual) Friday night drinks!
A number of people have been learning new skills – from juggling home schooling to making their own pizza doughs and sour dough starters, to quilting and carpentry.
Managing director, Phil Tomalin, says: “This survey was a light-hearted look at how the pandemic has affected our team on a day to day basis and whilst there have undoubtedly been difficult times, I think people have also surprised themselves with their adaptably. It has given everybody a chance to see the world from a different viewpoint and recognise how we do and don’t want to live our lives. The challenge now is to get the balance right going forward between productivity and an individual’s work/life balance – back to back meetings online can be exhausting, but not having to travel hundreds of miles every day is better for everyone and for the environment.”