How Covid Has Given Us An Opportunity to Change
As with many companies around the world, the last few months has seen more changes internally and to business practice than the last few years put together. Having not predicted these big changes, the speed we had to adjust as a team was rapid, but we feel that being forced to change has given us the opportunities to improve our working practices and resulted in a healthier team, and a reduced impact on the environment.
At ANS, we were all fairly au fait with Zoom meetings, and had already begun the move to reducing face-to-face visits where possible, with online video calls taking their place. Transitioning to this more digitally-led approach mid-2019, we had saved over 5,000 travel miles just by hosting a percentage of our CPDs online by the end of the year.
We’d created a CPD room which enabled a better experience for both our presenters and the audience, with a living wall build-up demonstrated on the wall in the background so the presenter could practically explain the technical features, whilst highlighting the acoustic benefits.
However, like most companies, none of us had prepared for March. There was another re-think to do, which led to a whole different work life for every one of the team.
Reducing Our Impact
Reducing our carbon footprint has nearly always been a goal for us a company, but this was an opportunity for us to re-examine how we work and make the more drastic changes and therefore improvements to our working practices which we would never have considered otherwise.
Urban Environment Consultant, Steve, for example, was typically out most days a week, travelling between 600-1000 miles per week. Nowadays he spends most of the time in the office, and has noted that not carrying out any or not so many face-to-face meetings or visits has not made any difference to being able to keep in touch and keep engagement high with clients.
Here’s how one of Steve’s day’s went last week:
09:00: Meeting with company in New Delhi - Teams
10:00: Meeting with company in Dublin - Teams
12:30: Global CPD - Zoom
14:00: Meeting with company in London - Zoom
16:00: Meeting with company in San Antonio - Zoom
17:00: Meeting with company in London – Teams
Having more of us working from home has highlighted how adaptable we are as a team and given some of us the opportunity to re-think how we work to suit our dynamic and therefore produce better results. Additionally, creating these new habits also provided us with another opportunity to reduce our environmental impacts even more.
Between only 2 members of the team, more than 5,092 miles (and counting) once travelled by car have been saved since working from home. If we go by the emissions of an average passenger car, just 2 of the staff working from home has prevented 2,092,812 grams of CO2 being released into the atmosphere.
That’s not counting any of the miles saved by the sales or project management teams (who usually travelled quite a bit) or those who split the week by working from home and the office.
Although at first seeming like an upheaval, this has been an opportunity for us to re-think and refresh our working practices and has resulted in more creative suggestions to how we work and engage with our clients. We’re pleased to say that whatever the next few months hold, we’ll be continuing with much of what we’ve learnt and the ways we’ve changed as a team.
We’re not stopping there either, we’re working on new and more creative ways of doing things to reduce our carbon footprint whilst keeping our contact with clients fun and engaging, which we hope to share more of in the future!