orking from home has played a significant role in the lives of the Woolacotts Consulting Engineers team over the past three months. Adapting to this working environment was a familiar and seamless process for our staff, who had already successfully worked from home during the 2020 lockdown. Last year we shared an article exploring the ways Woolacotts prioritised the safety and wellbeing of staff, their families, and our clients during that time. You can read the full article here. This year, in addition to our continued support of the Woolacotts team and stakeholder safety and wellbeing, we also explored new means to effectively manage our remote working arrangements and improve the efficiency of the team.
Throughout this lockdown period Woolacotts have continued to develop our digital remote capabilities. Embracing new systems early in the lockdown allowed our team to transition from Office to Home workflows seamlessly, with almost no productivity loss. Additionally, it enabled the team to work from home using methods that mirror the speed and performance seen in the office environment.
Brett Jovanovich, our CAD & REVIT Manager, shared insight into the technical challenges Woolacotts identified and prepared for in the early stages of lockdown:
The main technical challenge was gaining access to digital content and software which our staff cannot access from home. Large BIM models (uploading and downloading), accessing engineering software licences, and conformance with filing and collaboration requirements can be major hinderances for productivity when working from home. Additionally, Wi-Fi instability and using PC’s that are not designed for our robust workflows can cause issues.
To avoid these difficulties, Woolacotts were quick to embrace state-of-the-art cloud solutions for our team. Brett Jovanovich stated:
There are many solutions on the market including SaaS and PaaS cloud computing. These do come with ongoing costs that can be difficult to quantify during uncertain lockdown lengths. However, attempting to physically move workstation hardware back and forth from office to home is unfeasible at the best of times. In prioritising the delivery of high-quality engineering services, having compatible and compliant hardware was recognised as essential to our work. Our unique strategies to access remote workstations has ensured that our team could continue to work at full capacity and meet the needs of our clients, no matter the circumstances.
We believe that our working arrangements and internal processes have been of great benefit to our deliverables. When the time comes to return to the office, Woolacotts Consulting Engineers will continue to utilise such technologies and look at ways to further improve our productivity.
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To learn more about our team and deliverables, visit our services page.