Improvise, adapt, overcome.
“Improvise, adapt, overcome” is an unofficial slogan among the U.S. Army Marines made popular by Clint Eastwood’s character Sergeant Thomas Highway in the movie Heartbreak Ridge. Being faced with a challenge is often the time when people are most inventive and when ingenuity and creativity thrive. The challenges faced by people in all industries over the last few months have proven that, time after time.
The ORS Assigned Certifier Team has embraced this mantra during the COVID crisis. We are improvising with new approaches to overcome the recent challenges and to adapt to future opportunities.
Thankfully, the nature of our work in the field of Assigned Certifier and in the broader multidiscipline engineering services offered by the firm, is ideally suited to remote working. However, this did not happen by accident. Our management team implemented remote working systems in 2017. This is part of our strategy, culture and commitment to providing our staff with the best tools and opportunities to enhance their work life balance in an ever-evolving environment. The fruits of our endeavours can be seen with ORS rewarded and recognised as a “Great Place to Work” finishing amongst the top companies in the “Best Workplaces in Ireland” https://www.ors.ie/news/ors-named-as-one-of-the-best-workplaces-in-ireland/
Like many businesses though, it was only with the onset of ‘lock-down’ that the full capability of these resources was tested. Across the board ORS staff and our industry partners have seamlessly adapted to the ‘new normal’.
Zoom and Microsoft TEAMS are the medium by which meetings, workshops and continued professional development courses are conducted. The ORS Cultural Development Team have produced a dedicated guidance document of ‘house rules’ to aid with conducting Microsoft TEAMS meetings.
The truth be told, the full benefits of remote working are only now being realised. For ORS, increased efficiencies and productivity have been identified as part of the process. ORS and its Assigned Certifier Team have now fully adapted to COVID19 restrictions and remote working.
For staff members who wish to have a blend of home and office work our office locations across Ireland in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Mullingar and Donegal have been upgraded. They provide a safe working environment with screened off desks and copious social distancing observed. All staff movements are recorded in line with COVID19 guidelines and offices are deep cleaned regularly. By providing flexibility and the best of both worlds, we have allowed for individual staff to choose the work practice that suits their individual needs.
Until recently, travel restrictions have meant we could not travel to many sites. This has not stopped us from obtaining the information required for inspections. During the height of the lockdown and early days post lockdown, the design team and builder on several of our assigned certifier projects, have collaborated through video, photos and live streaming of works in order to reach BCAR completion.
Our Assigned Certifier Team is now attending sites for BCAR inspections and on-site face to face communications. All site visits are notified and agreed with contractors beforehand to allow proper planning and maximising of social distancing. Site visits are refined to particular areas and key aspects relevant to the stage of construction agreed with contractors in advance. By taking this prudent approach, we help protect our people and clients, and reduce the risks whilst still providing a complete assigned certifier service.
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and we shall overcome!