In the face of adversity, Walter Lilly believe in three choices: You can either: let it define you, let it destroy you or let it strengthen you.
The challenge is of course to turn a negative experience into a productive one – that is, to counter adversity with resilience. Psychological resilience is the capacity to respond quickly and constructively to crises and is something that Walter Lilly and its workforce hold dear.
Life at Walter Lilly has been very different since mid-March. As a company, we are getting to grips with the social distancing impact of Covid-19 both on and off site.
It was in Walter Lilly’s budget and plans to upgrade our IT systems to the latest Microsoft Teams technology in late 2019. A plan which came into its own with the announcement of the need for more of our team to work remotely in the unprecedented times that faced us all.
We are immensely proud of all our staff, that with very little training, the uptake of teams has been nothing short of amazing with the first 30 days of this pandemic showing over 1,000 remote formal meetings having taken place with our internal and external team members and approaching 600 ad-hoc calls made.
Our plan to implement these information technology improvements to our business couldn’t have come at a better time. The improvement to our IT system in this regard has gone a huge way to keeping us in touch with our colleagues, allowing relationships to flourish in a time where isolation may well have impacted our ability to deliver.
Five of our construction sites have remained open and operational throughout the pandemic with varying degrees of impact. Our new build contracts outside of central London have felt some impact, whilst our central London refurbishment properties have had and continue to experience significant disruption. All but one of our contracts are open and working to the procedures set out by Public Health England and the guidance offered by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC). Four of our current science contracts have been designated as Covid-19 critical projects.
The two main impacts of the necessary working restrictions are that we need to increase our welfare facilities, and even with this significant change, it is only possible to accommodate a reduced number of personnel.
We have produced a comprehensive library of signage and supporting documentation that will help guide and inform our activities on all our live projects including project operational plans and updated site operating procedures.
Our head office has also received a full review and assessment of Covid-19 safe working and has been adapted to accommodate our staff safely as and when the gradual return to work is enacted. For now, these staff continue to work from home utilising our remote working facilities.
The safety of all those working with us will always remain our top priority throughout. We are doing and will continue to do everything we can to ensure our working locations are as safe as possible and will monitor and support those that are self-isolating or shielding.
We are very much looking forward to getting back to ‘normality’ when the situation allows, but for the moment we are embracing new ways of working. We look forward to implementing all these newly acquired skills in the post Coronavirus world.
Our company wide ethos of honesty, fairness and integrity has been applied most prominently during this time and we are confident in the future, whatever it may look like.
Lastly, the Board of Directors would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every team member, be it internally or externally, with an involvement in our projects for your continued support, patience and team spirit that you have collectively shown over the last 8 weeks.
Stay well, stay alert and most of all, continue to stay positive.