Like many other organisations in the UK, we’ve not been in our offices much this year.
But then, our offices aren’t exactly conventional. The Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘Office’ as: “A room or part of a building in which people work, especially sitting at tables with computers, phones, etc.”.
That’s not us. Our ‘offices’ are the grounds of Brathay Hall; bobbing about on Windermere; indoors in a large, comfortable, group space; up a climbing wall; at the homes of young people and their families; out in communities; at your offices… it’s a big list.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, and the necessary restrictions introduced to prevent it’s spread, we’re increasingly in another ‘office’ – a virtual one, that we’re sharing with our clients.
When we announced, back in March, that we were temporarily closing all our offices, it was easy to assume that meant we were shutting down. Quite the opposite. We took the opportunity to increase the pace at which we were already switching to a blended approach for delivering our programmes.
Our vital work supporting children, young people and families continues in Bradford using Zoom and socially-distanced doorstep conversations where needed. Our B&B offering at Brathay Hall is constantly adapting to the ever-changing safety requirements and has been busier than ever, bringing funds in to support our youth work. Where safe to do so, our sporting challenge events are still going ahead, again raising money for our core mission.
Our personal, team, and leadership development programmes have continued, too, supporting businesses and organisations who need to be working together (but often apart) now more than ever.
In the last few months alone, we’ve delivered a programme to develop an apprentice workforce that is self-aware, performance driven and lives the company’s values and behaviours for a national electrification and automation company, through a residential programme at Brathay Hall.
We have increased employee engagement and exceptional service at a North West Council through a series of sessions delivered via Zoom.
We’ve even delivered a virtual Apprentice Team of the Year award ceremony, hosted live from Brathay Hall in Ambleside, using our new way of working to bring an enjoyable and successful conclusion to the Balfour Beatty Brathay Apprentice Challenge, celebrating a nine-month national challenge to raise awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships.
We might not always be in the room with those we support, but we’re still with them – every step of the way.
Closed? We’re more open than ever - and excited by the new opportunities.