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Lessons from the Coronavirus

How the disruption brought by Corona is building resilience in the ADCO team

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, or Coronavirus as it came to be known, arrived  into our country, our community and our businesses with a suddenness that none of us had experienced before. ‘Unprecedented’ became the word of that time, as political leaders, senior public servants and business owners grappled with a society, an economy and a financial environment that was in constant flux and new challenges were posed by the pandemic each day. 

When we saw the initial media reports we felt bewilderment and shock. We had commenced enabling works on a project in the city that once commenced had to be completed, we also have several pharmaceutical  and food processing projects that were deemed critical and needed to progress so we immediately set about engaging with our clients on these projects and putting plans in place to ensure we could continue. While faced with the need to progress these projects according to our agreed programme, we knew we had to do everything in our power to try to keep our people, our clients and design teams safe and mitigate the community transmission of the virus.

Everyone was instructed to work from home wherever possible and we started having video conferencing meetings on alternate days so the team could catch up with each other.

We were expecting that construction sites would need to close and had been preparing for that since the 14th of March. Our site teams set up securing our sites for full closure, similar to a Christmas shutdown. 

The team immediately responded by coming together and talking to clients, ensuring suspended sites were made safe, and safeguarding workers on sites that had to remain operational.ADCO Contracting Team

Despite the economic unpredictability brought about by the pandemic we worked together with a renewed positivity –  we had our jobs, we had our clients and we had our projects in diverse sectors. The challenges of working from home and juggling home life and work life, and also trying to get the message across via online meetings has been frustrating at times, so good humour has been required. For staff who have kids, we have included them in some of our calls which has been a lot of fun and they really enjoyed it too. Simple things like that brought the team closer.  

When lockdown was extended, the gravity of the situation really started to hit home. We had a team meeting where every single employee joined via Teams. Mick Foran addressed the entire team, he was very frank about the fact that more difficult times lay ahead. He gave the team reassurance about how resilient ADCO and our team is and that we would weather the storm together.  

There has definitely been a renewed energy since Covid and the lockdown. Although the team has had to work more remotely, it has in fact brought everyone closer together. People are having more interactions than ever via video meetings and calls.  As lockdown continued and talk of construction sites reopening began, there was a sense of excitement and also of responsibility – to ADCO people and to the wider construction industry to ensure all of our staff and sites were set up to ensure a safe return to work by all.

There are many learnings from this period, leadership and tight management is crucial. We focus on short term goals, typically setting goals on a Friday lunchtime team meeting, checking in as a team the following Wednesday with a view to closing by the following Friday. The team is good-humoured and enthusiastic as we work to deliver our critical projects, and safety is paramount while we deliver clients’ objectives. We have embraced a new flexibility around working hours. The ability to work remotely and use our financial and project management tools from anywhere has been important. ADCO Contracting Health and Safety

Also a renewed focus on cost controls is always important in delivering value for our clients and the crisis has further enforced the requirement to manage costs carefully and prudently and seek out value in the marketplace.

If you would like to know more about the ADCO track record of delivering construction projects please contact Mairead mairead@adco.ie

ADCO – Understanding Construction.

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