11 June 2021
In GSA, our operations teams were incredibly dedicated supporting students in residences since the beginning of the pandemic. For our real estate investment management team, there were different challenges and important lessons learnt that overall contributed to a collaborative, productive and engaged team. We explore more below.
Since March 2020, like many businesses, our global team adapted to cater for individuals working differently, supporting each other like never before, while also managing to collaborate and deliver some of our largest projects to date.
Following a survey with our London office, our teams feel more agile in their work, less constrained by the daily commute and more adaptable to changing demands and situations. Whilst many benefitted from working from home, they also missed the social interaction and buzz of being in the office with their respected colleagues.
For some it hasn’t always been easy to draw the line between home life and the office with many missing the benefits of face-to-face brainstorming, with the opportunity to be spontaneous and creative.
In our Australian office, Jeetesh Govind, Group Fund Controller for Australia, explained how we embraced all technologies that improved our working life. Hosting Zoom only meetings encouraged inclusion and sharing of ideas. We felt supported by management and considered when it came to time differences and availability.
He explained his experience from virtual meetings found a healthy balance of team building and chatter alongside strategic, reflective work with clear timelines and actions. Different markets could effectively tag team projects and follow the sun in getting work over the line. We were more connected than we’d ever been and there was a collegial spirit that we’re all in this together.
At GSA, it's clear technology solutions, inclusion and acceptance truly bonded our culture. As we look forward, our goal is to continue a supportive flexible approach while facilitating a blended return to the office - an environment that allows our colleagues to work in a way that feels best for them and the team.
The crisis reminded us how much we value our people and our connection.
Jude Bartlett is People Director for GSA