Hi Simon, last time we spoke to you we were in the middle of lockdown. Things have changed since then, for the better. How has your day-to-day routine changed?
My day-to-day routine has changed quite a bit in the last 18 months. Previously, I would split my time between working from my home and my own office space but obviously moving into lockdown that was no longer possible. Consequently, I now spend a far greater proportion of time at home; one of the reasons for this has been to help balance the care of my children and life. I feel due to the changes that we all had to make because of the pandemic, there is a much easier balance between work and home life now. There seems to be less of a taboo about working from home, and everyone is far more open and realistic about the working conditions and environment that people are in. There is much more of a connection now that we’re all in the same boat.
Have there been any noticeable or lasting effects on how you interact with clients and the wider Treework team?
Yes, there have. There is far wider acceptance of the fact that many people are working from home. This is something that we’ve done at Treework already for several years. However, previously it has been difficult to always maintain an optimal working environment whilst working in a home. Whereas now, with everybody being forced to change their location of work these barriers have come down and I feel there’s been a much greater level of exposure to people’s personal lives. Generally, I think it’s taken the focus off just being work and has added a more personal touch. I think ultimately, this has paved the way for much stronger relationships that will stand the greater test of time and show greater consideration to the personal aspects of whom we are dealing with, within our communications.
As well as taking care of the Sales and Marketing team at Treework, you were also heavily involved in the Treework’s Soil Department and pre-lockdown were involved in several soil-tree health projects. How are these projects now, and have you had the opportunity to get out to any of them?
Yes, you are right. Pre COVID, we had several studies running and naturally some of the work has needed to be placed on hold. However, things are starting to change as people become more confident in going out and the programmes of work resume. Just this month I have been fortunate enough to visit a site to support a grounds maintenance team by looking at the use of natural materials and organic biological compounds such as compost tea. Hopefully, we will help them to develop a schedule for the use of compost tea across the site to benefit trees and some of the wider landscape. That is a new project and client interaction for me and so it is very exciting.
When we spoke last year, you had a few objectives and targets that you were hoping to achieve this year, how are they progressing?
They’re all going very well! One of the most important areas was to maintain the position of strength that we were in. I am pleased to report that the company remains in a fantastic position; has thriving client relationships; maintains the high level of service and quality that we are known for; and has some excellent projects for all our team, that will keep them busy well into the future. We continue to see a high demand for the great services that we provide and therefore we have naturally needed to develop the systems under which we operate to provide fee proposals to new and existing clients. Our enquiry management system has therefore undergone several phases of evolution, and we have systematised a lot of what we do. Consequently, we have needed to expand the sales team.
I’m also happy to report I’m cycling a little bit more and next month I’m very excited because I am going to Cumbria to take part in the flagship ‘Walking with the Wounded’ event. This is going to be a full-on event, as its 28 kilometres of walking with 1900 metres of elevation. It is a sponsored event, so any donations would be highly appreciated. You can do so via this link.