Property Australia

How #iworkinproperty during COVID-19

PROPERTY AUSTRALIA April 21, 2020

How are property people finding a “new normal”? Mainbrace’s Dan Morelli is drinking lots of coffee and “learning to blank out the background noise of Bluey” on the days he isn’t on site.

Dan Morelli, NSW Interiors Manager, Mainbrace Constructions

What I love most about my job… Bringing a project to life from origin to completion – and seeing the team grow over the life of the project – is immensely satisfying. There’s nothing better than completion day and seeing everyone happy and enjoying the success of a project together.

How my work has changed since Covid-19… On Mainbrace sites, we are progressing our projects in a business-as-usual way, as much as is possible and with a few essential precautions and contingencies. Obviously, there were changes to be implemented to ensure social distancing and hygiene practices are maintained, and response plans to be communicated. Otherwise, like most, I have set up my home office and work from home on the days I am not required on sites.

How I’m adapting to the “new normal”… I’m drinking coffee, learning to blank out the background noise of Bluey on constant repeat for the kids and staying in touch with the team at regular intervals. I’m trying to stay active – running, riding, pushing the pram or chasing the kids at the park. It all helps!

My new workday essentials are…  Along with the home coffee machine, Apple AirPods are invaluable and phone charger cords are like gold in my house.

The innovative technology or idea I’ve embraced is… Working from home in construction is not a normal proposition. We had to adapt quickly, including the implementation of MS Teams across the whole company. It now feels weird to not have a meeting where you are staring at a camera and sharing a screen.

My advice to others looking to implement this… Have trust in your team, as everyone wants this to succeed. Set goals, follow up on them and keep checking in to make sure everyone is coping with the lack of actual human interaction.

My most valuable skill in challenging times… Calmness. Being able to think through a problem without overreacting is essential when the background noise, and doom-and-gloom headlines, would otherwise be overwhelming.

My biggest inspiration… Doctors, nurses and health support staff who continue to go to work each day, when they know they are putting their lives at risk, are truly inspiring.

One way I’ll work differently on the other side of this crisis… I’ll be putting my new-found remote working capability to good use because there have definitely been some efficiency techniques learned. However, like most people, I look forward to having face-to-face interactions with my colleagues again.

What I’ve learned so far from 2020… Nothing is guaranteed and the landscape can shift in an instant, so don’t take the simple joys in your personal and professional life for granted.

How are your people stepping up to meet the challenges of the Covid-19 crisis and finding a “new normal”? To share your stories or be featured in our #iworkinproperty series, contact news@propertycouncil.com.au