LSI ARCHITECTS

COVID-19 Business Case Study 
The impact of the pandemic on the construction industry has been well documented with some sites temporarily closed and project work paused. 

Published in Norfolk Director Magazine, Summer/Autumn 2020

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Architectural Design 

LSI is an RIBA Chartered Architectural Practice with offices in Norwich and London and director, Ben Goode, explains how COVID-19 affected its operations.

“Nobody could have been fully prepared for this unprecedented situation. However, it’s not unusual to face challenges or uncertainty in the construction industry. Business continuity planning has always been important to us and so we have built significant levels of resilience into our business, not only in the way that we run it, but also in how we use our technology and look after our people. 

Being resilient

The benefit of this resilience is that we were well prepared and able to, largely, mitigate the interruption to the continuity of our service delivery when the crisis hit. 

When we went into lockdown, we were quick to reassure clients and colleagues, that the plans and technology we had in place meant that our business could, and would, continue to provide the same high level of service. 

With a large percentage of our work coming from the healthcare sector, many opportunities were placed on hold whilst the sector responded to the pandemic. Although things have now got back to some level of normality, we did make use of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the Job Retention Scheme, to help see us through. 

Our well-established commitment to flexible working meant that the practice already had a significant infrastructure and culture in place that promoted and supported remote working. Prior to lockdown, our team were already working exclusively from home. And, with full access to our software, data and systems, they continue to deliver projects and meet clients and design teams in a virtual setting. 

A happy, healthy workforce is key

As a business that sells ideas; time is dedicated to generating intellectual property. All we have is our people. So, having happy, healthy, and motivated employees is very important to us. 

We know how vital creating opportunities to connect with each other are, and the most important thing we believe we have done throughout this situation is to continue to communicate clearly and often with our team. 

We hold our weekly team meetings virtually and have also introduced a weekly ‘Directors Update’ to keep everyone informed and give them reassurance. Daily tea breaks and virtual social events have also been an important way that we can all connect with one another. 

Finding things tough is a perfectly normal response to the challenging situation. So, to mitigate the impact we decided to re-run our mental health and wellbeing workshops, to provide our people with strategies and mechanisms to build resilience and to keep them well. 

Recognising our good practice

Among the constructive things to come out of the situation, there are two that stand out. Firstly, it has pushed those that were hesitant in our team, to accelerate their adoption and use of virtual technologies. And secondly, it has reinforced that the systems we have in place are robust, and can capture quality information which means we can make good, informed decisions quickly.” 

LSI ARCHITECTS 1

Ben Goode is Director at LSI Architects. For more information T: 01603 660711 E: norwich@lsiarchitects.co.uk or visit lsiarchitects.co.ukTwitter:@lsiarchitects

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