As we all finally emerge from the toughest of lockdowns I thought I would update you about how Cratus will be operating and working with our clients, our partners and our friends around local government in the months ahead.
It will all be about the blend – a return to the office, retaining the best of the technology and reacquainting ourselves back to meeting our colleagues for sure. Where that office needs to be is up for debate as Cratus looks to respond to what works best for our teams and yours.
We believe that Zoom and Teams have enabled project management style meetings to take place without the need for excessive travel. A very positive outcome from the lockdown is that we have dramatically reduced our carbon footprint!
We will still look to attend project team meetings via Zoom or Teams but we recognise that nothing is better than collaboration in person for those early stage discussions.
We have moved all of our internal management meetings to Mondays to give our teams the freedom to use the rest of the week to support our clients in whichever form or setting they are working in. We are also ensuring that everyone you deal with at Cratus has the technology to join Zoom and Teams meetings from all possible locations that they may find themselves in, as well as giving them scope to meet you and your colleagues in person when requested.
We know that retaining what is best from our year on Zoom and Teams and blending that into a world where we meet again will have its challenges. We have prepared for this new era the best that we can and we will do what we can to work with you to provide even better service in the coming months.
During the Lockdowns we have seen the best of our teams as we have seen our clients adapt and change and achieve things together none of us imagined, but we also know that the cost to some has been great. With stress and health related challenges on top of other work pressures, we must not underestimate that a “blended” working style must also provide for a positive “work life” balance for all. We would extend an invitation to work with you all on how we can make sure that working together is not only productive and successful but also enjoyable and rewarding as we emerge from our enforced isolation.
The team and I will definitely be making a return to our new covid friendly London HQ just across from Borough Tube station and we look forward to hosting all sorts of events, large and more intimate, once safe to do so. I had already been welcoming friends and colleagues in to #180 for catch ups, formal and informal, in the build up to Christmas and with an eye on the summer, look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible to our new home.
Our location offers other advantages. One of the team has just arranged to meet up with a client, but instead of battling for a seat outside a coffee shop, they’re going to catch up over a riverside circuit of London Bridge and Tower Bridge. Who needs Costa Coffee if you can walk and talk along the mighty Thames?
Cratus is also exploring new ways of working, including options via hub offices across our Home Counties heartlands, to support projects. With locations such as Guildford, Reading, Watford and Chelmsford in mind, this will also offer great opportunities to co-host meetings and events with clients and partners as our local world continues to emerge from lockdown.
Away from the South East, Cratus continues to support clients via offices in the South West, a growing team on the South coast, plus with exciting new leadership due to be announced in May in the North West out of Manchester.
Our Planning Communication teams in particular have been busier than ever throughout lockdown; supporting clients and projects in an increasingly digital world. This experience has, arguably, opened up the planning process to a new and much wider group of stakeholders and interested parties that the traditional in person meetings or exhibitions were never able to capture feedback from. In response to that, we have been busy developing Cratus Engage, an online platform that complements, not replaces, the traditional in person conversations at the heart of any meaningful consultation and engagement campaign.
If you would like to receive a demonstration of this breakthrough service, please drop my BD Director a line.
Setting us apart from other consultancies is our in-depth insight of the political implications and the likely ramifications of delivering change in a local authority setting. Our expanding roster of experts includes former Chief Planner, Steve Quartermain; ex RB Greenwich Chief Executive, Dame Mary Ney; ex Head of Programme and Project Management at the former British Waterways, Bill Alexander and most recently, Brendon Walsh, who has led a string of major regeneration and development initiatives across the Capital. This collective experience allows us to provide tailored support for; Local Authority Leaders, Chief Executives and Senior Officers, across a multitude of areas including:
Cratus is fighting fit and open for business. If you think that there is an opportunity for us to work together, co-host meetings and events, or if you would just like to catch up for a cup of tea with me or one of the teams across the country, get in touch and let’s get something in the diary.