Architectural firm introduces ‘agile working’ for staff in response to Covid-19

An architectural practice has embraced a completely new way of working in response to Covid-19 – an approach which is here to stay.

Hewitt&Carr Architects, based in Cheadle, Staffordshire, has changed the way its team works so there is far more emphasis on flexible or agile working.

Changes have seen the architectual staff split into two teams, each working under the guidance of one of the business owners  –  Natalie Hewitt or Mark Carr.

Each team works on a staggered rota with only five days within a fortnight being in the office and the remaining time working from home.

A breakout area has also been created at the firm’s DaisyBank House offices to give the team a dedicated area to brainstorm, work together and share ideas.

In addition, the company’s parent company, Hewitt&Carr Group, has taken on an extra office at DaisyBank House to accommodate another part of the Group  – Hewitt&Carr Services – and giving them more space to operate.

Company owner and architect Natalie Hewitt said: “The architectural industry, in my experience, has been traditionally office-based with little or no scope for home working. Covid-19 has changed that, certainly for us.

“We’ve used it as an opportunity to embrace change and look at how we can do things in a different way, to keep staff safe and give them the opportunity to work flexibily.

“It also helps ensure the studio is a vibrant, collaborative space where we can come together as a team so that we all work creatively to the best of our abilities.”

She added: “Cutting down on travel for staff, has saved them wasted time in the car, energy and stress. It also takes the pressure away of having to be in the office at a certain time and helps with productivity.

“More importantly than that it means staff are happier and for us that’s the most important thing. The changes have been embraced by the team and we’re really pleased with their feedback.”

Architectural assistant Billie Chell said: “It’s admirable that both Natalie and Mark have managed to create such a positive outcome in what has generally been a very negative period for so many of us. It’s great that they have used these strange times to reflect and change how the team operates.

“I am so excited about the new way of working and it’s great to be part of such a forward-thinking team. These changes look beyond the immediate future and promote a healthy work-life balance.”


Business Live – West Midlands