BE Together: Effective Remote Teamwork

Jan 19, 2021 | Inside BE - Our Culture | 0 comments


“BE Together” is one of the core values of Brindley Engineering.  We know it well and adopt the practice of focusing on being together with our families, with our Team, and with our clients.  2020 challenged us to find new ways to “BE Together.”  Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric is quoted as saying “Change before you have to.”  Well, a global pandemic forced all of us to change and act on ‘BE Together’ in another way.  Fortunately, Brindley Engineering has always embraced a flexible work culture so we were well positioned to work remotely and we were used to being adaptable when faced with complexity.

We rely on site visits in our business. Face to face time is really important to all parties.  Suddenly, in the spring that came to a halt.  We immediately got creative and learned how to adapt to each of our client’s systems, policies, and IT requirements to keep projects and planned turnarounds on schedule.  “Face to Face” was quickly redefined as “FaceTime” through the many types of internet meeting platforms.  Talk about change!  Face to face meetings were never interrupted by dogs barking, children crying, or the doorbell ringing from that much needed Amazon delivery.  Now, those things seem to be business as usual…

During this time, we also learned that “BE Together” was not just about how we were connected via computer programs and executing on projects.  The pandemic affected, and still does affect, all of us.  We heard the mantra “We are all in this Together” many times during 2020.  Philip Crosby said, “To help in a positive manner, you must be genuinely interested in people and results.”   Having empathy for the personal challenges, sacrifices, impacts, and stresses that each employee and client faced during this time was equally, if not more important, than project challenges.  We all relied on others to support us or were called on to support others like no other time in our careers.

In some cases, we were still challenged to “BE Together” on site to support critical work and turnarounds.  Brindley Engineering supported a turnaround on the Gulf Coast shortly after the state shutdowns were in effect.  The start of the turnaround was delayed a few times with the client adapting to implement protocols to keep all employees and contractors safe and healthy.  Brindley Engineering’s team committed to make the drive down to this Gulf Coast refinery as airline travel was essentially stopped during this time.   A week prior to the second phase of the turnaround starting, Brindley Engineering received another critical project from a new client located about 2 hours from this same Gulf Coast refinery.  We saw our team members rise to the occasion and put in the work needed to support our clients with this late change.  Within 48 hours of receiving the new project, one particular employee drove from Chicago to this new Client, then onto his previously scheduled turnaround shift, which piggybacked on this trip.  We were so proud of his dedication to BE and our clients during this time. He extended his time away from home to nearly a month but contributed greatly to the successful completion of both projects.

While we found new ways to live up to our core value “BE Together’ our Team’s reliability, flexibility, and incredible teamwork in the face of unprecedented challenges made 2020 a big success for both Brindley Engineering and those we work with.

— Bernie Gunn, Principal, Brindley Engineering


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