Working during a pandemic, finding a new normal…Luke

It’s the final blog of the COVID series as we reach out to Luke, one of CHR’s Consultants.

What is your role at CHR, how long have you been with the firm and what did you do before you joined CHR?
“I joined the company in February 2018 as an associate and have now progressed to a Consultant role. Before that I was doing my PhD in Bioengineering at Imperial College London, which was about computational modelling of gene regulatory network.”

How have the last few months been for you? Have you been staying safe and healthy? What has CHR’s response to the pandemic been like?
“It has been challenging in the past few months for me to work from home for a prolonged period, as is probably the case for many people. I miss the office fun I had with my colleagues (e.g. lunch outings and Mario Kart). I have been trying to keep myself safe by not venturing out too often.
CHR offices have been closed since the very beginning of the pandemic – although I know some companies re-opened when the government restrictions were relaxed, but for us, we have been working from home straight since March.”

When CHR transitioned to working remotely, how did we facilitate the transition and what kind of support and resources were CHR employees offered?
“I think CHR has been quite supportive in helping us work at home more efficiently. Now that COVID-19 has fundamentally changed many things in our lives, I can see the company trying very hard to understand the impact of the pandemic on us.

CHR offered several programs to help us adjust to the new reality. For example, the whole company has Strava set up with individual accounts linked, and we have a leader board for activities done weekly to encourage people into exercising more regularly at home. Also, CHR ran several social events both online and offline in small groups to help people stay connected.”

CHR is still growing despite the current global pandemic, what do you believe is the key to CHR’s success?
“From my perspective, CHR’s success is all about staying true to our identity as a group of people who are passionate about what they do. The pandemic has affected us all for sure, but ultimately each of us at CHR like our job and fulfil ourselves through delivering quality work. It may sound a bit cliché, but I don’t think there is more to it – I can see our clients appreciate this and treat us as a partner for their endeavours.”

One of the key strengths of CHR is our company culture, has the pandemic had an impact on CHR’s culture? How has the firm worked to preserve its values and its culture, as well as the overall sense of connectedness between the team?
“A lot has changed in the company since the pandemic in terms of how we work daily. And yes, there are many things missing from the culture we had originally before the pandemic. However, I still feel the core values stay the same.

Our culture of connectedness comes from the very nature of our work; in this company we do not usually work in small, siloed teams and different projects give me opportunities to meet and connect with new colleagues. But in the end, I think it’s the proactive efforts of the company and its staff that really sustain and drive our culture.”

How has the pandemic impacted the way you work and has it affected the way you engage with your clients and colleagues?
“Our system was already set up for flexible working even before the pandemic and overall, I don’t feel much has changed in the way we work.

However, several aspects of our work have changed due to the pandemic. For instance, clinical conferences and strategy workshops which gave opportunities to meet clients face-to-face have all now gone virtual. Nevertheless, we work with clients globally and the way we engage with our clients remain the same.”

Thank you so much to Luke for sharing his views on working during the Pandemic. Thank you for reading our mini blog series.