It’s been 18 months like no other and the working landscape has had to adapt rapidly and repeatedly. Some weeks ago we asked the RRA team what they would like the future working arrangements to be and the answer was almost unanimously to adopt a hybrid approach of some days in the office and either some days at home each week, or at least, the option of working from home on occasion.
So, we have been putting our post-covid plans together and in doing so we have reflected on what the past months have taught us and looking at areas we could improve. We always aim to provide a comfortable, happy, working environment where mistakes are seen as positive learning experiences and people feel safe in a blame-free culture. We hope to create an open atmosphere to encourage ideas and social interactions. But we want to go further still and pro-actively protect the mental health of our team before problems get out of control, as such we have offered the whole team free counselling if they wish to explore this. In short we want our team to know we care about them, not just the work they produce.
So how are we doing? We asked the RRA team for feedback – we were overwhelmed with what they said:
(We know this seems like we’re blowing our own trumpet, but if you’re here reading about our company – this is probably exactly the ‘behind the scenes’ information that would reassure you that we are a genuinely caring company, so, please forgive us).
“Working at RRA is like working with family; supportive, encouraging and always there for you.”
Sam, Project Designer
“I’m thankful for the invaluable mentoring I have had at RRA Architects over the past three years and I feel very fortunate to work in a passionate design-led team that enjoy working together. RRA Architects as a company are amazing for arranging staff socials (when covid allows) which even includes team getaways. The whole team are very excited for a trip to Centre Parcs later in the year! I love having dogs in the office, they improve the well-being of the team and make a friendly office atmosphere.”
Sarah-Jane, Project Designer
“RRA is a small practice with a huge heart! Having worked at RRA for over 4 years now I cannot imagine working anywhere else, the support and understanding given by the Directors allows personal empowerment and progression and all my colleagues are a real joy to work with.”
Jane, Business Manager
“I enjoy working for RRA because every day is different. We work across a range of projects & sectors, and with a variety of clients, meaning each day brings unique challenges.
Wellbeing is a huge consideration throughout the whole team which has been especially crucial during the pandemic. As a practice our workload has significantly increased during the past year, however the good support structure in place made the transition to working from home incredibly easy; a range of daily or weekly calls and catch-up meetings ensured a well-managed day to day running of the practice, where the workload is easily shared between different team members ensuring RRA is a very enjoyable place to work.”
“The RRA team have been so welcoming since I joined last July. They have been really accommodating towards my university studies, and have taken time to ensure that I feel supported and progressing my architectural skillset. As a graduate, I cannot understate how much I appreciate this support, especially during these unprecedented times due to COVID-19.”
Caitlin, Architectural Assistant
“Training to become an architect is a long and somewhat daunting process, however RRA has made it a positive and rewarding experience for me so far. They have given me the option to work flexibly/ part time whilst completing my Masters ensuring that I continue to gain the well needed experience in the industry within a very supportive environment.”
Chanel, Architectural Assistant
“RRA is a great place to work, the team are all very friendly and super supportive and everyone goes above and beyond to help each other out. They are also very supportive when it comes to part time university workloads, which due to the nature of the architecture profession a lot of the team are currently undertaking. I was able to reach out and ask questions whenever necessary which no doubt helped in making the university workload more manageable.”
Natalie, Architectural Assistant
“ I feel incredibly fortunate to work with a team of people who share like minded values and for Directors who truly have their team’s wellbeing at the heart of the company. I started working for RRA on the first day of lockdown in March 2020 and as much as I have been commended for picking up the job so quickly and doing well, I feel like I would have never been able to succeed in that scenario of learning a new job entirely from scratch and working from home, without the support of a truly wonderful team. They have been nothing but supportive, and included me in every meeting and social zoom call etc. I instantly felt welcomed and part of a team even though I hadn’t met them face to face. They are truly amazing and I can’t thank them enough.”
Steff, Office Co-Ordinator and PA to the Directors
“Since my first day working for RRA there has always been a warm and welcoming environment where creativity is encouraged. The office culture is nurturing and supportive with a diverse team who are all happy to share their skills and experience, and are generous with their time.”
Natalie, Project Architect
“RRA have provided a supportive working environment which has allowed me to study my apprenticeship alongside working in practice, providing adaptable working hours and mentoring to aid my learning, which I am very grateful for. ”
James, Architectural Assistant