Today we’re presenting part two in a two-part interview with Gavin Reddin, Managing Director of Parking and Secure Documents (“PSD”). Many of us have adapted to remote or home working since the pandemic upturned our working and personal lives. Gavin took it one step further. Having just returned from a six month spell in Canada we were interested on what led to the decision and his perspectives on working remotely.
And how did it go from a work perspective?
“Surprisingly well. Occasionally I forgot to renew my skype subscription or had minor communications problems but overall zoom, skype, teams and adobe connect all came up trumps and I stayed in close contact with colleagues and customers. There were very few places without free wifi and especially in the major cities.”
Did the time difference make it more difficult to organise working life?
“I had to get used to very early morning meetings to keep up with client and team meetings in the UK – Montreal being 5 hours behind London. It meant meetings with colleagues settled into a regular pattern and in fact worked well around their own work commitments. The time difference also had the benefit that I was unable to answer all my emails instantly and found I had time for reflection and to formulate more measured answers and plans.”
“That’s quite a revealing take-away” Gavin tells me.
What was a highlight of the trip for you?
“A real highlight was attending the COP15 UN conference on biodiversity. I got to see and understand both the damage caused in detail by our industry and the great opportunities to mitigate this damage and help regenerate vital biodiversity on the planet. It prompted me to write an article on this alone which is so important to our sector.”
“It was also an inspiring privilege to witness and interact with the thousands of delegates as they sought to negotiate and implement a plan that will impact on all of us and for generations to come.”
Do you think remote working would suit everyone?
“No, perhaps not. I have the advantage of having fantastic work colleagues – some of whom I have known for 25 years. I have clients that I’ve worked with for a similar time, and a group CEO who is forward thinking and always open to new ideas (please don’t tell him I’m working on my next travel idea!).”
Having had the experience, how do you see the future of work for younger generations?
“For newer entrants to the industry, building relationships will be harder. Face to face contact with clients and personal contact with colleagues and mentors plays a great role in personal development.”
What would you say to anyone considering a similar move?
“I would say if you are lucky enough to have the chance, take it with open arms! Seeing a different country, culture, and way of doing business is fascinating and rewarding and can only help with the day job.”
And how’s the French now?
Gavin mentioned in part 1 that one of his motivations was grasping a working knowledge of French. So we had to ask, “How’s the French now?”.
“Ah, the French – pas mal – though sadly the teachers I wanted to impress are probably long dead.”
Parking and Secure Documents (inc The Parking Shop) is part of the Integrity Print Group. The business specialises in printed and graphics products to the parking and traffic management sectors. They are key suppliers to many local authorities and parking contractors providing consumable parking management products and deliver secure mailing services for statutory and time sensitive documents. Gavin’s article on his COP15 experiences can be found here https://www.transportxtra.com/publications/parking-review/home/