Today we’re presenting the first 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.
Gavin, how would you describe yourself in one sentence?
“The oldest digital nomad in town!”
What did your working life look like before Parking and Secure Documents?
“I’ve spent more years than I care to remember catching early trains to work as part of a 3-hour daily commute. I’ve been used to the need to be at an office or factory for most of my working life, when not attending customer meetings. But that wasn’t unusual, most of my peers were doing the same and, in that sense, it was quite normal”.
Gavin has previously operated several successful manufacturing printing companies so has been used to a factory and office based environment. He set up Parking and Secure Documents in 2017 (as a division of Integrity Print) and the business was barely two years old when Covid19 started to have an impact.
Says Gavin “Covid lockdowns threw up some surprising results for me. Lockdown meant that I and the rest of the team had to work from home and face to face client meetings weren’t happening. Halfway through the first lockdown I recognised that home working was delivering similar results to before, so we took a decision to shut our London sales office. After that, I and the rest of the PSD and Parking Shop team became home workers.”
How did things change after lockdown?
“At the end of the lockdown we continued what – at that stage – was still an experiment and continued with the whole team working remotely (from home). We’ve just had our best year’s performance ever (2022) so it proved that we could be at least as effective working remotely and the change is now permanent.”
What was the significance of Canada?
“I’ve spent time there previously. From my experience it’s just a big country but with big weather, big ambitions and a big heart. In truth too I’d started to find post Brexit Britain a bit stifling. I wanted to see a country and a region, Quebec, where immigration is welcomed and at least witness a country that embraces the idea of the American Dream without the need to buy a gun. About a year ago partly as result of this, I hatched a plan to move to Canada for six months and see if remote working needed to be limited by national boundaries.”
Gavin jokes, “The other reason was, having been banned from doing French O level I wanted to prove my teachers wrong and get a working knowledge of French. Montreal is after all the second largest French speaking city after Paris.”
Part two of our interview follows soon!