In this episode, I talk to Matthew Low, P.E., Senior Vice President at Hoyle, Tanner & Associates, Inc., about challenges and opportunities in the civil engineering workforce, and how engineers can overcome these challenges to excel in their careers.
In this episode, we talk to Sonia Sorabella Swift, P.E., civil engineer, and Director of Engineering at Menard USA, with over 15 years of experience in ground improvement design, excavation support design, subsurface investigations, construction observation, and engineering analysis about how engineers can effectively manage remote teams.
Here Are Some of the Questions We Ask Sonia:
- What experience have you had working with others remotely?
- What is the hardest part of remote work and management?
- In your opinion, what have you found to be the most effective way to communicate with team members when working remotely?
- What changes to your working environment have helped to manage remote teams?
- Can you maintain a team atmosphere when working remotely, and if so, how do you do that?
- What do you think the future holds for remote work, especially in the engineering industry?
- What final piece of advice would you like to give engineers out there?
Here Are Some of the Key Points Discussed About How to Effectively Manage Remote Teams:
This is a guest post by Jeff Perry, MBA
I’ve always been a pretty big fan of flexible work options and remote work. It’s been nice to have the ability to do it when I’ve been sick, traveling, or taking care of other business. While not possible for all job roles, remote work can have a lot of benefits.
With the coronavirus and its many effects on the working world, we will need to adapt to increased and accelerated remote work. Some people love it, others don’t.
No matter your personal feelings, embracing the advantages of remote work and learning how to effectively communicate in remote settings will become increasingly important for career success.
Benefits of Going Remote
No, really, I’m asking. I’m on the fence on this one.
I understand there are many jobs that can’t be done from home. One of them being civil engineer. I used to be a microscopist. I can’t imagine even asking for “work from home day”’ in that job. But there are definite aspects of being an engineer that can be done from home. And I would strongly argue that they can be done better that way. Having a day at home once a week, without interruption, to get some planning done, catch up on paperwork, write reports, or design in peace would certainly be useful. On the flip side, what about all the potential interruptions?
Our next live Civil Engineering Collective training session will focus on maximizing engagement and effectiveness through virtual interactions. Something that must be top of mind for all professionals today, especially those in the civil engineering world, who work on complex projects with many moving parts.
Let’s be honest, we’re not getting away from remote work any time soon, and most likely, we’ll never go back to as much office time as we used to have pre-COVID-19. With most great teams, when the rules of the game change, they adjust and continue in their winning ways. One way that your team members can adjust is to become superstars in terms of their virtual work productivity.
One of the biggest areas for improvement in this arena is virtual meeting productivity. I’ve been involved in many virtual meetings over the past six months, and it is clear to me that the person leading the meeting has the most impact on the productivity of that meeting. More specifically, their preparation prior to the meeting, which I believe has the most impact on meeting productivity.
This is a guest blog by Trilby Lawless, BigTime Software
Over the last 10 years, remote work has grown in popularity by 91%. Even though the current pandemic has given businesses no other option but to move to remote work, many have seen it as a silver lining. The benefits for employees are clear: flexible work structures, improvement to work-life balance, job satisfaction, and productivity.
But as leaders and managers, you may think: It’s great for individuals, but how do I make it great for the business?
After all, you need to keep goals and projects moving forward, but managing teams and your firm’s operations simply looks different outside of the office. A new set of challenges can arise.
The good news is that with the right tools in place, it is now easier than ever to make this happen and to make it happen efficiently. In this post, we’ll explore the three most common challenges of managing a remote or hybrid office for engineering firms, and the strategies you need to navigate them successfully.
The goal is to have a new management outlook for remote work, so your firm can find its groove outside of the office and empower your team to be productive and grow.
Let’s get into it.
Challenge 1: Lacking an Operational Process That Fosters Communication and Insight Into Progress and Staff Utilization
In this episode, I talk with Andy Platz, PE, who is the CEO and President at Mead & Hunt. Andy talks about his career journey of how he went from being a fresh graduate to a CEO of a company. He provides some great crisis management tips to civil engineers and also gives very actionable advice to civil engineers aspiring to become leaders in the field. Andy also talks about how he and other leaders at Mead & Hunt are leading their firm through this COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Here Are Some of the Questions I Ask Andy:
- Can you please tell us about your career progression as a civil engineer?
- As a leader of a civil engineering company, how do you manage crisis management at your firm?
- How has your staff responded to this time?
- How does one be prepared for something like this pandemic?
- Was being the CEO a career goal that you had early on in your career?
- Are there any skills and characteristics that you find in a lot of civil engineering leaders that allow them to be in leadership roles?
- What is your philosophy on social media and how an engineer and engineering firm should utilize it?
- How do you think being an ESOP (or having employee owners) impacts the culture of a company?