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Five minutes with... 17th January 2023

What three words describe Workman?

  • Collaborative in the work we undertake to help clients achieve their ESG goals.
  • Practical in terms of our skills and the work we carry out for clients.
  • Alert to client needs and requirements.

What has been your standout moment at Workman so far?

Becoming chartered in June 2019, and having the support at the firm to allow me to do that. It was an especially significant achievement, both personally and professionally, because I had done it later in life following my degree in Building Surveying and the Environment at the University of Plymouth. This marked a change in career direction for me, having originally studied for a degree in economics and worked in retail.

Thinking about ESG-led Building Consultancy, can you tell us a bit about what that means to you, and also to the business?

To me, it’s about doing my bit to make a difference to the climate crisis that everyone’s becoming more aware of. We are in an effective position at Workman, in that we have the opportunity to collaborate with our clients, who are often large institutional investors, to make sweeping changes.

The ability to motivate, promote and instigate change in a positive direction is a reflection of the talent of the Workman teams in making recommendations to clients in a clear manner that streamlines weighty reports and identifies key outputs to reach clients’ ESG targets.

We put Net Zero Asset Plans in place which make recommendations to deliver towards targets that can potentially make a difference to decarbonising a percentage of the built environment. And that is an exciting prospect.

Tell us about a time you’ve put your skills to their best use at Workman?

I like attention to detail, and knowing the foundation of information and statements so that I have confidence in what I am explaining to others.

This helps me to show my clients how data I am sharing with them links to a wider aspect of the ESG puzzle. My inquisitive approach and desire for full understanding allows my own conversations with clients to precisely offer what they are after, because to an extent, I’ve done the analysis on their behalf.

What change would you make to a single aspect of the wider property sector and why?

Even though it’s heading in a positive direction, there are still small scale or consistent changes that could be made in terms of physical construction and specifically relating to waste in the construction industry. Not necessarily through regulation, but through ownership and willingness to make a change by everyone from labourers on site, through to design teams, to clients.

It’s that level of ownership at every level to try and drive and look for improvement, to find genuine opportunities for renewables and recycling, so that ideally, we are not automatically replacing and buying new, but looking at refurbishment rather than replacement.

What first led you into the property industry?

I’ve always had an interest in buildings and architecture, and building consultancy plays into my practical and numerical strengths and offers the chance to solve problems. It also gives an opportunity for variety, to be in different places, and not at a desk all the time.

What are your spare time pursuits and how do they feed into your role at Workman?

I row with my local pilot gig club, going out a couple of times a week in most weathers. I also enjoy running and travelling, seeing what the UK has to offer as well as further afield. These activities don’t really feed into my Workman role but that is positive, as it is important to step away from work occasionally and turn off for a few hours.

What is your favourite building worldwide, and why?

I like Frank Lloyd Wright as an architect and specifically his Fallingwater building. It’s interesting because of the way it integrates into its surroundings. It has a sort of visual statement or style that makes it indicatively Frank Lloyd Wright’s, but also it’s at one with nature, and has a practicality that he designed into his buildings.

What book or podcast would you recommend?

I quite like books by Bill Bryson. His style of writing recounting his travel adventures is entertaining, and he has used this accessible approach to good effect with his more science-based book, A Short History of Nearly Everything.