Remote working is not new to WSA

Remote working is not new for WSA

As engineers we are accustomed to coming up with novel solutions to solve problems.  Who would have thought that this time last year that we would have had the biggest shift in the way that we work and play in decades and that it would all have occurred in the matter of a few weeks?</span.

I could be lamenting the fact my family and I had planned to be in Italy celebrating a family friend’s wedding this Easter. Instead I’m here in Brisbane with my family and continue to steer our clients through this altered paradigm we find ourselves in.

Remote working, teleconferencing, and video calls are in no way new to the WSA team. We have been using these tools to our advantage for years. In fact, we have allowed direct bookings with key staff via our website for some time using these technologies.

I myself have been actively working remotely for over 12 years. While the amount of remote working actively changes week-to-week, and even year to year, the biggest uptake was adopted with the birth of my first child in 2007.

While I may not physically be at my desk or in the Richlands’ office I am still receiving emails and all of my landline calls. If I don’t answer calls it is most likely that I’m in a meeting or on another call, not that I can’t physically pick up.

As technology has changed remote working has become easier and more collaborative.  Gone are the fax machines that helped us to convey the sketch we were talking about on the phone.  This was replaced by email and now collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams.  I can now take over a team mates’ remote computer and point directly to the issue that I want to discuss.

Despite the advantage of remote working, I must stress however that the technological advances still do not replace face-to-face discussions but it can help minimise the requirements when dealing with experienced parties.  Direct supervision of all of our engineering work is paramount as an RPEQ.

In my experience whilst the digital transformation is progressing projects at a faster rate, the old-school skills of preliminary sketches on paper have all but disappeared. Often we jump straight into our design package and start manipulating data. But sometimes we need to step back and get out that pencil and scale rule and do the preliminary work by hand.

By all means use a calculator or rules of thumb to help you, but look at the contours of the site, determine where things are flowing and what the intensification of the development will mean.  Do the calculations to determine the approximate size of a detention basin if you divert the catchment without programs. Believe me it can be quicker than a program!

Fortunately, some things haven’t changed at WSA. We will always work with technology to enable our clients to meet their project objectives now and into the future.