Off to Work,
As part of a his Doorstep Art photography project, Harry Pseftoudis, caught up with Robert Persson and asked a few questions.
I'm a Swedish islander that has now lived in London for 22 years. Married to my darling Colombian wife and exceptional cake designer Laura. We are truly blessed to have Jack (7) and Henrik (3), both named after golfers of course.
Pre Covid, my attention was firmly on creating success and truly amazing experiences for our team, clients, and most importantly the end clients we all serve together. We do that by embracing a fun, passionate and service focused culture in which our entrepreneurs excel, and clients and teams are listened to.
During the lockdown we have supported numerous hospitals and other key industries as well as those few clients who have remained open. Our values are of course intact, and stronger than ever, but the work patterns have changed.
Whilst the lockdown was not our fault we have felt enormous responsibility towards our teams and our clients and we have creatively found some ways to support. From new role creations to diversifying in to other sectors and home working we have kept going throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so moving forward, developing opportunities for our team and the hospitality/sports/events/B&I community in general.
None of the above is easy with social distancing still in place and as a London Swede I do hope that we embrace the bravery of Sweden and scrap social distancing immediately, whilst supporting those most vulnerable.
We have used the job retention scheme for both our full time and casual team with 1300-1400 getting support. And whilst that is appreciated it is difficult to digest the negative impact social distancing and the extended lockdown has had on our industry. The way I see it we are a safe, responsible and life enhancing industry so there is zero need to hold us back. In fact, the opposite clearly applies.
It has been really hard to take any positives from the current situation, but I can say I am humbled to be part of this team and exceptionally grateful for the continuous opportunity to support our clients. Whilst the obvious points are that it is easier to meet online and embrace flexible working etc, it is something we already did pre CoVid. I actually suspect, and hope, there will be less online meetings in the future and that real experiences will continue to grow.
We have of course embraced the opportunities for our team to up skill and learn during lockdown and we have also seen good collaboration between nationwide teams. I am a positive existentialist that lives in the present and a passionate promoter of change in general. And whilst that remains and I am positive about the future I struggle to find positivity from the lockdown.
Working from home and trying to home school 2 boys has been wonderful and horrible at the same time. Its easy to feel you are consistently letting everyone down but my key ethos has been to make sure that when I do spend time with them I am fully in that moment, and the same applies to work of course.
The thing I miss most about what I do is the freedom and opportunity it gives me.
Robert is an assistant home schooling teacher and Client Relationship and Customer Service Director, proudly at Off to Work since 2003. You can contact him here.
We want to help provide some of the best experiences and memories people have ever had. With this as our guiding principle, we have continuously elevated our recruitment processes and standards to bring you the very best in hospitality.