Flashback to 8 days ago. Thursday 12 March. Heads up to those who have already lost track of time: in the evening, it was announced that schools would close. That contact with others must be avoided and events could no longer go ahead. And then that e-mail from the management team: conference call with all team members at 3.30 p.m.
Join us on screen, individually. It was an obligatory call for everyone, regardless of whether you were on a construction site, inside an Upkot building, attending a training course, at the office or working from home. Our Co-CEO Koenraad and Happiness Officer Sofie appeared on screen. Their message was loud and clear. The safety precautions the company had taken so far were not enough. We needed to take it one step further.
Clear and drastic measures were announced. No more rent and open days. Construction sites must be kept up and running for as long as possible with minimal staff on site. Whoever can work from home must do so. All meetings will be held online. No more face-to-face management meetings.
And then Koenraad ended the conference call with the words, “I hope to see as few people as possible at the office tomorrow”. Bizarre, to say the least. And that was that. We were catapulted into a new reality. A reality where everyone at Upgrade Estate has accepted the situation, while trying to fight the consequences.
Output management has become the new normal. Everything is being done remotely. Our marketing team put together a digital rental platform in just 24 hours, allowing students to take a virtual tour and rent a room online. In just one week, we rented a whopping 70 student rooms!
Every day, Nele and Koenraad send us a video update. Our newsletter contains useful tips & tricks for working from home, possibly with kids. At the construction sites, we continue to work as much as possible, while guaranteeing safe working conditions for all.
We’ve created an Upgrade Estate playlist on Spotify and last Friday we enjoyed our first-ever digital after-work drink. Now more than ever, people must stay connected. That's no easy feat. But Upgrade Estate has found the solution: today, we are launching our digital information platform, which will allow us to stay connected with staff, investors and students.
We will share interesting topics via webinars, enable you to invest online and enjoy virtual visits to our projects. It’s an honour to work for a company like Upgrade Estate. A company that turns every challenge into an opportunity. We continue to work and fight to keep the company up and running despite these difficult circumstances, with a healthy dose of optimism. One thing is certain: we’re here to stay!