MainStreet’s Production and Project Managers Give Insightful, Personal Video Interviews on the Effects of the Pandemic on Their Jobs & Clients
There’s no question that the lifestyle changes, shaped by the pandemic, have changed the way we look at home design. According to a recent remodeling magazine on The Future of Home Design, homeowners now “must embrace and redefine [their] homes as spaces of both learning and living, productivity and play, form and function.”
While homeowner needs have changed, so too have home remodeling contractors and design-build firms like MainStreet. In particular, we’ve had to adopt new policies, job site protective measures, and workflows to operate safely—and legally—during this health crisis.
Here’s an inside perspective from MainStreet’s Production and Project Managers on how COVID-19 has impacted their lives on the job so far.
Dwain May, Project/Field Manager
Q: Dwain, as a Project Manager with 29 years of experience at MainStreet, can you tell us what you’ve done in the past year to keep projects moving forward—anything that has helped you or has been beneficial in your job?
A: One notable change is that we follow up on materials and subcontractors a lot more. In order to keep jobs moving along, materials are harder to get our hands on and take longer time frames, so we have had to be a little more involved than we might have in the past.
With clients being at home, we have learned how to co-exist with sometimes 4-6 family members at a time. This has improved our relationships and collaboration with clients, project managers, and trade relationships where we all are a lot more informed. Instead of giving clients a schedule and asking them to follow along, they get more of the day-to-day project details. This actually makes for a more dynamic job with the client, where they are actually following us on a daily basis, day-to-day.
Q: As difficult as COVID has been, how has this been a learning experience?
A: It has changed the way that we prep jobs and protect clients’ property. There are questions that we wouldn’t have asked over a year ago. For example, when guys are sick or not feeling well, they used to still show up to work. Now, we won’t let them. And, we cater more to our client’s needs in reverse. For example, when they aren’t feeling good or have a child at home that is sick, they will reach out to us and suggest we not come in. I think over the past year we’re getting more one-on-one feedback from clients than we would have normally if they were gone all day while at work. It feels a lot more collaborative and interactive, which is great!
Rick Swanquist, Production Manager
Q: Coming off of a crazy COVID year, how do you think your team has managed to be on the front line of all of this?
A: I think our team has done an excellent job in adapting to their work styles and their practices that they use going into client homes. We’ve done an excellent job with some additional checklists with regard to cleaning and health check-ins. They’ve also been very helpful with making sure that the subcontractors and all the trades that come into the homes have gone and done those things as well—in an effort to make it as safe of a working environment as possible.
Q: So many people get credit for being front-line workers. And I don’t think our guys have really been acknowledged as front-line workers when in fact they have been right there working all the way through this directly with our clients every single day. How do you keep their spirits up?
A: We try to do everything we can to encourage our carpenters and field staff members to be very positive. Obviously in the trying times here it has been a little bit of an adjustment for our practices and the way that we have been doing things. But coming together as a team has made a big difference for us and discussing some of those difficulties together and best practices on how to go ahead and improve on them have really helped with our guys.
Christine’s shares her heartfelt thanks:
“You do a great job managing your team, Rick, promoting them and also teaching them. Thank you for giving the extra effort possible this year to keep us and our clients safe and healthy!”