An Interview with…Guy Richardson, Founder & Director, Lakewood Projects
Lakewood projects is an office fit-out, design, and refurbishment company, based in Southampton. This family-run business was founded by Guy Richardson in 2016, and since then it has grown from strength-to-strength.
As a people and culture focused company, we were keen to find out about Lakewood’s experience during the pandemic, and how things will change moving forwards.
Founder & Director, Lakewood Projects
How did you set up your employees to work remotely during lockdown?
A lot of our team is outsourced anyway and they had set ups given to them to work
remotely so it didn’t feel like a huge change. For in house staff they worked from home with
a laptop and stand. We held daily meetings and used a mixture of Teams and Slack to touch
base with both the out-sourced departments as well as in-house.
How did your employees find it?
It didn’t feel like too much of a change in terms of tech and software, so they didn’t mind it.
They did though miss the social element and the collaboration of being together in the
office bouncing ideas off each other.
What are your plans for returning to the office?
We are going to be spending a lot less time out on the road and conducting meetings via
Teams as much as possible, not only from a safety perspective but also from an
environmental and time optimization perspective.
“We are going to be spending a lot less time out on the road and conducting meetings via
What is the biggest change you’ve made to your business as a result of the COVID-19
We’ve honed in our processes and now will only go to in person meetings regarding
projects if it’s an absolute must. We are also taking that view with all out outsource
department meetings too.
How are you addressing the return to the office with your clients?
Not having to do too much to be honest, just letting them know of our policy in terms of
meetings, but we are also getting the same feedback from our clients anyway so its
mutually beneficial for both parties.
What are your 3 top tips for organisations planning their return to the office?
There’s no one size fits all approach to this, but I would say:
Number 1 – Don’t just consider the practicalities of returning to the office, spend some time
thinking about your people’s psychological needs and wants and put that to the top of the
Number 2 – Don’t just go back to the old ways for the sake of it, use the last year as an
opportunity to reflect on what’s worked and what hasn’t and change accordingly.
“don’t go back to the old ways…use the last year as an opportunity to reflect…and change
Number 3 – Think long term and don’t make any knee jerk decisions.