During the current Covid-19 crisis, Garry Connolly, Founder & President of Host In Ireland interviews Greg Hayden, CEO of Ethos Engineering, a provider of mechanical and electrical consultancy services to the residential, commercial, retail, data centre, sports, leisure, micro-electronic, healthcare, educational, municipal, high tech and pharmaceutical sectors & a valued Host In Ireland partner.
Greg: I suppose we have to start with, me and you Garry have talked and this is an inconvenience for all of us, but the real pain is the front line. Its people losing their family and friends. Taking it down to us, how we getting on? We're getting on quite well. It's a challenge. I think the kids, we’ve three young kids, we’ve two dogs, they’re loving it. I think they’ll look back in time and think this is the best time of their life. They’re oblivious to anything that's actually happening and we want them to sort of to be oblivious. So yeah, we’re getting on quite well. We’re into our third week of lockdown now. We're not killing each other, we get on very well. Garry: You're based in Dublin? Greg: Staying in Dublin. Based in Rathgar. Miss my parents, do Face Time with the parents. Garry: With regard to, sort of, if you looked at challenges what has been, personal or otherwise, challenges in this first three weeks? Greg: Probably the biggest challenge has been juggling, juggling the work and the kids. So, we sort of set up a rota, where I do the business from 8 to lunchtime and then Alyssa. I will look after the kids after lunchtime. From lunchtime, she's on on the phone to States, then she does from lunchtime to the evening. Then one of us will catch up then at night time. So that's probably the biggest challenge, juggling that, juggling the kids. Probably for me one of the big challenges as well is missing the personal interaction, the bit of craic in the industry, you know, it's to me it's all about meeting people and it's great way to meet people online. It's only a substitute for the real thing. And obviously we haven't heard it yet but professional loneliness will start to creep up, you know, where people genuinely do like to be close to people so it's an interesting thing is the challenge of not having that closeness. Garry: What's the positive? Is there a positive already or is it too early? Greg: I think definitely a positive for Ethos. Definitely the construction industry from what I’ve seen have grabbed it. Other industries have as well. We’ve been working on the 4 day week, trying to improve productivity. We've been trying to push people to work from home for the last number of years and sort of different degrees of success. What we've achieved in the last two weeks getting 100 people to work remotely has been absolutely fantastic. I just think from our perspective, I'm delighted with the response from our team. There's some IT challenges, especially with the big .bim files and all that but we've got around that and you know, we’re three weeks into it now, going into our third week and it's all working pretty well. Garry: That huge big office you have now with all those desks, those brand new, beautiful desks you’ve got sure you’ll be renting them out soon again will you? Greg: Well, I think there's always gonna be, you always need a home. I think when we go back to normality we’ll take a lot of what we learned from now and we'll take a lot of the positives out of it. I don't think we'll take away being our office. I think we'll always have a central point. Maybe it doesn't need to be so big but I think the office will always work. So, you know, that's the positive. I think the other positive that we've all taken out of this is the simple things in life that we took for granted, you know, we’ll not take them for granted anymore. Garry: I think a lot of people will be holidaying back in Ireland. Greg: They probably go back to more simple things at the end of all of this. Garry: Yeah… Butlins. Greg: Well, not too sure of Butlins now! Garry: Have you surprised yourself at all? Have you learnt anything good or bad about yourself? I know I'm over 50. I know you're not, we're not meant to divulge once we learn stuff or get a bit older but have you learned something new about yourself? Greg: Well I learned over the weekend that I'm not a good barber! You can probably see with the hairstyle. Garry: I just thought you were trying to be empathetic with me on this call, but yeah, I think it looks good. Greg: I tried to do the back and sides but ended up doing the top and then the whole lot came off. So I've more respect now for my barber than I ever had before. Garry: Okay. Greg: I actually think I’ve learned that I'm pretty good at juggling the work and the kids and I'm actually enjoying that as well. It's a challenge. But maybe the kids are an outlet from work and work is an outlet from kids. Garry: Your children are very young. Greg: They’re two, four and six. Sorry two, five and six. Garry: Have you had any Sky News moments where kids are being in the background, beating each other up and stuff, or has it all being plain sailing? Greg: No. As I said, with the wife, we sort of tend to cover for each other. So either I’m on or she's on. We have had a little bit of that, I had to make a call tonight where I was actually burning the fish fingers. I kept disappearing off camera and saying look I'm going to come back now and I’d come back with a half a fish finger in my mouth, Garry: I think that's part of, what you were saying earlier, that we got to give everybody a bit more wiggle room, just be human in many respects. Greg: Probably. Actually the wife, she never knew how to ride a bike. So I taught her how to ride a bike in back garden at the weekend. Garry: No. Wow. Greg: At the tender age 40-something she's learnt to ride a bike. Garry: Well, I might I might have to ask, can we put that out to the internet later on but is there three words, just three, that you could sort of use to describe your short- term thoughts. Greg: Probably. I wrote them there. I don't know if you can see it here. Keep the faith. Garry: Well, it would be remiss of me not to mention that you're a lifelong Liverpool supporter and with the suggestions now that the season's going to be canned and the trophy is going to be given. I'm not sure whether Manchester United supporters will ever actually rank it Greg: I'm not worried. I’m not worried. Garry: Thanks. Thanks a million Greg. Stay safe. You've been great. Thank you so much. Greg: Thanks Garry, you stay safe too.
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