Under The Spotlight with Harry Cross

Harry Cross is a Senior Transport Planner based in our Oxford office. Harry originally joined our graduate training programme in the Fareham office in 2014 before helping to open our Oxford office in January 2016. We are talking to Harry to learn a little bit more about him and his role at Paul Basham Associates, and how this has changed over the last year in particular.

How has your day to day changed in the last year or so?

Obviously, we have all switched to working from home within the last year and despite an initial settling in period we have all adapted extremely well utilising Microsoft Teams. My role has also changed somewhat, and I am now responsible for organising the resourcing and managing the capacity of our Oxford office which has been going well and really highlights the need for effective communication between the team. The need for effective management of capacity has been particularly vital during the last year as we have seen an increase in cross working between our offices and regions, and whilst we have always been good at this in the past, the efficiency of this type of working has risen massively in the last year and can now be considered a huge strength to the company. We have seen a widened variety of project locations across the country as well as differing types and scale of work be shared across offices and regions whilst working more collaboratively. This has also meant we have got to know new starters in different regions more quickly than in previous years which has been a big positive and has really improved the team spirt and togetherness of the business.

What are you looking forward to in the next year?

It will be great to get back to the office once it is safe to do so as I do miss the buzz of working in an environment that is more suited to work (as opposed to my living room) and where having a quick catch up with the guys in the office is more natural. We also have had a few new faces join us over the last year that I am yet to meet face to face which will be nice, and I am still yet to visit our new office in Fareham which looks amazing from the photos. I think it will be interesting to see where the combination of new working styles will blend with the familiarity of getting back to the office. Also hopefully we will all be able to go on some proper holidays in the next year, and having had a trip to Thailand cancelled just as the pandemic started I hope to be able to book this up again!

What do you see in the future for Paul Basham Associates?

We have been going from strength to strength recently across all of our regions, despite the impact of the pandemic and so I think we will continue to do so this year as well. The pandemic has focussed our commercial awareness across the business and moving forward we are all extremely positive of the work we are able to deliver to our clients. If we can do this whilst working from home in our living rooms, bedrooms and other makeshift office spaces I think we will continue to improve on our already high standards when we are back working face to face. We have built an impressive roster of clients and jobs in Oxford over the past few years. An in house civils team in Oxford would be a great next step for us as well as getting some graduates in.

We are already planning for future meet ups and social events/away days to make up for the lack of these over the last year, and are arranging for a few teams to be entered into the Blenheim Relay Triathlon in September. I have signed up for the swimming leg, so will need to get some practice in before then!

What do you do in your free time?

This has been limited somewhat in lockdown as I normally like to go on holiday and see my friends as much as possible, but I have tried to widen my interests and get into more mountain biking and going on more walks in and around Abingdon, though it took around 6 months for me to get a bike delivered due to the popularity of this spiking over lockdown! Once restrictions ease I am looking forward to playing football and golf again and enjoying a pint in a pub garden, so fingers crossed for another good summer to come!