Behind the scenes at Octagon – Working from Home with Raph Marinho

13/05/2020

After growing up in Paris, Raph Marinho, Octagon’s Group IT Manager moved to the UK when he was 23 and started a career as an Office Manager. Always interested in company logistics and how to get things done, he soon developed a passion for IT, and took up a permanent role in the IT team at Octagon in 2002.

How I helped Octagon transition to working from home

You might think that setting up the whole team for remote working would cause some headaches for anyone in the IT team, but the transition to working from home was fantastically smooth. Our investment in technology over the last 10 years, and the several working from home trials that we had tested over the past few years, meant that all the necessary infrastructure was already in place and we were good to go. As a construction business, we’ve always had to have a flexible approach to technology, given how many of the team are frequently on-site – emailing from empty fields or holding meetings in jazzed up shipping containers. Working from home was relatively easy to organise in comparison!

 

How I do my job from home

I am always available by mobile or email to support the team with any technical issues. I also connect to my work computer from my home desktop, which gives me access to all the necessary files and programmes which are used across the business, so my capabilities are no different at home as they are in the office.

 

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

When we first moved to working from home, the main challenge was reminding the team how they could access all their assets remotely, as we have over 70 employees! However, this wasn’t a long process – a few days in and we were all sorted.

What will Octagon’s tech look like in 10 years?

This is a tricky question – I am cautious of fads, and with any IT purchase I would always suggest letting go of the glitz and look at the practical aspects. Whilst it’s difficult to predict how our internal technology will change, I am confident that we will continue to develop the ways we interact digitally with our buyers. We already offer virtual tours at numerous sites, video fly-throughs and video appointments, and as technology continues to progress, we will be looking at how we can best harness this to improve the customer journey further.

 

What would I do at Octagon if it wasn’t IT?

There are two Octagon departments I would love to work in outside IT – Marketing or Interior Design. I actually did a French Diploma in PR, so marketing seemed the root I was inevitably going to go down, before I moved to the UK. I love the creativity of the marketing department, and every so often I share digital ideas with Kate, Octagon’s Group Marketing Manager, who also happens to be one of my closest friends in the company.

That creativity also inspires a real interest in interior design – our team produce the most brilliant schemes, which never cease to amaze me.

 

Why I’m proud to be part of the Octagon team

Octagon is a family like no other. There is an extraordinary sense of belonging and care, where every member of the team feels valued. I feel incredibly lucky to be part of such a happy, successful team, where my work is recognised and my contribution is appreciated. I wouldn’t change it for the world and cannot wait to celebrate with everyone once we return to the office.

 

 

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