My typical day usually starts at 6:00 in the morning when my alarm goes off, before getting up to do my morning routine. I always try and prepare my food and clothes the night before to limit the time I need to get ready in the morning and maximize my sleep in. The ride to work in the morning is a good time for me to mentally prepare for the day. Depending on my mood I enjoy listening to a variety of podcasts ranging from comedy to educational, otherwise I often listen to a soothing Spotify playlist to help relax before a busy day at work ahead.
Every morning at 7.00 AM a daily pre-start is held with the internal Ganellen team on site to run through the key activities for the day and discuss any critical issues which need the collective team to resolve. Pre-starts are a ritual in our team and help ensure our days are well planned out and key issues can be tackled as a team so the project can run as smoothly as possible.
Following the meeting I typically have a walk on site to status the progress we have made on-site and ensure all trades I am responsible for are set up and ready to begin their work. One of today’s critical activities is to complete some remedial works to a canopy beam and raise its height to allow for the soffit to be installed. I have ensured the welders are set up with material and access necessary to complete the works. I am also ensuring the work will be completed as per design intent. It is also important we plan an inspection to be undertaken on the beam once works are complete to ensure the welding works are up to standard. During these few hours, I am constantly on the phone (or walkie talkie radios which each one of our team members uses to communicate around the site) preparing and organising the trades to ensure the works are coordinated correctly.
By 10:00 I am usually back by my desk in the office to make myself a cup of coffee and some morning snacks. After a quick chat with other team members in the office, I have my coffee scanning through emails and planning items which require my action. These emails can range from internal emails from management giving me a particular task, emails from subcontractors requesting information or advice on areas or work, or from consultants to discuss anything from design, inspections, or quality assurance (QA). During this period is a good time to plan for any new tasks I need to complete during the day.
Today we have a subcontractor coordination meeting which is held with the managers of each trade. Coming to the end of our project we are focusing on internal services and finishes, with all the key trades in attendance. These meetings are a chance to co-ordinate several weeks in advance and ensure everything is in place to allow us to meet our programme. Our meeting room is full of several large whiteboards which are used to track progress, list roadblocks or areas of concern, and to mark-up floor plans and create a calendar for the areas we finish each day. Having a visual representation of the goals we are aiming to achieve is key for tracking and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
For lunch, I usually make sure I’ve made enough dinner the night before to bring as leftovers the next day (along with the sauce, it is heartbreaking when I forget the sauce). For days where I have eaten too much the night before and haven’t prepared myself anything, I like to eat at one of the numerous food places located near the offices. My favourite is the local Sushi bar located just across the road. Today a group of us are heading over to order the daily Donburi special where we talk about what is happening in our lives both work and personal related.
Today we have a meeting with the structural engineer on the project who has flown up from Christchurch to review the final progress and documentation on the project. Since all structure works are complete, we are looking to compile all documents and close-out all defects for the project so the structural engineer can sign a PS4 (producer statement) which confirms the building has been built in accordance with the structural design. As a site engineer, it is my responsibility to ensure all work on-site has been completed in accordance with the design and we have QA documentation which shows this. Meetings with any consultant is usually followed by a site walk to review the progression on-site and to inspect the works undertaken since the last walk. An SVR will be issued by the relevant consultant which will contain actions to be completed on-site. It is important we complete these SVR actions in order to ensure work is completed as per the designer’s intent and allow us to receive the PS4.
One of the advantages of working at Ganellen is the opportunity they provide you to learn and grow even during the early periods of your career. Along with Ganellen, I am a big believer that the best way to learn is from experience and being involved in as much of the project as possible. To help with my progression I have been assigned a mentor from one of the management staff at the company. Today I have arranged a site walk with my mentor and Project Manager to review the work on-site where I can openly discuss my work and the area’s I am doing well in, along with where I need help. This discussion can range from work-related queries such as technical and management advice, or personal discussion such as work-life balance. I like to arrange these informal meetings on a fortnightly basis to ensure I am continuing to learn and grow as a member of the team and make sure I am receiving the mentoring I need to help me succeed.
I am a strong believer that staying fit and active helps me focus throughout the day and is good for not only physical but mental health. As our office is located next to Cornwell Park, the running track around One Tree Hill has turned into the “Ganellen lap” and after work is the perfect time to get some exercise. I like to mix this up with the Ganellen gym located at the back of our offices. Having a local gym means there are always weights available and you are never waiting to use the equipment. Occasional Ganellen fitness challenges are held which will typically last 10 weeks and are a good time to get competitive with my co-workers to test who can improve the most over the period. This is a good period to work-out together to get some good team bonding.
Home time! Work-life balance is important, and I like to ensure I get a good mix of relaxing time at home, along with maintaining a good social life. My time after work, therefore, covers a large range from the occasional after-work drink with friends or colleagues to a nice quiet evening at home in front of a movie.