Contact Us

Looking ahead

Published on December 16, 2020

By Meera Achan, HR Manager – Middle East

Meera Achan

Rather than looking back on 2020 as a year of lows, I hope that we can instead view it as a year of resilience, discovery, coming together and kindness.

As RSK’s Human Resources Manager for the Middle East, I get to interact with people from a variety of backgrounds, every day. One thing that struck me the most throughout the coronavirus pandemic, is the spirit of goodwill exhibited by the vast majority of those people. At RSK we pride ourselves on being a ‘family’ and this has been reflected in the way we have supported one another through the challenging times. This culture was in evidence when, in the midst of the pandemic, RSK produced a video showcasing acts of kindness by employees.

It is truly remarkable the speed with which organisations such as ours adapted to the evolving situation; and when I mention institutions, I mean people – how ‘we’ led, managed, reinvented and delivered. Offices shifted to our homes, laptops and monitors encroached our dining tables, but work continued. We started multitasking, managing home and office side by side. Personal meetings were replaced by virtual ones, making us wonder about the time, money and effort we spent all these years commuting, stressing and most importantly polluting the environment. The air became cleaner, trees greener and we started hearing the bird songs again. Technology, despite all its banes, opened up a new world of possibilities. Frontline workers and unsung heroes were finally recognised by many.

The most luxurious item – time – became affordable to many of us. We used the spare time to connect with people, talk about opportunities, share knowledge or simply check on one another. Team meetings turned colourful as we tried to bring a smile to each other’s faces, be it dressing in the same colour or wearing fancy hats or sharing a virtual coffee. RSK’s ‘Happy virtual holidays’ e-card is demonstrative of this refusal to sacrifice the fun we can have together just because we cannot do it in person. For once, it was ok to be stuck abroad, as long as you had your laptop and internet. It made us think about the way we hire and function, do we really need to invest in physical spaces if the work can be carried out remotely with the same efficiency? The carefully crafted business plans were covered under the tarp and ingenious ideas were put to test. We discovered new skills and dusted off old ones. Taboos were shed as we started discussing our mental health more openly, prompting efforts from governments and organisations to invest more in the mental health and wellbeing of their people.

It quickly became apparent at the onset of the pandemic itself that a strong support network was going to be more important than ever. From day one, the RSK leadership team embraced this as a key concern. Despite the challenges faced by the HR team and the business as a whole, the personal wellbeing of employees remained top priority. HR Director Zoe Brunswick drew on her personal challenges to reach out to employees, asking colleagues to share pictures of their mental health ‘lifelines’. The resulting montage symbolises us all standing together though we can’t physically be together right now – our RSK family.

Of course, it has not all been plain sailing. For those who have weathered it the worst, this includes lives lost, businesses shutting their doors and the mental and physical effects on those who have survived. We must not undermine the terrible impact this has had on so many. But what was incredible was that we were all in it, albeit in different boats, experiencing it at the same time – the same storm. There was no discrimination. Never in our lifetimes, have the human race (at least most of it) ever been unified in an experience like this. We became more empathetic, thinking about others, finding ways to help and share. The spotlight truly fell on the incredible ability of people to learn, adapt and grow. For once, people paused and took in the power of the cosmos, reflected on what they value the most and made room for it.

As a People Champion, I am excited to be serving a bunch of re-invigorated individuals hopeful about the new year. I will definitely be tapping into the hidden strengths they discovered this year and guiding them to the endless opportunities that await them. So what if the Olympics had to be put off or the new car didn’t materialise, this has well and truly been a year of incredible learnings and counting our blessings. I’m grateful for 2020 and here’s to 2021!

Wishing everyone a peaceful and joyful holiday season!!

See more insights


Meera Achan

HR Manager, RSK Middle East

More from this author

Meera is responsible for the execution of RSK HR programmes and processes across seven countries. She partners with the global division business leaders and designs comprehensive HR solutions to support the business unit objectives. She has fostered an environment of continuous improvement through coaching managers and staff on leadership development, problem solving, decision-making and conflict management.

Contact this author


Join Dr Rossa Donovan, Technical Director at Nature Positive to discuss:

✔️ Network Rail’s sustainability journey
✔️ Challenges the British rail industry will face in the future
✔️ Moving to a circular economy
among other key topics!

Find out more and register in our story!

#sustainability #rail #railindustry #railway #construction #sustainable

📸 #selfiesonsite 🤳

Red sky in the morning Andrew Griffin from RSK Raw captured this beautiful sunrise over RSK Raw’s stores in Malvern, UK

Want to join our team? View our latest opportunities 👉

#RSKgroup #behindthescenes #meettheteam #RSKfamily #RSKonsite #sky #sunrise #nature #photography


📌 Join Helen McMillan, Associate Director and QRA Group Lead for RSK Geosciences, in a webinar which will provide an overview of how the effects of future #climatechange could be incorporated within the conceptual site model, along with the potential implications this may have on the assessment of risks to human health, controlled waters, and property receptors.

Find out more and register in our story!

#RSKGroup #RSKFamily #enviromental #sustainability #sustainablesolutions #construction #engineering #land #riskassessment

📸 #selfiesonsite 🤳

Hugh Neatherway from RSK Response on-site with the RSK Response tanker in Shoreham, UK, on a nice spring day!

Want to join our team? View our latest opportunities 👉

#RSKgroup #behindthescenes #meettheteam #RSKfamily #RSKonsite #construction #engineering #spring

𝗣𝗲𝗱𝗼𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗲 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟮: 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝘂𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗸 𝟮

🚶 Our week one results are in and our RSK Group step count has just passed 79,085,394 steps!

👏 Colleagues across the group share their progress and tips in our latest article in our story!

💚 Keep sharing your adventures on social media using the hashtag #RSKSteps

#RSKGroup #wellbeing #health #walking #pedometer #steps #nature #landscape

👷 Did you know that the UK #construction industry contributes around 40% of the country’s total #carbonfootprint?

📌 Sarah Cook, Chartered Geologist and Associate Director of RSK company Leap Environmental Ltd, presented Leap’s foundation carbon calculator in one of our latest webinars.

🏗️ This tool has been developed to consider embodied carbon associated with foundations and will enable developers to identify carbon costs and potential savings early in the #design process.

Find out all about our past and future events in our story!

#RSKEvents #RSKGroup #RSKfamily #sustainability #constructionindustry #building #carbonemissions #carboncalculator #co2

👏 Barcelona-based RSK company Amphos 21 is set to take part in one of the most extensive groundwater chemistry modelling projects that has ever been conducted.

🖥️ What does this exciting project entail? What is the ultimate goal? Find out all the details in our story!

#RSKGroup #RSKfamily #groundwater #supercomputer #sustainability #sustainable #enviromental #waterindustry

#selfiesonsite 🤳

Scott and Piotr ready to get started on steel fencing works for East West Railway Company!

📸 @lewisjimmy83

Want to join our team? View our latest opportunities 👉

#RSKgroup #behindthescenes #meettheteam #RSKfamily #RSKonsite #construction #railway #careers

Copy link
Powered by Social Snap