Chief executive, Edison Group
What does the company do?
Construction and property group operating across the UK.
Where is it based?
£20 million on a rolling 12 months
Briefly outline your working day
I’m not a great sleeper so I wake at 4.30am and start work at 5am at home by answering emails and have a Zoom call with the Brisbane office.
At 6am I drive to the office in Glasgow, or the Irvine offices by 6.30am.
My day consists of improving Edison Group as an employer for the team, meeting clients, suppliers, reviewing performance and driving strategy around organic and acquisition opportunities.
It’s very important for your mental health to have the right work-life balance so I try to avoid working at weekends.
What are the biggest challenges facing your business right now?
Biggest challenge is finding and retaining great people and all of our costs continuing upwards at pace.
What should be done to overcome these challenges?
A relaxation of immigration policy around skilled labour from the EU and beyond. There is a strong argument to go back in to the European Union.
Has the Scottish Government called it right on taxes?
The Scottish government is poor at basic government and that is being kind. The business and personal tax policies in Scotland are regressive, stifling inward investment, business confidence and consumer confidence. Quite an achievement.
Has Brexit impacted on your business?
Brexit has tightened the labour market and probably has an impact on material costs.
Do you support plans for a workplace parking levy?
A workplace parking levy is a regressive tax and blatant cash grab by the government through local authorities.
Do you use public transport?
I use trains and buses when I can.
Do you think this is the right time to call an independence referendum?
With so many challenges facing Scotland, the UK and world, now is absolutely not the right time for an independence referendum
What do you drive? Is it petrol or electric? If petrol, what would make you switch?
I drive a petrol BMW. I would consider electric when charging takes no more than five minutes and there is more availability of chargers.
What are your short and long term goals?
Our short term goals are to bring the acquisitions together, building a cohesive team with a compelling offering for clients. Longer term we want to be an employer of choice in our sector providing all stakeholders with great returns and a business they are proud to be associated with.
Do you favour a four-day working week?
Yes, we have introduced a four-day working week. The cost-of-living crisis is making things hard enough for most people already, so reducing the working week by a day results in a range of benefits, most importantly reduced stress, which in turn leads to improved mental health, a better work-life balance and enhanced quality of family life.
What is your company doing to support the green agenda? Have you increased or decreased your commitment?
Edison Group is an employee carbon neutral workforce, we helped fund 12 green projects around the globe from Vietnam to Brazil in 2022. We achieved ISO14001 in January 2023 and have a plan to drive down the group’s carbon footprint in 2023.
Are you a purpose-led company? If so, how?
The Edison Group family is led by our core values – Our Peoplem, Act With Integrity, Put The Customer First, Be A Force for Good, Innovation, Set Crazy Big Goals and Make Them Happen
Edison Group engages with all stakeholders including our team, customers, suppliers, local community, community service providers and across local and global environmental issues that are impacted by Edison Group and our companies. We are far from perfect, but working hard to improve every day.
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