BRG Shaping the Future of Work

Bringing Experiences @ Work to Life

On a beautiful blue sky Sydney day in mid-September 2020, the Big Red Group (BRG) leadership team gathered harbourside to talk tactics for the day ahead. It had been almost nine months since they had physically seen one another, or their team members.

When the pandemic was announced in March 2020, BRG relinquished the office space, and quickly moved to a remote working model. Over the course of the year, small teams would gather at co-working spaces to collaborate, however for the most part, work was from home.

There were weekly online ‘Town Hall’ gatherings, and daily communications from CEO David Anderson and the leadership team, but the one thing missing, was that physical ‘in-person’ connection.

Despite the distance, productivity and output were at an all-time high, with outstanding results delivered by the team. Momentum was building across each of the businesses, just as the appetite for experiences had grown with customers and business clients alike.

And while stringent Covid-19 regulations remained, the leadership team knew bringing everyone together for the company-wide regatta was not going to be easy, however felt it was the right time for people to reconnect.

As the BRG cohort began to converge waterside at the Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour, they were greeted by a fleet of six yachts. There was a feeling of great excitement and anticipation. Although no co-mingling was allowed between vessels, and a strict adherence to numbers onboard was required, everyone knew if they followed the Covid-19 protocols, it could be done safely and successfully.

Earlier in the year, BRG had launched their ‘Experiences @ Work’ program, which had maintained employee engagement and lifted morale throughout the extended period of remote working, with both online and small team building experiences such as cooking and art classes. However, with restrictions on gatherings starting to ease, the time had come to reengage and bring larger scale physical experiences back to life.

Yachts were assigned, and BRG emblazoned spray jackets and survival kits promptly distributed, transforming the masses into professionally styled sailors ready to undertake the great race.

As yachts sailed beneath the iconic Harbour Bridge and prepared for the start, shouts of encouragement and competitive banter began to build, it was anyone’s race.

However, no one understood the competitive nature of BRG Co-founders David Anderson and Naomi Simson, both prepared to put everything on the line for their teams to come out victorious.

After a tightly contested race of near misses and spirited efforts, Team Simson aboard yacht ‘Isolation’ came away with the win. The day clearly brought to light BRG’s six-point framework of Leadership, Development, Collaboration, Culture, Innovation and Connection which had been fundamental in navigating the business throughout a challenging 2020.

Remarkably, during difficult trading conditions, BRG continued to shift the way people experienced life in 2020, maintaining consistent support of local and regional Australian businesses, delivering 800,000+ customers to a vast network of experience suppliers.

This takes BRG’s tally to over 6 million experiences served, well on the way to achieving their goal of delivering an experience every second by 2030.