Olivia is our Head of Casework Services and this is what she had to say:
1. What does the head of casework services do?
My job is mainly to support our team of brokers, making sure they have everything they need to help their clients find the right home in the right place. I also have a caseload of clients that I assist; these tend to be the more complex cases. As well as this, I work with our CEO on the more strategic elements of Housing Options Scotland.
2. What is your commute like in the morning?
I have a desk space in Glasgow that I use most days, unless I am out meeting clients or attending events. It is only a short drive from my home so the commute isn’t too bad. Because we have flexible working at HOS, I can leave a little later and miss the rush hour traffic!
3. What is the first thing you do when you get to your desk? Tell us about your workspace, is it tidy or messy?
The first think I do is make a cup of tea! Then I set up my laptop and check my emails. This usually gives me an indication of what my day is going to consist of!
4. What does agile working mean to you?
Agile working means flexibility, and this is very important to me. I like having the option to work at my desk space, or at home, or anywhere else with a wi-fi connection! This allows me to switch up my routine depending on how I’m feeling. It’s amazing what a change of location can do for your productivity!
5. How do you communicate with your colleagues?
We have a WhatsApp group that we use for general communication. Here we let everyone know when we start work, when we go for lunch, and when we finish. Other than that we use email and calls. I like to call my colleagues at least once a day just to see how they are getting on.
6. What do you listen to at your desk? Or do you like silence and why?
It really depends on my mood! Sometimes I listen to classical music if I need to concentrate, or if I am tired and needing a boost I will listen to something more upbeat. If I am having a very busy day however and I am on and off the phone, I tend not to listen to anything.
7. What does a normal day look like for you?
There is no normal day at HOS. The only thing that I do absolutely every day is check and reply to emails, and even then I never know what is going to be in my inbox! Last week for example I did a lot of travelling. I went up to the highlands for a client visit, then I was in Stirling to do a presentation for my Housing Studies Post-Graduate course.
8. What is your favourite thing to do for lunch when you are working?
There is a café in my building that does really good sandwiches and coffee. If the weather is nice I really like to go and sit by the canal with my lunch and watch the world go by.
9. What do you find most interesting about your job?
The people have to be the most interesting; we come across so many different types of personalities every week!
10. Tell us one thing that most people wouldn’t know about you?
In October last year I trekked to Everest Base Camp!
11. Tell us something about your job that most people wouldn’t know?
Most people don’t know that HOS is an agile organisation as this is not the norm. Lots of people are surprised when I tell them this, and assumed that I would work in an office alongside my colleagues!
12. What is the best thing about working for Housing Options Scotland?
The best thing about working for Housing Options Scotland is the opportunities that it has given me. I have had the chance to attend many events and conferences, to take up lots of training, and to complete a Post-Graduate degree in Housing Studies.