WFH Profile: Simon Kendler

Remote working is certainly an interesting concept when operating within the rail industry. In our series of Working From Home (WFH) Profiles, our YRP members describe how they are embracing this concept and adapting their collaborative methods to ensure that they deliver to their respective roles. This week, our WFH Profile has been submitted by Simon Kendler.

Simon Kendler – Rail Consultant – Jacobs, London – London & South East Chair

I am consultant at Jacobs, specialising in rail projects. My last day in the office was Mon day 16th March and it was a busy one as I had two looming project deadlines. Luckily, Jacobs is well set-up for remote working and much was done to boost the VPN and remote working systems which made the switch to home working fairly fuss free.

Unfortunately, despite being busy and finding myself elected as the new chair of the London & South East committee for 2020/21, the following week I was placed on furlough leave which led to an even busier week of handover.

For the last 4 weeks I could’ve sat on the couch and watched Netflix, especially with no trains to travel on, no YRP events and no work for an undetermined amount of time. At first, I was a little bewildered as to what to do with my time. But as it turns out I have been really busy the last 4 weeks just not with project work.

In this time I have started the process of setting up this year’s London & South East 2020/21 committee and working with my fellow committee members on how to progress things now and in the future. Last year’s committee did so much and continuity was part of my plan for this year which has taken on new significance given the pandemic.

We are working to put on a broad programme of events and socials whilst working out how to optimise them for online formats, including webinars and even a virtual pub. We are also looking forward to how we will operate once lockdown is stepped down and how that affects our programme.

Outside of YRP, I have been attending industry webinars run by the Rail Industry Association, undertaking some railway engineering, software and planning training programmes to keep up-to-date with the industry and work on professional development. I have also been volunteering at a factory assembling PPE visors for NHS staff and plan to start learning Russian soon.

I’ve been looking at this situation as an opportunity and the same goes for YRP and the rail industry in general. Many things are going to change from here on out. But now is the time, whilst under lockdown and working from home, to plan for how best to re-shape travel, the rail industry and service provision once the restrictions end and we find ourselves living in the new normal.


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