COVID-19 didn’t stop them

It was OakWood’s technology that allowed the company to remain open during the pandemic. While their primary concern was for everyone – team, clients, trades and suppliers – they continued to accept multi-unit, new home and renovation requests.

It was possible because of their cloud-based software. It meant they could work remotely while staying connected. Designers still designed projects and made virtual presentations.

Because some homeowners didn’t want anyone in their space during this time, the company ensured the sites were secured. Oakwood did experience delays at first, but they were able to complete their projects.

Patricia Liptak-Satov, Oakwood’s Vice President of Operations, admits it wasn’t easy, especially when hand sanitizer and masks were so hard to get last spring.

“And there was a lot of ambiguity concerning certain policies,” she says, “which made it harder to put them into place properly.”

She commends the City of Ottawa building inspectors and IHSA (Infrastructure Health and Safety Association) for their help “clarifying items as well as assisting us with different options to work together and proceed”.

The company helped “dozens” of trade partners and suppliers administratively and financially to keep these companies alive during difficult times.

“To boost morale,” says Patricia, “we incentivized employees with bonuses and other help. OakWood leadership insisted that we do not lay anyone off. As a result, we have been rewarded with loyalty and a lot of work from clients.”

Starting in May, OakWood hired eight new highly-skilled employees from all over North America.

“No one knows how COVID19 will turn out,” Patricia says, “but Ottawa is resilient and growing, providing opportunities for those who lead.”