05 June 2023

Rethinking our ways of working in order to thrive

Business growth

It was great for Reheat to be involved in the 'Future of work for rural employers' workshops run by the Rural Design Centre Innovation Project and National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE) – inputting into the content and attending too – as well as feature in a video to talk about our experiences of adapting in order to thrive as a rural business in challenging times.

Like all small businesses, we have experienced a tumultuous few years with Covid-19, the energy crisis and cost of living all impacting on our ways of working. The major backdrop to this, of course, is the climate crisis, which is already impacting on the way businesses function, especially those in a rural setting.

Throughout these challenges I’m pleased to say our business has been able to operate successfully, experiencing (through no lack of effort on our part) a rise in demand for our low carbon heat services. As a result, we have been able to grow the business to over double the size it was pre-pandemic.


To be able to grow and attract talent to a rural setting brings its own challenges, but we’ve worked hard on our value proposition to current and prospective team members - for instance, making roles hybrid and welcoming flexibility. We are headquartered in Alnwick but have a team living across the North East, so we understand the need to balance office and home working, as well as fluid hours of work when required.

We also have teams based in Scotland, the Midlands and Lincolnshire, many of whom are operational and site-based, and don’t need to report to the office very often. This is another area where we have adapted our ways of working, as many clients and projects are in rural and remote locations. Our communication tools and procedures have evolved, meaning we can have regular dialogue and make sure important aspects, such as health and safety, are effectively managed. For example, when there’s no mobile phone reception at a site, we need our team to check in immediately before and after entering that area.

Purpose and values

Another way that we’ve adapted our business to continue to be people-centric is a recent rebrand and a review of our purpose and values - defining who we are as a business and what it means for our people. We recently updated our values, but rather than a ‘top-down’ approach, we asked for views from the team and established a values committee who produced our new purpose and values. It was fantastic to see this ownership and our values really do reflect who we are as a business. This has been followed by the introduction of an ‘Ideas Factory’ concept which supports our people to have a voice, allowing them to be entrepreneurial and bring forward great ideas.

As a rural outfit, it’s another way we are boosting our ways of working, enhancing our culture and retaining and attracting great talent. Colleagues who have recently joined the team often quote the business values aligning with their own as one of the major reasons for choosing Reheat, so it’s something we don’t take for granted and want to keep at the forefront of our people-centric approach.