Nordic collaboration creates craving for more

When Polygon Norway contacted Polygon Denmark for help, there was never any question of turning them down. The only problem was that far more Danish colleagues were eager pitch in than was actually needed.

A housing complex in the Norwegian city of Fredrikshamn suffered major water damage in the basement level following heavy rainfall. Polygon Norway naturally rushed to the site in no time, but realized early on that it was more extensive than they had resources to deal with. They therefore decided to ask their colleagues in the Group for assistance.

Paw Larsen, Departmental Manager for Polygon in Copenhagen, was one of the Danish Polygon employees who received the call for help from their colleagues in Norway. Their hope was to “borrow” some staff from Paw and other Danish departments for a period of three weeks. Considering that none of Paw’s staff had ever taken part in a foreign assignment before, he was uncertain how people would react to Norway’s request but promised in any case to look into the possibility. And it was immediately apparent that his concerns were unfounded.

“Straight off we had 15 people who were keen to go to Norway and lend a hand, so we ended up having to draw lots”, says Paw Larsen. “To give a chance to as many people as possible, we decided to send one group of people for the first week, and then relieve them with new people for the second and third weeks.

Ten hours later the first happy Danes found themselves en route to Norway. Once they arrived, they spent twelve hours a day handling everything from drying and packing of equipment to mould removal and customer care together with the Norwegian team. The worked flowed so smoothly that an entirely unexpected “problem” arose.

“After the first week they had made so much progress that our help was no longer needed,” says Paw with a laugh.

Paw was forced to tell the eight employees who were due to relieve the first four that their trip had been cancelled. After promising that they would be first in line the next time a foreign assignment came up, they took the news well. And there will be new assignments in the future, that’s something Paw doesn’t doubt for a second. Very recently, a group from his team travelled to another part of Denmark to assist with asbestos decontamination, so the collaboration is also working well at home.

“An event like the one in Norway clearly shows the strength we have as an international group. It means that Polygon can quickly and efficiently become a much bigger company than we are at the local level. I like to say that our job is a team sport, and every time you help a team mate you also help yourself and the whole team,” concludes Paw Larsen.