Openreach Engineers: Beyond Broadband Installation to Unexpected Acts of Kindness

In a groundbreaking survey titled ‘With Every Fibre’, Openreach sheds light on the diverse and often unexpected aspects of a modern-day broadband engineer’s life. With over 2,500 Openreach workers participating, the report reveals that the role of an engineer in 2024 extends far beyond the technicalities of installing broadband or fixing cables. From assisting with household chores to rescuing pets and even aiding in medical emergencies, Openreach engineers are woven into the fabric of everyday life in the UK.

The survey delves into the personal preferences of engineers, highlighting the nation’s favourite biscuits and coffee. Chocolate digestives emerged as the top biscuit choice nationwide, with the latte claiming the title of the UK’s favourite coffee. The report also settles the long-standing debate on the perfect colour of English Breakfast Tea.

Beyond the traditional scope of their job, the study underscores the importance of soft skills for Openreach engineers. Reassuring people, offering advice, and providing support during stressful situations are deemed crucial aspects of their role. Building connections that matter goes beyond ensuring the functionality of vital services; it involves understanding the human side of the job.

Among the noteworthy insights, the survey reveals that 33% of engineers have assisted with household tasks, 22% have aided customers in extreme weather conditions, and 7% have even collected prescriptions for customers. The report sheds light on the diverse conversations held during job visits, with sports, holidays, and family pets ranking as the most common topics.

The personal touch extends to peculiar encounters, including encounters with giant slugs, skunks, micro pigs, and piranhas as pets in customers’ homes. Engineers have been summoned to locations as unusual as nuclear bunkers, catacombs, and even the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral.

Interestingly, 30% of Openreach employees have family members who either currently work or have worked for the company. The report concludes that the most valued customers are those who are “chatty and friendly” and, naturally, those who offer tea and biscuits during visits.

Matt Hemmings, Managing Director of Fibre and Network Delivery at Openreach, expressed appreciation for the unique insights the report provides. He emphasized the diversity within Openreach, showcasing the individuals driving the UK’s largest broadband network. Hemmings highlighted the company’s commitment to fostering an inclusive environment, allowing employees to be themselves and perform at their best.

Emily Turner

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