BE Offices announces that it has once again been recognised by Property Week, the leading real estate industry publication, as one of the best places to work in property.
For the fourth consecutive year BE has been selected as one of only 28 real estate businesses across the UK that are the best places to work.
BE continues to reign as the only flexible workspace provider that makes the list – an outstanding achievement considering the ever-increasing number of providers in the sector.
The announcement was made at the 25th Property Awards, held virtually on 19th November and hosted by legendary impressionist Jon Culshaw.
The two-hour silver anniversary event also recognised leading industry names and businesses for their achievements over the last 12 months.
Since its inception in 1994 BE has always focused on creating a workplace that is not only inclusive and diverse, but one which also actively encourages people to grow with the business as well placing a strong emphasis on work/life balance.
As a result BE has an unusually high number of people who have remained within the company for a decade and even more, with BE’s current staff having given well over 1000 years of service to the business. This is increasingly reflected in high service levels which many BE clients cite as a key reason for occupying workspace in their centres. It is a testament to the investment BE makes in its employees, including a loyalty of service scheme which rewards staff with incentives at five yearly intervals. An employee celebrating 25 years receives an extra five days paid leave and £5000 of vouchers. To date, 69 members of staff have benefitted from the scheme, with six members of the team already having celebrated 25 years and more with the business.
BE stands out in a number of key places as a great place to work. Overwhelming staff feedback focuses on the family feel of the business, how caring and friendly everyone is and how it’s a fun environment in which to work. ‘Fantastic’ benefits are frequently mentioned, in addition to generous paid leave employees’ birthdays are celebrated with a further day off as well as staff being granted three extra paid charity days per year for volunteer work in the community. BE also funds a two-week international charity trip for two members of staff. Past projects include trips to a turtle conservation project in Costa Rica, reef conservation in Belize and elephant rescue in Thailand.
There is a strong emphasis on wellness at the company, with gyms at most centres, free for staff to use, a cycle to work scheme and step challenge competitions to encourage people to get active. Staff also have the option to use height adjustable desks. The BE healthcare scheme also gives staff a 50% discount on gym membership at Virgin Active, as well as other incentives for keeping fit such as a free Caffe Nero drink every week and free Amazon Prime membership.
Additionally, BE runs a Stop Smoking programme that offers staff who want to quit £100 a year to spend on stop smoking aids along with a reward of a further £100 in vouchers for those who quit for at least six months. Staff also have access to an Employee Assistance Programme, a 24 hour confidential helpline to support staff though any of life’s issues or problems.
BE regularly receives praise for its “Going the Extra Mile” awards scheme. This a programme, typically dishing out around £2,000 worth of vouchers per month, enables staff to nominate colleagues for exceptional work or actions for which they receive vouchers of their choice. The top three ‘Gems of the Month’ receive an extra £150, £100 or £50 voucher.
Other perks include a family fun day which is arranged to bring all staff and their families together, funded quarterly social evenings, monthly team lunches and a huge Christmas party. Further pluses include reduced hours at Christmas and a relaxed dress code for non-client facing staff. Friday’s are celebrated with free doughnuts and end of the day drinks and snacks.
BE’s green credentials mean staff know they are working in an eco-friendly environment, staff also have the opportunity to be part of the Green Group, to influence the company’s direction when it comes to environmental issues. BE’s buildings are powered by renewable sourced energy and the company has invested over £1m converting to energy efficient lighting. Achieving higher than average recycling rates, BE consistently seeks to reduce its carbon footprint, as well as having a 0% waste to landfill policy. We even sponsor a bee hive.
The list of progressive and exciting property companies to work for was compiled by Best Companies Group on behalf of Property Week which subjected businesses to rigorous employer and employee surveys, evaluating them across key metrics such as overall management, culture and communications, leadership and planning, and work environment.