Flexible workspace provider announced as finalist for Flexible Space Association ‘Service Innovation’ award.
BE Offices are delighted to have been recognised once again by the Flexible Space Association in their annual industry awards.
The award for Service Innovation recognises new or expanded services that benefit flexible workspace customers, which have been implemented in 2020 or 2021.
Community engagement has always been a key component of the award-winning customer service BE Offices has provided for more than a quarter of a century. When the pandemic hit we took our community programme online within two weeks of the government’s work from home directive, to ease the isolation felt by clients and staff and continue the thriving community element that clients sought when they moved in to our workspace. It was free and available to all clients and our employees.
Daily fitness classes
We immediately recognised that one of the first issues affecting our people and our clients was restricted physical activity. With at least one fitness class hosted by a trained professional every day, people were motivated to get mobile. The live sessions encouraged participants to interact with the trainer and they were personalised to specific requirements.
Business thought-leader seminars
One of the largest career development impacts of the pandemic has been the significant drop-off in mentoring and nurturing of talent as younger employees are not physically around the senior members for immediate advice and recognition. Therefore, we engaged experts in their field to hold virtual web-classes to allow up-skilling in a virtual environment.
One of our most popular web events was that of a Holocaust survivor who told his truly moving life story. We also organised Christmas and Easter events to generate a sense of togetherness when people are traditionally around others.
Highlighting mental health and wellbeing
We quickly discovered that one of the great pleasures in life is cooking and enjoying food. Our weekly chef-led cookery classes became heavily subscribed, with clients and our teams discussing their techniques, and recreating that all-important organic network building that they would have enjoyed had they still been in our workspaces. We also threw in a few special events such as giant cookie baking for Valentine’s Day and cupcake making for Mother’s Day. In additional, regular professional-led zoom classes on meditation techniques and mindfulness assisted work-from-home employees to break the ‘always-on’ mindset issues many were facing.
In a post-COVID lockdown world will are continuing with this programme due its success and as people have adjusted to a new way of working and interacting with each other digitally.
Mental Health Champions
We trained and appointed Mental Health First Aid Champions internally and partnered with an anonymous Employee Assistance Programme to deliver the highest level of care to our teams.
To encourage interaction and open feedback we hosted regular all staff zoom meetings, and encouraged weekly team catch-ups but without implementing keystroke tracking or monitoring electronic output. It’s our firm believe to trust our teams to deliver.
As part of our CSR programme we partnered with The Youth Group to provide free office space to young people struggling with their mental health working from home, also providing mentorship through their MentorMe programme.
Return to the office
During the pandemic we worked hard to create the most COVID-secure workspaces possible to give clients the confidence to return. We purchased the same fogging machines that were being used by the NHS and TFL, installed thermal imaging cameras and desk screens at reception, thorough daily deep cleaning regimes and a fast and robust system for reporting any Covid-19 cases in our centres. Our CAD team also space-planned our buildings to cater for social distancing and people flow, including client offices where possible.
Our initiatives not only gave focus and assistance to the health and wellbeing of our teams and clients but also benefited the business from a commercial perspective with many clients renewing their workspace licences whilst not even using their space.
Combine this with our achievement of being upgraded to Gold Status Investors in People during a pandemic, and it is clear that our clients and staff believe we put support and service delivery to the very top of the agenda.