This week, London is celebrating Workplace Week. A week-long festival championing workplace innovation and the people behind it. The doors of the capital’s leading businesses have opened for a series of exclusive ‘behind the scenes’ tours and bespoke events.

We’re delighted to say that two of our client innovative and creative workplaces are exhibiting:

Here EastLocated at the heart of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, Here East is a dedicated place for individuals and companies who embrace and pioneer technology, share expertise and are creating the products of tomorrow. It is designed as a place for start-up entrepreneurial businesses to co-exists and collaborate with global established businesses and support genuine product innovation.

LandsecCreated to be the home of the leading commercial property development and investment company in the UK, the Lansec HQ, at 80-100 Victoria Street is the largest fully WELL CertifiedTM Silver space in the UK. The site has also been deemed BREAM Outstanding for its sustainability, and with Bennett Hay as its catering partner, was nominated as a BIFM Award Finalist 2017 for Impact on Employee Experience.

What makes a great workplace experience?

In celebration of Workplace Week, we’ve been considering what makes a great workplace experience and we’ve narrowed it down to five key areas that, when combined, can make for an amazing place to work.

Guest service

The best way to deliver great service is to understand what the customer is expecting and what they need. The more you understand your customer, the better able you are to serve them. Working with a senior member of the team, Bennett Hay employees are brought up to speed with the preferences, likes and dislikes of the customer. After all, customers love a personalised service.

Once you’ve built a strong understanding of your client, you can begin anticipating their needs. Knowing how they like to operate, means you can foresee their needs ahead of time and act on them. As service professionals, we are often the first and perhaps the only touchpoint a client is going to interact with and as such, should ensure that we represent the overall business in a positive light.

Service design

For us, service is not just something that happens, but rather something that is formed from meticulous research, training and years of experience. Like most elements of service, it’s often the little things that make the most impact, so we never overlook the details.

In FM contracted environments, you sometimes find that there is a disconnect between the original interior or architectural design and the finishing touches of lighting, equipment and uniforms. This creates a break in the guest experience and confuses the messages you’re trying to push.

Workplaces should also consider the day to day working styles of employees and create an environment that complements this style. Whether it be an open plan format to encourage transparency or hot desks to allow mobility and collaboration.

The key to good service styling is joining up the dots between the story an organisation is trying to tell and the needs of the people it’s trying to reach. The work may be subtle and understated, but can speak volumes when done correctly.

Food, wellbeing and community

Wellness encompasses a whole range of things, but when it comes to implementation, one of the best places to start is diet. A healthy mind requires a healthy body and that begins with nutritional food and drinks.

Another way to encourage wellness through food which may not be so obvious, is communal dining. We understand that due to workloads, many employees have lunch at their desks. But whenever possible, we encourage them to instead join their colleagues for a communal meal where they can switch off and socialise.

It may seem simplistic, but breaking bread with a fellow staff member can do wonders for team cohesion and solidarity. You can make this more effective by employing specific initiatives such as a weekly meat-free day, a world food week or even just a quarterly team lunch.

Partnership

The workplace is all about people, so it’s no surprise that relationship building is a crucial element of the way we do business. The key thing to remember is that service partners are exactly that, partners. As such client compatibility is critical. This requires open communication, honesty and proactivity from the service provider.

Clients have shifting priorities within their own business. A successful partnership is one where the service provider continues to develop and implement the added value and innovation even if the client isn’t asking for it or initiating the agenda. Creating this sense of synergy will allow both the service provider and the client to focus on their respective areas of expertise. This approach will make for a more positive experience for the guests.

People

A company’s culture is one of the defining factors in creating great workplace experiences. As such, it’s key that service partners start by implementing and promoting a well-defined set of values that outline who you are, what you stand for and how you operate.

Having a strong shared value system is a great start, but an organisation is only as strong as its constituent parts. That means as well as taking a wide scope view of the company, managers should also be aware of issues on an individual level.

This means making it as easy as possible for the unique personalities that make up a company to fit into the culture. This can be achieved through all manner of initiatives. From implementing a fair work life balance and allowing flexibility to developing trust and long-term relationships. Once this has been achieved, you’ll notice that staff will naturally become more productive, more creative and more willing to go the extra mile.