MAPP’s offices in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol reopened last week following one of the biggest decluttering exercises ever undertaken, improvements to circulation space, a move away from allocated desks (whilst avoiding the perils of hot desks), a full redecoration, and a gargantuan effort from an army of cleaners who snozzled up every last piece of dust, virus and remains of a long decayed half eaten sausage roll (I wish I was joking). We have closed kitchens, installed one way systems, reduced capacity in meeting rooms and gone big on hand sanitizer, signage and perspex.
It’s important though. Our office is our home, a place to collaborate and where we build a community of people committed to delivering excellence and changing the face of Property Management. At the moment that is less important than providing a place for a small number of our team who for a variety of reasons (domestic, tech or health) can no longer work from home and need to return. I was there in the London office to welcome them back with a toe shake and words of encouragement. It was pretty humbling.
The small but consistent return to the office has been repeated across most of the office buildings we manage. The retail schemes are also stirring. Retailers have returned and are decorating, dressing mannequins and restocking ahead of next Monday. No-one is expecting to be overwhelmed by hordes of shoppers, but it’s an important step and we are working to make sure that shoppers will be welcomed, sanitised and socially distanced.
I sat in on a revealing and fascinating webinar hosted by Leesman last week.
They have surveyed over 10,000 people who have been working from home for nearly three months. In some ways the most fascinating thing was that there were no surprises.
92% of people in office based workplaces continue to work from home. These 10,000+ people feel that they are more productive working at home. Tech is working well, video conferencing is being used widely, the number of telephone conversations has reduced and people feel better able to have private and confidential discussions. There is however a recognition that they are missing out on learning from others, social interaction, hosting clients and customers, printers, scanners and a decent desk and chair.
It is clear that after months of working from home behaviours will have changed materially and that many, probably most, will not return to the old norm even if/when a vaccine is found.
For those that do return to our clients’ buildings over the next few weeks and months we are publishing a combination of video, animation and graphical content to support them as part of our Thrive campaign. Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see our campaign in real time.
Thrive will show how our buildings have changed, how we are going to keep people safe and how we plan to welcome everyone back. Our site teams have proved an invaluable resource as they feed back what occupiers are thinking and doing. We are hearing that occupiers want us to help them make their employees feel safe, confident and prepared by sharing information about how buildings will work and what services and facilities will be expanded or in some places curtailed.
Sadly that does not include slides or swimming pools.