Winning back a workforce? Boost office experience

Covid-19 made remote working not just an option but a necessity for many. As the world emerges from the pandemic, how can businesses encourage employees back to the office? Ciaran Greaves, Regional Account Director, tells us how ISS helped a client in the banking sector to welcome their workforce back in person.

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When a major private and investment banking client in Europe wanted its employees to return to the workplace, it knew that it would have to “sell” the office experience—and tailor it to the individual needs of those using it. To help the client achieve this, a team of dedicated ISS placemakers set about making sure that those taking on their commutes again could look forward to walking into a pleasant, friendly and productive space.

“By improving touchpoints around the building—that is, elements of the space that people interact with—we developed ‘curated’ experiences to enhance the customer journey,” says Ciaran Greaves, Regional Account Director at ISS. From security at the front of the building, to individual work stations, he says, it was crucial to make sure that maintenance functions had been properly carried out—that lights were on, air-con was at the right temperature and the environment was clean. 

To ensure this, ISS appointed six Workplace Coordinators to act as the eyes and ears of the building, providing the client’s employees with “the support they need on the floor”. This ranged from engineering to cleaning, and sourcing missing equipment, explains Ciaran: “I don’t have a headset, I forgot my locker key—that kind of thing.” 

Companies want people back in the office—they want that feeling of community and collaboration.

Ciaran Greaves, Regional Account Director, ISS

Building communities for clients

ISS’s Coordinators were also tasked with organising small community-building events to further improve office life. “Companies want people back in the office—they want that feeling of community and collaboration,” says Ciaran. “Our workplace team is also there to help build that.” 

These events could be as simple as “having cake by the coffee station to build an element of community within the floor”, he adds. 

Making the office more efficient, and improving what Ciaran calls “ease of use”, seems to be working. He reports that footfall is increasing, “particularly between Tuesday and Thursday when the office is around 60% occupied”. 

Ciaran also believes that the Coordinators have contributed to the uplift of the customer journey. “Our Workplace Coordinators are actually now a selling feature of our model because they are so integrated with the client’s employees.”

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