According to a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)’s report, despite increased business awareness of the importance of actively supporting health and wellbeing in the workplace, there still appears to be a stagnant implementation of any productive work wellbeing infrastructure in the UK working culture.

With an average cost of absence now at £554 per employee per year, and with fewer than one in 10 (8%) UK organisations having adopted a wellbeing strategy, many organisations’ internal efforts have consisted of one-off initiatives that often fail to have a long-term impact in the workplace.

To address this, the CIPD recommends that a proactive employee wellbeing programme – based on proper people management, leadership and culture – should be at the core of how an organisation fulfils its mission and carries out its operations.

So, how does this kind of information impact businesses when they look to relocate or redesign existing workspace?

We all know that moving house can be a stressful process, but an office relocation can have an impact on businesses and staff wellbeing if a well-structured plan isn’t implemented early enough in the process.

Identifying your staff’s home locations, for example, during an early consultation can identify employees who may be lost during the process due to an increased commute.

With these factors in mind, we spoke to Angela Seed, previously the General Manager of the London hub of The New York Times to find out how you can keep your employees happy while moving your business.

Angela, how should employees be consulted during a relocation process to ensure their wellbeing is managed?

Considering your staff’s needs has a significant impact on the process, so discover their locations and travelling patterns.

Based on our move-in April last year, we had a situation where we were centrally placed in London and all of our staff commute from North, South or East and West London so there wasn’t a huge problem. But, if you’re not in a centralised area, you’ve got to see where there may be challenges with travel for staff and increased costs.

Of course, business needs are the ultimate consideration, but your staff are also a big part of the location process.

Rapport’ work with HR teams to provide employee workshops before the relocation process. We advise organisations to look at projects at least 6-10 months in advance of a move date to identify critical questions for the move. In our experience, we find that clients are less frantic when they’ve identified all their options early on, which can save on costs in the long-term. Equally, staff stress, a reaction to the change reduces!

Lease terms and the legalities of securing a new property can also be a lengthy, tricky process. We often oversee this process, on behalf of our client, with their selected commercial agents at the very early stages to identify the key areas that work for staff alongside the business needs. We are very experienced at identifying available properties and the legalities of lease terms in consultation with our clients and on their behalf; this enables our clients to continue with other business matters.

Consult your employees – initially; we compiled a shortlist involving key people and heads of department; we then included all other employees when the decision was made on moving.

Employees may ask for certain things – our staff asked for showers, and they wanted functional kitchen areas. We wanted to ensure our staff’s wellbeing was being maintained, and reasonable requests met. We were able to accommodate showers in a small design change and ensured they had functional kitchenette areas on all floors as opposed to one floor.

We also have a pleasant basement courtyard with seating and tables where staff can sit and take lunch breaks, as well as room to store their bikes. You need to consider your staff and take into consideration what they would like out of the building and the working environment.

These aspects can be great incentives to employees through the process.

What employee policies should be factored into a relocation or fit-out process?

There are incentives you could implement for staff as an example agreeing to pay any additional travel fares to incentivise a move with the business.

It’s an overhead and cost so if you value your staff paying for the extra cost over 2/3 years as an example, could make the relocation process easier to accept.

But, some companies aren’t in a position to be able to do that. So, if an organisation needs to move out of London because of spiralling office space costs your staff either go with you, or they leave.

Alternatively, use a company like Rapport Solutions to assist you with the property locations, the tender lease process and to help project manage the process if need be to consider moving further afield to help save costs in the long term.

For example, there’s more space available in the City now, but the cost of rents have risen by as much as 46% on some properties, so consider looking at other areas in and around the capital.

Having Rapport to Project Manage the processes, on your behalf with agents and contractors, enables you to concentrate on other areas of your role, business needs and in the long run, can control costs.

What’s your advice to HR and facilities teams for a productive, collaborative and supportive environment during a relocation process?

To ensure a smooth office move, you need to be organised and have extra support teams working with you.  It helps to ensure a smooth transition for your staff to come in, to unpack their box straight away and enable them to start working immediately.

We had extra support; we brought over our IT team from Paris who worked on setting systems and PC’s up while the desks were being assembled over the weekend.

On the day, we moved in, and we put a system in place to have a team of removal men on all the floors to assist with moving furniture and collecting empty crates, etc., which resulted in a tidy and workable environment by the end of the day. Everything was up and running apart from small teething problems, which are inevitable.

Think about the process logically and organise teams who have clear objectives to make a move seamless throughout the relocation project.

You can speak with Rapport on 01252 712590 or info@rapport-solutions.org.uk

Office Design Case Study: SBHG

SBHGMoving offices is a significant investment for any business, and we are proud to have worked on some incredible projects over the years across a variety of sectors including; media, banking, finance and technology with a strong portfolio of projects for housing associations.

Throughout our time in the industry, we have built many strong relationships with our clients. And at the core of our business is Rapport. We believe it is a crucial component to the successful outcome of a project, from a clear brief.

In particular, Rapport was integral to two for Shepherds Bush Housing Group (SBHG) including SBHG HQ and SBHG Craft Court. We sat down with David Blackburn, to talk through his time at SBHG on the projects and to understand the learnings and effectiveness of both projects. David, as Director of Business Support, was key to the success of the project supporting internal communication between staff, management and the delivery team.

David, what learnings did you take away from working with Rapport on the Shepherds Bush housing projects?

Your office accommodation is one of your most valuable assets. Over the life of your tenure, you need to ensure you manage the space in a way that is responsive, affordable, sustainable and safe; leveraging the floor plan as a tool to support organisational culture and assist in the delivery of ever more efficient and effective services.

(more…)

Rapport’ has recently been commissioned to manage and develop design options for Verisk Analytics at their Fleet office in Hampshire.

As a leading source of insurance data information, our team will provide an objective review of Verisk’s current space and work practices in addition to designing a new floor to accommodate new ways of working to improve internal communication and ensure further growth and development.

Actions to date:

  • Workspace analysis
  • Design and cost options

Size: 7.620 sq ft across two floors

Location: Fleet, Hampshire

Services: Design, Management & Cost Consultancy


If you are in the process of planning a relocation project or refurbishment programme and would like further advice, do get in touch.
01252 712590 
info@rapport-solutions.org.uk

A recent report reveals 83% of technology experts believe they should play a key role in how the built environment operates.

The report ‘Future proof real estate: is the property sector ready for the 2020’s’ conducted by Osborne Clarke and FTI consulting researched 500 technology experts for the report which focuses emerging tech trends.

The most significant advice from the report looks at the need for property companies to be ready and ‘act quickly’ with tech trends for wide-scale adoption by 2021.

Savannah de Savary, from ‘Built-ID,’ the digital platform for those who want to discover who and what the best agents of change in the built environment explains:

“The single, greatest impact that technology giants such as Apple, Google and Facebook are having on the built environment – both in terms of how they are shaping their workspace and local communities and their recent move into creating digital cities – is that property companies are realising that they need to up their game.”

De Savary raises the “Amazon effect” on Seattle as a prime example. The tech company’s headquarters which operations in Seattle have been credited with adding $38 billion to the city’s economy, with a commensurate impact on real estate values and employment

In the UK, she sees brands such as Google at King’s Cross, Snap at Fitzrovia and Twitter in Soho as perpetrators of “real estate ripple effect.”

“Landlords are bending over backwards to woo tech companies and moreover, looking for ways to replicate their approach to real estate. They have observed how these companies approach workspace design and spread their influence into place making, using music, art and culture to attract the best and create destinations.”

De Savary also believes that tech companies are influencing building design and sustainability Her reference point on
this is Bloomberg’s new European HQ in London has just been voted the world’s most sustainable office building with a plethora of innovative operational, power, lighting, water and ventilation systems.

“Founder Michael Bloomberg was very much the visionary for this, working in partnership with architect Norman Foster, and the result is a shining beacon for other companies and city planners to try and emulate.”

De Savary hopes that the symbiotic relationship between the worlds of technology and property continues to flourish.

“Technology is now shaping every aspect of our world for the better, and the same applies to the built environment!”

PropTech UK – UKPA represents and assists companies and individuals who are active in the UK’s PropTech sector, promoting engagement between technology business and the property industry. 

To read and download the full report, click here.


If you are in the process of planning a relocation project or refurbishment programme and would like further advice, do get in touch.
01252 712590 
info@rapport-solutions.org.uk

Women’s Pioneer Housing is London’s largest provider of low cost rented homes to women and women-headed households who are increasingly priced out of London’s housing market.  Managing over 1000 homes in Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, Westminster, Wandsworth, Ealing, Harrow and Hillingdon they are today one of the few social housing landlords still building new homes in central London.   Over the next 4 years, their current site in Wood Lane W12 will be demolished and redeveloped to provide further residential units alongside a new HQ office.

Our team at Rapport are proud to be part of this process and will work with the organisation to manage the detailed solutions’ dialogue phase of the procurement. This will involve identifying workspace needs, evaluating design proposals and commenting on how they might be improved.   A temporary relocation for the duration of the construction period will be put in place.  Our team will continue to support Women’s Pioneer through each phase of the development to ensure that the new office accommodation delivers their organisational requirements for the future.

Actions to date: Workplace Analysis & Scheme Development

Location: Wood Lane, London W12

Services: Workspace consultancy

Rapport continues to provide professional and innovative construction consultancy services for an increasing range of clients and their projects, in both the public and private sectors.   With a history of working with Housing Associations, we have previously delivered projects for Shepherd’s Bush Housing Association, Rosebery Housing and currently, in the middle of a project for Thrive Housing.

Additionally, as lead consultants, we have advised procurement options to other associations considering relocation and refurbishment projects.


If you are in the process of planning a relocation project or refurbishment programme and would like further advice, do get in touch.
01252 712590 
info@rapport-solutions.org.uk