New platform supports ‘Blended’ working culture
A year into the pandemic, the vast majority of companies have had to adapt to new methods of working. Prior to the first lockdown in the UK, working from home was reserved for freelancers or viewed as a nice occasional perk.
According to Property Week’s recent 2020 Power of Proptech survey, just 5.1% of the UK workforce worked primarily from home in 2019, despite improving technology making it a viable possibility.
Fast forward twelve months and 82% of office providers and real estate companies are looking to invest in home working and digital meeting tools in the near future, indicating that in a post-pandemic world, a more flexible approach to working may become a reality.
With reports that companies like Microsoft are adopting a ‘hybrid’ working model, and some, such as Twitter, telling employees they can work from home permanently, never has technology been more important in bringing people together, helping to connect communities, families and employees while the world becomes increasingly disjointed.
In response to the ongoing pandemic, Spike Global has just launched its new Spike Workplace application. The software helps companies and landlords promote a connected culture while the majority of office-based employees are working from home. The software will also help companies and landlords adapt to a ‘blended’ way of working moving forward, where we see employees cycle between remote and in-office working.
Spike’s workplace portal builds and manages buzzing, supportive communities where users can form meaningful connections. Companies can nurture the office culture virtually through social clubs, forums and events, keep occupants engaged with up-to-date news and articles and ensure they are as settled and supported as possible by offering health and well-being initiatives and support forums. Long-term social engagement to create a sense of wellbeing and identity is a key element of what the software provides.
The company has already seen positive demand for the offering. Clients include Portico, a leading guest relations and concierge company with more than 800 staff members dotted across 120 locations throughout the UK and Ireland. The firm wanted to launch an engagement platform linked to its own systems that connected its entire workforce and acted as a platform for communicating company updates, events and initiatives.
Amanda Baber, Director, Business Development at Portico, said: “We had already planned to launch our engagement app in 2020 prior to the pandemic, which made it even more important for us to connect with our people, who were working at home, in the office or furloughed. In a short space of time, we are already receiving hugely positive feedback from our staff members and real engagement in the forums and social groups, which we have created on the platform. We plan to add additional functionality to our app to further embed a culture that empowers our people.”
Spike Workplace follows the success of the company’s residential software Spike Living, which has helped residential communities grow closer together, allowing residents to feel more connected to the spaces in which they live by connecting them to services, staff and amenities. Throughout the pandemic Spike Living has connected residents to feel more supported by their neighbours and local communities.
During the first lockdown, the app helped development residents to maintain a sense of normality and tackled the potential effects of loneliness. Clients hosted online virtual hangouts for residents to meet one another via video link with drinks and nibbles, and virtual balcony workouts communicated and organised through the Spike app. Its success has seen Spike grow its client list by an impressive 126% in the last 12 months, despite market difficulties.
Spike Workplace is designed to make the workplace more efficient for employees, business owners and landlords, whether staff are currently operating physically or remotely. Company owners or landlords and their employees and tenants can benefit from the flexible, user-centric technology that offers a seamless experience and multiple different functions, designed to connect a ‘blended’ workforce.
The platform makes building management, analytics and reporting easy, while residents can book meetings, meeting rooms and hot-desks, check-in their guests, track their deliveries and book additional services. Senior teams or front-of-house staff can keep employees informed and up to date with the latest workplace announcements, including any change in regulations or restrictions.
With an increasing focus on mental health and employee well-being, users can also use the platform to reach out to their colleagues for help and support, making their busy lives easier and increasing welfare. Spike has also partnered with The Health Concierge to offer further health and wellness support, with users being able to access content directly from the app.
Jeremy Heath-Smith, CEO of Spike, commented: “Since the start of the pandemic, companies have had to make significant changes to the way they operate in order to survive and those who have managed to adapt have been the most successful. It’s great to see our software helping during this difficult time, and while our working and personal lives are brought closer together our goal is to create better places for people to work and live, even when these are.”
Clients who sign up to Spike are assigned a dedicated customer success representative, who is on hand to optimise Spike’s usage, troubleshoot any queries and offer advice and innovative ideas to improve engagement. The software is white-labelled for clients and can be fully tailored to the needs of an organisation and its staff, from creating a unique, fully brand-compliant platform, to configuring bespoke features or device integrations and connecting to third-party services.
Jeremy concluded: “At Spike, flexibility is key to our success. We strive to understand the shift in how employees interact with each other since the pandemic began and what this means for how they’ll interact in the future. Ultimately, our software improves efficiencies in the workplace. For example, we offer specific COVID-19 forums for each of our clients where users can offer or ask for help from their colleagues.
"We have an information centre posting COVID-19 updates, sourcing only reliable government links and helpful advice. We have a recommended COVID-19 strategy for clients who use Spike, whilst continually adapting that strategy to the changing circumstances we find ourselves in. As and when we move out of lockdown we’ll help clients adapt to a hybrid way of working, as employees cycle between remote and in-office working.
“The app is a one-stop, easy solution to roll out across the board designed specifically to the company’s or building’s needs. By offering an agile, interactive hub, company owners can build robust workplaces that function more effectively. End users feel invested, valued and better connected to their workplace while navigating the 'new normal' situation we all find ourselves in.”