Leading saving and investment company, M&G plc has invested in the MyWorkplace app from Spica Technologies to support its employee and visitor experience globally. FMJ visited M&G’s head office in London’s Fenchurch Avenue to see it in action
Due to the pandemic the estates and facilities management sector has moved from dabbling in technology to embracing a range of digital workplace solutions to ensure premises are safe and support changed work patterns. Now a growing number are investing in workplace experience apps that offer a virtual connection for end users and workplace managers.
Sarah O’Reilly is Global Head of CRE Workplace Solutions at global saving and investment company M&G, responsible for the property that M&G owns and operates, as opposed to the investment estate. Her team aims to provide a fantastic user experience for colleagues and visitors to M&G offices, be it the London HQ, one of the UK buildings or overseas.
“We’re pretty focused on the end user experience because that is why we exist, to make sure we’ve got the right workplace locations as well as create a great experience for colleagues,” she explains.
“We had online solutions for booking meeting rooms, a car park space or a lift share but they were all on different systems. We didn’t have anything that was integrated. Enabling people to manage their time in the office was something we were striving to achieve so we wanted to explore new ways of supporting that.”
Prior to COVID the estates team were looking at ways to enhance the end user experience, by offering colleagues an app on their phone or their laptop which would enable them to easily find the kind of space they needed for the task they were doing.
Says O’Reilly: “We wanted something that was fundamentally different from everything we had that replicated people’s expectation of an app but within the work environment. Something which was fast, dynamic, and very user friendly that would refresh constantly as you have to work to keep people’s attention. So that was our primary driver, something that was different. We don’t want to be ordinary as a team, we want to be an exceptional provider for colleagues.”
They opted to go with Spica Technologies, the SmartCloud division of parent company Nordomatic, whose technology encompasses software and hardware solutions for the management of workplaces, energy and BMS. They came up with the M&G MyWorkplace app, aimed at employees, visitors and contractors, that offers a range of features to help streamline the workplace experience; whether booking desks, lockers, showers or parking spaces, familiarising yourself with the layout of a particular M&G building or raising a request to the onsite facilities team.
The range of features on the app, explains M&G Business Support Manager Jonathan Gingell, has been a boon to his team, whose aim is “to give people the best experience from the moment they enter the door”.
In order to test its veracity, a pilot was conducted in the M&G offices in Edinburgh with a small number of users, which says Gingell: “People were very receptive to and we were surprised by how easy people found it to use. It is very much a ‘get up and go’ app.
“In September 2021 a wider launch took place. With people being out for so long they want to know in advance when they’re coming in so it gave us a good shop window, so people knew the exact environment they were coming into and what COVID measures were in place.”