BeCode AIR helps with change management at CBRE Global Investors: The London base becomes a “flexible office”

“It was important to integrate the new system quickly and easily into work processes. It was only with Beloxx locks that that was possible,” explains Zoe Harris. As manager of the London office of CBRE Global Investors, she not only experienced close at hand but also helped plan the merger of two locations and the new organisational culture that went hand in hand with this. Today the office, located close to St. Paul’s Cathedral, is a shining example of a “flexible office”, thanks to its desk-sharing concept.

CBRE Global Investors is one of the world’s biggest and most successful service providers in the commercial property sector. The main service areas the company focuses on are asset services, capital markets, leasing, valuation, corporate services, research, retail, investment management and building consultancy. Alongside its Californian headquarters, CBRE boasts around 370 offices worldwide.

As part of its change management, those in charge merged two offices into one – and the work culture was modernised too

In London, a very specific challenge arose: After the acquisition of ING Real Estate, two previously independent businesses had to be brought together into one office. The organisers set themselves ambitious goals here.

They wanted to:

  • use the available premises and space as efficiently as possible,
  • boost the productivity of the workforce by implementing ideal framework conditions,
  • encourage employee loyalty and camaraderie for the long term,
  • digitalize the organisation and thus establish a paper-free office.

“Global Workplace 360”: The flexible office should facilitate various different styles of work and improve convenience

“Global Workplace 360” – this is the name senior CBRE managers gave the concept for the flexible office they wanted to create. The key factor here was the decision to no longer allocate fixed workspaces or desks.

The idea came from the fact that there are various different work styles and periods of absence in the office: Whilst the staff in the Finance team and other departments work primarily in the office, the consultants are often out and about for long periods. In order to improve convenience and support the various styles of work, CBRE cooperated with its service providers to establish an entirely new work culture for its employees.

As already mentioned, the key point here is desk-sharing. This means each workplace is set up in the same way.

Each consists of:

  • a desk,
  • an office chair,
  • a docking station for a laptop,
  • a telephone with a log-in system so staff can use personal settings and access saved telephone numbers,
  • mouse, keyboard and monitor.

A “clean desk” policy goes hand in hand with these facilities. Nothing should be left on the “desk of the day” once the working day has finished. Nor are there any drawers into which a few sheets of paper or a folder could disappear.

Instead, those in charge established an intelligent locker system – this is the key to success for Office Manager Zoe Harris. Each employee now has their own locker available to them, where they can store the work materials they need. Beloxx provided advice during the planning phase and contributed the relevant hardware with the radio-operated and electronic RFID furniture lock BeCode AIR. The different lockers were allocated to the teams and departments and set up close to the relevant group.

BeCode AIR: The intelligent management, the modern design and the user-friendly operation convinced CBRE Global Investors and its employees

Zoe Harris remembers it well: “The lockers were a really big change. Lots of colleagues felt they were going back to their school days. You have to remember that we had spent years sitting at normal desks with drawers…” To ensure employees were not annoyed or unnerved by the conversion, it was important that the whole system was as user-friendly as possible. “In the context of a cultural change like this, the smallest irritation, the smallest problem, can lead to a huge amount of frustration,” says the office manager.

The intelligent management, the modern design and the user-friendly operation of the BeCode AIR quickly won over the CBRE workforce, though. As its name implies, our electronic furniture lock can be opened using a personal RFID transponder. In combination with other functions, the RFID technology is now part of the CBRE employees’ working day.

With the employee ID, into which an RFID chip is integrated, every member of the workforce can:

  • access the building,
  • unlock the photocopier,
  • open the relevant locker.

Zoe Harris: “Before, I would be on the phone endlessly or forcing open lockers with a letter opener. Now I just have the master card.”

One particularly happy customer is Office Manager Zoe Harris: “In the past, I would spend ages on the phone organising replacement keys. Or I would have to force open the lockers with a letter opener because I couldn’t get into them, and one colleague might be absent whilst another needed a particular file urgently. Now we have the master card for urgent cases like this. It enables me to manage every lock and – where necessary – to open them. And I can do so without a lock or indeed a locker being damaged.”

With a clear conscience, Zoe Harris has been able to give her letter opener a well-earned retirement. It now lies in her new locker – and the BeCode AIR takes good care of it…

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