Lindéngruppen company Colart has adopted more flexible and interactive ways of working that contribute to the health and wellness of their employees.
Knowing that people can perform well working from home without losing the sense of team, Colart was keen to learn whether it was a way of working that should continue. Through global pulse surveys, feedback indicated a consistent desire across the group for hybrid working based on 2-3 days in the office.
“We made a real effort to find out how people wanted to work,” says Jane Beeston, Chief People Officer at Colart. “The importance of openness and trust guided this entire process.”
Building on this insight, the company organised an online Hackathon at the end of 2020 that enabled a highly collaborative and inclusive approach to establishing new ways of working for those working remotely. This aligned with the forthcoming end of lease for the Colart head office in central London, which provided the opportunity to find an office solution that better suited the company’s new ways of working.
“Plenty of great input and ideas came out of the Hackathon that helped us not only in the principles of our search for a new office space but also how we would work within it,” says Beeston. “It was clear this was an opportunity to move beyond convention as the new normal had become an expectation for not only our existing people but also new joiners.”
Colart downsized from its traditional office space by moving into a co-working space. The company has created an environment suited to hybrid working from quiet zones to spaces for collaboration, within a curated community of companies.
“Our new London Hub is actually a space within a space allowing us to benefit from a wider business and social ecosystem. We believe this space adds value in many ways and reflects the needs of our people,” says Beeston. “We have created a home where our colleagues come to work but not just to work.”
The importance of Covid-19 safety protocols in the new London Hub has remained a priority and care has been placed in desk arrangement together with the introduction of a hot desking system to allow the tracking of people should an infection arise. With the priority to avoid any transmission cases in Colart locations during the pandemic, Colart sees the importance of this valuable layer of safety.
“Our new office hub provides us with a model to replicate in other group offices by showing that we can think and act differently in the new world of work without compromising our sense of unity or undermining our output,” says Beeston “Our global Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) has increased steadily during the Covid-19 pandemic demonstrating that people feel the difference that our ‘people first’ approach has made.”
Throughout the pandemic and going forward Colart has taken a proactive approach by reinforcing existing well-being, health and safety practices resulting in robust safety systems and protocols. This safety reassurance includes both onsite workers and those able to work remotely.
Crucial areas for reinforcement are ‘communication, collaboration, and connectivity’, to ensure that continued dialogue and alignment remain core to how the company works. Colart manages this through a leadership development programme run remotely for all managers. Additionally, the implementation of a global online Assistance Platform for all employees complemented Colart’s People First principle.