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The value of communities in our buildings

In recent weeks, we’ve seen some inspirational examples across the UK of communities coming together, and the value that being part of a strong community can deliver.

The real estate industry has played its part, collaborating as a community in a way that wasn’t always evident previously, to support a range of stakeholders. From the NHS to struggling occupiers and furloughed staff there are many who have needed some help or support.

In the Welcome portfolio, we see each of our office buildings as a community, whose key stakeholders are the landlords, occupiers, receptionists and security staff, facilities suppliers and (of course) property managers. All with the common goal of creating vibrant, appealing and safe environment for staff to work in.

Creating a lasting connection

We’ve also seen in recent weeks how important the relationships cultivated within these communities are.

With most buildings running a skeleton operation at best, the temptation could be to slash services and costs as far as possible to ease the service charge burden for occupiers facing their own huge commercial challenges.

However, for these communities to return and thrive, the people that make them come alive – the front of house and onsite teams – will be needed more than ever.

From welcoming back staff, creating the environments that we have all missed while working remotely, to implementing any social distancing measures that will still be required, these teams play a vital role.

Welcoming everyone back

Fortunately, the communities within our Welcome portfolio recognise this key point and wholeheartedly embrace the challenge that lies ahead.

Even where it may have been necessary to furlough some onsite staff, with the support of occupiers, clients and our supplier partners we’ve worked hard to ensure that individuals don’t lose out. All those involved have been keen to implement any changes as sensitively as possible, with a shared responsibility for the livelihoods of all members of our community.

Fortunately, our focus now is on facilitating the re-occupation of these buildings with detailed operational and safety plans being developed. We’re confident that the strength of the relationships with all stakeholders and shared vision for the office communities we want to return to, will enable us to do so better than before.

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