Reflections on the year that was…

What a year! It’s literally whizzed by in a flash – too much to try and remember and too little time to really contemplate the impact. Ignoring the political and social upheaval we all face, I wanted to reflect on a more personal note (trying not to be too schmaltzy) on the trials, successes and challenges of the past 12 months.

When I stop and think (and I must stop and think more – resolution for the new year), my overwhelming warm and fuzzy feeling is one of gratitude.

I’m so fortunate to have the privilege of working in a field I love; in a sector that’s dynamic and filled with people who inspire and innovate. People committed to sharing ideas and challenging the status quo that has existed for so long across commercial real estate. All of us focused on the one goal of creating customer centric models for our clients.

And so on to our clients – again I’m filled with appreciation for their attitude and approach, their open mindedness and desire to create better and healthier environments for their staff. They have struck me with their desire to embrace change and collaborate with us as partners.

The projects we’ve completed have been ground-breaking – we haven’t won them all – but all of the success is down to an incredible group of colleagues working together, blending skill sets and years of experience across hospitality, technology, property, facilities management and customer service. The collaboration across our teams to deliver complex solutions under intense time pressures has been outstanding. Again, there have been hiccups but our resilience and team effort has seen us through, and critically, all our decision making is underpinned by our pillars of integrity and empathy. I’ve learnt over the years that when you have these fundamental components driving your business, it’s actually easier to make the right choices.

When I think of the defining moment of 2019, it has to be the two accolades received last week at the Flexible Space Association Awards for:

Community Engagement Activity: BE Offices, supporting Rays of Sunshine – “A brand new award this year recognised the contributions our members make to community and charitable activities, with the winner being BE Offices for their long-term support of the Rays of Sunshine children’s charity”


Flexible Workspace Operator, 15+ locations: BE Offices, Barbican

The team are critical to success and they are first-class, be they front-of-house, or back-office; concierge; administration; or support / cleaning staff. They are friendly, efficient, helpful and prepared to ‘go the extra mile”

For me, it’s these two acknowledgments that recognise our commitment to the wider community as well as to our customers and our staff. It lies with us to create a sustainable and long term business for all of these stakeholders and that’s why we invest so heavily in our people and it’s an enormous credit to them for this success.

And finally, the biggest game changer for me? Undoubtedly my re-discovery of the shawl cardigan – couldn’t live without it!

I wish you all a happy and healthy 2020.

P.s. Here’s an article I found – A great piece from Isabel Berwick at the Financial Times, and Thomas Roulet who believes that “people can be incredibly confused by the boundary between work and personal life, and this boundary is made more porous by two practices: working from home and living from work”.

On this basis, I’m not sure I want to visit their homes….