Office: on the way to more services!


Marielle Seegmuller, Operations Director, Covivio

At a time when office life has been turned upside down, like so many other things, Covivio reaffirms its ambition to make its buildings genuine destinations.

As a European real estate player operating in the office, residential and hotel sectors, we are making flexibility and services the core features of our spaces. While the crisis has acted as a catalyst for existing trends, it has also brought to light new requirements, especially in the area of health. But this has not altered our vision of Covivio Client Culture based on 5 pillars: customer experience, services, well-being, digital technology and ongoing adaptation.

Our corporate clients and their employees now see their workplace as a lived experience. This experience must start as soon as they walk into the building until they leave the site. Our shared areas (shared meeting rooms, relaxation areas, cafés and restaurants, etc.) are therefore designed to be reversible and adaptable for different uses, offering employees living areas to suit changing needs: places for concentration, project mode, relaxation, sharing and interaction.

Over the past few years, Covivio has developed its service offering to meet new expectations regarding office spaces and offer occupants a comprehensive and appropriate range of services. Under the present circumstances, but also due to changes in lifestyle, working practices and digital transformation, employee expectations have fundamentally changed. We have therefore designed a range of services to meet and anticipate new requirements. Key features of this approach include connected, collaborative spaces and a diversified, modular and innovative service offering. Catering, for instance, with the opportunities for social contact that it provides, is entering a new era driven by demand for varied and alternative offerings (high quality food, connected fridges, etc.).

These spaces and the services they offer help to structure life inside the building. Over the course of the day, these experiences – arriving in the building, being welcomed, choosing workspaces and services – build up to create the customer and visitor experience.

It has been proven that these new services and spaces enhance well-being by making life easier for employees in both professional and personal terms. Our service offering is also tailored to the surrounding amenities in order to complement existing services, simplifying life for our users: dry cleaning, shoe and other repairs, sport and cultural activities, etc. The range of services is defined in consultation with our clients through regular discussions with dedicated teams. This approach mirrors and supports the efforts made by client HR departments to increase their company’s appeal. Supporting our clients’ social policies and quality of life at work is an integral feature of our ambitions.

Our Client Culture also seeks to improve user well-being. This is written into our raison d’être: “Build sustainable relationships and well-being”. Art is a good example of this approach: as a signatory to the “Un immeuble, une œuvre” [One building, one piece of art] charter launched by the French Ministry of Culture in 2015, we integrate the artistic dimension into our approach by displaying pieces of art in our buildings in order to serve as additional vectors of well-being and relationships. Each work is selected not just for decorative purposes but to convey, enhance or extend the genus loci, the spirit of the place. Above all, our artworks are designed to encourage interaction among occupants, whether company employees or local residents when the exhibit is easily visible or accessible. Covivio will be rolling out this approach in its other countries of operation, Italy and Germany.

Our buildings primarily offer a physical, lived experience, of course, but this experience can be enhanced and managed using digital technology. For its main buildings, Covivio has designed and deployed a smartphone and desktop application providing user-friendly centralised access to all services (room booking, concierge service, marketplace, printing management, etc.) and streamlining the circulation of information (news about the building, useful documents, incident reporting and follow-up, etc.). This digital solution also allows more detailed coordination and efficient monitoring in order to adapt more quickly and appropriately.

The “customised” aspect of our offering is what makes our overall approach stand out. Starting from a standard range of services, we add specific services and layouts in order to offer unique “destination” buildings tailored to our clients’ needs and corporate culture. To this end, we conduct regular satisfaction surveys among our clients in order to adjust our offering on an ongoing basis.

Current circumstances may not be ideal for a high-quality customer experience but be in no doubt that Covivio’s ambition and vision for Client Culture remain clear. Flexibility, innovation and adaptability are core features of our service approach, as what we are doing today is preparing the office of tomorrow. And in 2021, being at the office won’t just be like being at home….it will be even more!