Very Group prepares for 'hybrid working' post-pandemic
In a sign of the times, The Very Group is preparing a new “permanent hybrid working model” at its Liverpool-based operations.
As many UK employees were forced to work from home under mostly-year-long pandemic restrictions, the Very and Littlewoods online brands owner is transforming its HQ “into the ideal setting for collaboration, innovation, learning and socialising”, the £2 billion-revenue retailer said Wednesday.
The renovations, “will create the optimum team working space when the group’s 2,100 Liverpool-based colleagues begin to split their time between home and office working when circumstances allow later this year”, it said.
At its Skyways House HQ – a 12,400-square metre, former aircraft hangar – the company has introduced an open plan environment with bespoke break-out and collaboration spaces, “designed for interactive group working”.
Hot desks have been installed to enable colleagues and teams to work from anywhere on site, while green spaces add an element of calm.
Meanwhile, the Hub, the second office on site and future home to 750 of the group’s customer care workers, has been transformed into “a leading-edge flexible contact centre”, featuring collaborative zones, hot desks, quiet pods, training rooms and break out spaces of different sizes and specifications.
Throughout, the new zones have been defined using distinctive furniture, carpet and décor “to help teams come together in the right places to collaborate”, while accessible kitchen spaces and gender-neutral facilities have been added.
This latest transformation of Very’s headquarters has also been replicated at its Bolton customer care centre. This space includes a conference centre, juice bar, relaxation zone and a gym with fitness classes.
Sarah Willett, chief people officer at The Very Group, said: “Remote working during Covid-19 has seen our people operate with even greater ingenuity at a time when we’re attracting record numbers of new customers. Our colleagues have told us they like the greater flexibility that comes with working from home and when the UK starts reopening, we’ll make some permanent changes to the way we work”.
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