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Fight or Flight: What do SMEs want from #CRE?
The office as a tool for business growth
Joe Walton, Cofounder and Managing Partner of London-based Fight or Flight, a dynamic B2B media company helping brands raise the pulse and give people goosebumps, joins Bold Founder, Caleb Parker, to discuss the challenges of growing a business during a lockdown, benefits of remote and why he plans to have an office for his team post pandemic.
Enterprise companies make all the headlines, but they employ just 40% of the UK population. 60% of UK employees work for SMEs (small to medium sized businesses). It’s time SMEs like Fight or Flight get some airtime.
Joe Walton has a “Challenge the status quo” mindset.
He says “building a business used to be synonymous with having an office - not anymore.”
"Virtual meetings level the playing field for new companies when pitching" and has enabled Joe to hire senior talent who he wouldn’t have considered in a pre-pandemic world.
But, Joe still believes the office has tremendous value and will be an important tool for his company's business growth.
In this episode Caleb and Joe talk about challenges of establishing company culture, how to engage team members about workplace, testing flexible work policies and how workplace brand plays a role in deciding where to work.
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- Launching a business during the pandemic has levelled the playing field for businesses pitching new clients
- Clients now have to make a decision based on the way someone looks and sounds on Zoom, not by how flashy their office is
- The flashy office can work against companies when clients feel that their budget might not match that of the partner they are seeking to work with
- Holding virtual meetings with partner organisations has produced more clarity for clients because it enables them to focus on the things that matter when selecting partners, which is quality people that you trust, that you believe can get the job done for you
- The pandemic has enabled the recruitment and employment of international staff which would not have been feasible or conceivable before working virtually
- The office is distracting for extroverts
- WFA enables more focus
- The challenges of remote work are culture building, celebrating wins together as a team and missing out on camaraderie
- We are also missing out on learning by osmosis, by watching people within the team, the way they work and modelling their experience and expertise.
- The office helps with learning, training and mentoring
- On return to the office, it will be important that everybody is in at the same time to invest in the culture of the team, whilst retaining flexibility of working from home.
- The feeling of comdadarie is strengthened when everyone is together
- When recruiting new candidates for roles, potential talent will gravitate towards the organisations that correspond to their values and the way they want to work
- Flexibility is key
- Businesses looking for real estate space value flexibility, shorter lease terms to accommodate team growth
- Brand has a huge role in deciding on a workplace
- Brand is not just a logo
- Brand is intrinsically wound up in the space, the ethos, the experience and the community within the building
- The workplace you choose says something about you and your brand
- In commercial real estate right now, there is a much more promiscuous group of customers, who are happy to experiment and happy to try new things
- The old model of signing a long-term lease and thinking you can sit back as a landlord and just collect cheques for the next 10 to 15 years is over. It’s very much hands-on, staying close to the ground with your customer, making sure that you're providing with any evolving your experience with their needs and their desires as they grow, otherwise someone else is going to win them over.