As the fallout from the pandemic goes on, there are some lockdown legacies that seem as though they are here to stay. One surprise benefit has been the way in which businesses have had to adapt the technology they use to communicate with both customers and potential customers.
The need for business centres to have virtual tours to showcase their facilities has increased rapidly during the pandemic – and the award winning BusinessLodge with centres in both Bury and Stoke is no exception.
At BusinessLodge, we’ve always been committed to two key things – excellent customer service and remaining at the forefront of technology.
So, when our customers and potential customers told us that the opportunity to have a virtual tour of our buildings would be extremely beneficial to them, we called on the services of Scene3D to help achieve this.
Comprised of a group of dynamic, professional and experienced digital marketers, Scene3D exists to help businesses better engage with their customers, with the most innovative technology out there.
They utilise state of the art 3D scanning equipment to generate a virtual model of a property, allowing anyone, anywhere, to ‘virtually tour’ the house, apartment, venue or retail space captured, from any device.
We’re absolutely thrilled with the results of the team’s hard work and with their help, we’ve come up with the top reasons that so many of our customers – and would be customers – are loving our virtual tours.
EUROPA HOUSE VIRTUAL TOUR:
TRENT HOUSE VIRTUAL TOUR:
Walk the space – without walking the space
Sounds obvious? Give it a try. BusinessLodge’s 3D tours hugely complement our websites which are packed with all the information would be clients might need. Digital experiences such as 360 degree videos, panoramic images and interactive 3D walk-throughs are perfect to help people to get a feel for a new workspace before visiting in person, and literally walk through the building, virtually.
It’s what we’ve come to expect post-lockdown
If we were reliant on the internet before lockdown, post pandemic this has increased tenfold. Indeed, it’s estimated that half of all adults rely on virtual tours on a regular basis – before booking a holiday, checking out a new house, vising a new restaurant – and now, more than ever, looking or new office space. After all, as technology progresses, so does the desire for it and things that began as a quick fix in lockdown have now become a way of life. In essence, it’s what we expect.
It gives a flavour of our personality
Our strapline is #lovewhere you work – because that’s what our clients and visitors tell us they feel when they come in to our offices, time and time again. We think our website and engaging social media platforms give a pretty good overview in to the vibe you can expect at both of our centres – but a virtual tour takes it to another level. From our funky neon sign and chill out areas, to our excellent food outlets and up the minute gyms, we really believe that with a virtual tour, you can really start to soak up the BusinessLodge atmosphere and start to connect with the space.
Our would-be clients are busy people – and so a virtual tour can be really useful for them to check out what we have to offer when they start to “put the feelers” out for new business premises. Particularly for larger companies who may be relocating and have staff based across the UK, our virtual tour can save both time and money in terms of man hours, helping them to make initially decisions and comparisons. Once they see our great facilities, we find they are more than happy to travel to see their new business home for real.
Time to reflect
How many times have you been somewhere, gone away and realise that you forgot to ask key questions? It might be that you forgot to check the outside seating arrangements for your wedding venue or you couldn’t remember where the plug sockets were in a house you were interested in. In terms of businesses, our clients find it really helpful to be able to refresh their minds once they have left our buildings, and also to show the premises to other decision makers who may not have been able to attend.
An additional benefit is that would-be clients can pop back on anytime, with no time restraints, as the tour is available on a 24/7 basis
It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the team at Scene 3D. Alex Eason, Commercial Director said:
“Business Lodge have been great partners in bringing each site to life online. The time the team at Business Lodge have spent getting all the small details right in their buildings has led to some fantastic spaces that really feel conducive to a productive, happy business.
A virtual tour felt like a logical next step to empower potential clients to explore each site at their leisure and see how great working at Business Lodge would be. We’re looking forward to creating a virtual tour for their Imperial House site next!”
To find out more visit: Scene3D – The UK’s Virtual Tour Experts – 3D Scans & 360 Photography
Clients and visitors at our Bury centre might have seen a new face about our buildings over the past 6 weeks.
Our Centre Managers play an absolutely crucial role at BusinessLodge. Tasked with looking after our current clients and recruiting new ones, no two days are ever the same.
It’s a big role and we knew that it would take someone extra special to fill it – and so we’re absolutely delighted to introduce the latest addition to the team, Lisa Kay.
Time at BusinessLodge
Just 6 weeks!
You are the Bury Centre Manager – what does that mean in real terms?
It’s fair to say that I have a multi-faceted role! In basic terms, I am in charge of ensuring that our offices are filled with clients – and keeping our existing clients happy. A real mix of sales and customer service.
In reality, it is far more than that – it is a massive role with a broad overview. I build and develop relationships with our clients and improve processes to make their working environment run as smoothly as possible.
I champion BusinessLodge to other businesses and let them know why we really do provide the best flex-office space in the area, through networking and community work.
I also look after our fantastic team here in Bury, ensuring that they feel empowered and love coming to work every day.
Best bit of the job?
It’s early days but so far I am loving the social side of the job and getting to meet so many new people. Be it chatting to our lovely customers and getting to understand their businesses, networking, particularly at our ladies Brunch Club and, showing prospect customers around the centre and of course the fantastic BusinessLodge team.
What’s you career background?
I spent 30 years in the retail sector, mainly in cosmetics and beauty. I covered all manner of roles, but latterly as an Area Business manager, I looked after teams and ensured they were working to the best of their ability, drove sales and focused on P&L.
So, why did you want to join BusinessLodge?
I love a challenge! This is a completely new sector for me, and it was hugely appealing to manage a large site with a variety of different tasks.
I got a great vibe from BusinessLodge when I visited and knew instantly that it is an organisation I want to be part of.
I also think I can offer a lot – my passion when working in retail was customer service and high standards, and it’s great to bring these skills to a company that already places such a high value on them.
Do you plan to make any changes?
In terms of our customers, I want to build upon the already fantastic community spirit here. I’d like to build our social calendar with a mixture of well-being, sporty and businesses focused activities, all designed to bring people together. In addition, I want to focus on service and processes to make things even better for them.
In terms of the team, I’m all about empowerment. I want our team to be productive and happy, so I will focus on training and up-skilling, as well as introducing some well-being workshops.
All in all, I’ve come into a fantastic company and I want to build on what has already been set in place through an open and honest approach.
What’s your superpower?
I am a qualified Mental Health first Aider and in previous roles have supported employees from shop floor to corporate level. I am a passionate advocate for Mental health awareness.
Forget holidays abroad – they’re so 2019!
While some people did manage to venture further afield last year, in case you hadn’t heard, ‘staycations’ are all the rage for 2021!
If you had hoped to jet off beyond the shores of the UK, don’t be disheartened, there’s plenty of summer fun to be had closer to home.
If anything, the ongoing restrictions are an opportunity to explore holiday options you may not have considered otherwise and you may be surprised at the wide choice to be found not so very far from our own doorsteps. What’s more, it’s reported that around 21 million of us are planning to ‘embark’ on a staycation this time round.
As if it needed spelling out, holidays not only boost our happiness and health, they can increase mental motivation, decrease burnout and improve family relationships. So naturally we want to get the most out of them.
Our two BusinessLodge centres are based in two stunning locations – Lancashire and Staffordshire. We’ve asked our teams at both centres for their top tips on great places to visit around or within easy access of Lancashire and Staffordshire to give you some inspiration:
Fun days out in Lancashire
For a memorable day out, Lancashire’s waterways offer an opportunity to view the landscape from a different perspective.
Sail Away on a Waterway
A canal boat cruise is the perfect chance to slow everything right down and watch the world go by. In a way it’s like stepping back in time to experience a method of transport which would have been commonplace a century ago. Children and adults alike are sure to enjoy whiling away the hours in such a relaxed fashion. What’s more, you might pick up some canal-boat lingo in the process, for instance; strapping in, cracking the paddles and even cheesing the ropes!
If the idea of faster flowing water appeals then Tiger’s Clough and Crooked Edge waterfalls on the lower slopes of Rivington Pike are well worth a visit. The main path bypasses the falls themselves meaning they really are a pair of hidden gems which you’ll need to seek out – but this only makes your trip into more of an adventure. Walking through the woods nearby is an enjoyable element of your visit in itself but will also help build up to the main event featuring the waterfalls.
It’s said that the negative ions abundant in waterfalls can increase our serotonin levels, which ultimately help our mood. What’s more, the simple act of watching the motion and sound of moving water has a calming effect that can benefit our mental health. Good news-after all one of the things we want from our staycation is to feel refreshed and revived.
A treetops adventure
And just down the road from our Bury centre in Heaton Park is Treetop Trek which is sure to get the adrenaline pumping! Zip-lining through the woods and navigating a series of arial challenges as part of a high-rope adventure are the order of the day.
The young ‘uns and the not-so-young ‘uns alike can let their hair down at Treetop Nets which features super slides, treehouses, tunnels and ball zones all within the same facility.
And so to Staffordshire …
If you have a couple of cheeky monkeys of your own at home that need entertaining then they’ll fit right in at Trentham Monkey Forest!
It provides an opportunity to observe free roaming Barbary Macaques within the picturesque setting of 60 acres of ancient Staffordshire woodland. Lots of information is available on this endangered species and there’s an adventure playground for little ones to run around in and expend some of their energy. It’s a day to unleash their inner David Attenborough, ultimately making for an educational as well as a fun day out.
By boat or by cycle
Spanning 168 acres and 2.5 miles, Rudyard lake boasts some of the most impressive scenery in the Staffordshire moorlands. It’s also the place where Kipling’s parents met for the first time-so if you wondered whether there might be a connection, you’re correct!
Why not hire a rowing boat for an afternoon of messing about on the lake-all while following health and safety guidelines of course!
Alternatively, jump on your bike and cycle along the former railway line which has now been converted to a pedestrian/jogging/cycling route so you have a traffic free way of getting to the Lake from the edge of Leek. A sure fire way to get the endorphins flowing while also taking in the fresh air.
Non-stop sunshine might be too much to hope for on our staycation, which is why the option of spending the day at an indoor venue makes sense. The Emma Bridgewater factory has got it covered in both senses of the word-allowing visitors to go behind the scenes by taking a tour and witnessing the production process in action. They also invite you to get crafty in the decorating studio.
By the end of the day, you’ll have no trouble distinguishing between a jigger, a jollier, a fettler and a caster!
So whether it’s relaxation or adventure you’re after, there’s a varied choice of entertaining days out that are handy to home whether that’s in the North West or Staffordshire.
A ‘staycation’ may not have initially been on the cards but on the upside it may prompt us to get better acquainted with what’s within easy travelling distance but we maybe never got around to visiting until now.
After months of restrictions, lockdown and social distancing we are pleased to announce that Olive’s Kitchen will finally be opening the café in Imperial House within Business Lodge.
Who are ‘Olive’s Kitchen’?
Olive’s Kitchen (Bury) Ltd was established in 2020 and is an independent healthy caterer based in Bury.
Whilst making a commitment to support local businesses, the local community and by sharing our concern for the environment we put great emphasis on providing high quality, freshly prepared, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients – prepared and cooked daily.
Our range of soups, one-pots, sandwiches, salads and pasta pots are all be freshly made with no need for preservatives, stabilisers, emulsifiers or additives allowing our customers to be rest assured that the ingredients that they are eating are natural and wherever possible local.
Olive’s Kitchen believes that old-fashioned slow cooking of quality ingredients equals not only great tasting food but healthy eating too. With that premise, our menu’s will change to bring the best of seasonal produce.
Olive’s Kitchen Ethos….
Olive’s Kitchen identified that there was a gap in the market. Customers tastes and attitudes towards the foods that they consume have changed considerably in recent years with individuals wanting to eat healthily, whilst enjoying a range of seasonal foods and enjoying value for money.
It is our belief that good quality, well-cooked food can’t be cheap but it is affordable.
When will it open?
Olive’s Kitchen at Business Lodge will have a ‘soft launch’ from Tuesday 13th July and will officially open on Tuesday 20th July at 8.00am.
What is a ‘Soft Launch’?
All new kitchen set-ups have teething problems and we are keen to ensure that we manage your expectations correctly and provide you with the great service you deserve. A ‘soft launch’ is where we will be able to provide a limited number of our services daily (e.g. Breakfast or Lunch only, with limited menu choices) to enable us to test our processes, make mistakes, find solutions and ensure everything is ready for the official opening from Tuesday 20th July.
During this time, to thank you for your patience and understanding we will offer 25% off our normal prices.
Can I sit in?
Yes, what was formerly ‘The Gallery’ has been completely refurbished. We have created a comfortable, relaxed space that allows you to escape from the office and grab a coffee in a proper cup, sit with friends, get a snack or quick bite to eat or join us for breakfast or lunch.
All food and drink will also be available for takeaway. Just let us know when ordering.
What’s on the menu?
A sneaky peek of the menu will be released in the coming days. The menu will change regularly with a variety of one-pots and soups as well as regular specials. We aim to cater for all dietary needs and will endeavour to provide something for everyone. Our menu will always include Vegetarian, Vegan, Halal and Gluten-Free Options. If you can’t find what you’re looking for please let us know and we will do our very best to be accommodating.
What is a one-pot?
A cooking method that easily combines all a dish’s essential ingredients in one pot while cooking! These vary greatly from Chillies, Curries, Stews and Casseroles to Tray Bakes.
What’s so healthy about Olive’s Kitchen?
Unless absolutely necessary, Olive’s Kitchen does not fry food. Our breakfast options are grilled or baked, and eggs are either poached or scrambled. Rather than offering chips every day, we offer healthier alternatives such a Mini Baked Potatoes, Baked Wedges etc.
The other advantage is that if you dine in, you don’t need to worry about smelling like a deep fat fryer for the rest of the day!
- Fats – Our homemade food will be cooked with 100% vegetable oil or olive oil. We will aim to never use hydrogenated or long-life oils. Occasionally we will utilise whole fats – coconut milk, butter, crème Fraiche.
- Salt – We will only salt our food after cooking to ensure a minimum salt level (just great taste).
- Wheat – Our homemade food will try to avoid wheat and gluten as thickening agents and we prefer to use pulses, beans and potatoes in our recipes.
- Sugar – We will avoid adding sugar wherever possible, but occasionally a recipe calls for it, in which case we will add the minimum.
Can I still book internal catering services for meetings and conferences?
Yes, all requests for internal catering services should be directed to the Business Lodge Team who will be more than happy to assist you. Internal catering cannot be booked with Olive’s Kitchen directly however if you have any external requirements such as birthday parties etc. we would be happy to assist you.
We really can’t wait to meet and welcome you all. Until then, stay safe!
How many times have you looked around at the run-of-the-mill decor in your office and felt uninspired?
Understandably, etiquette dictates that the office environment for certain types of businesses needs to be fairly neutral, such as those of solicitors whose meetings with clients are mostly of a sober nature. After all, they need to ensure their choice of decor chimes with the professional approach they wish to convey.
But other types of businesses have more scope to indulge their creative side meaning that it’s acceptable to embrace those brighter colours, quirky design features and fun accessories which will ‘stamp’ the company’s identity on the workspace.
What’s more, it’s known that the design of an office directly impacts both the morale and productivity of the staff-sound reasons to prioritise a revamp of the decor! It makes perfect business sense!
At BusinessLodge, Bury and Stoke’s leading flex-space, we see all sorts of different office décor – and we’ve put together a round up of our favourites!
Introducing fun accessories such as a neon sign can instantly change the vibe. Rest assured though, it needn’t mean you’ll end up working in surroundings reminiscent of the Las Vegas Strip.
It’s still possible to keep the overall effect reasonably understated and still brighten up the place.
(Image credit: The Glowhouse)
(Image credit: Sketch and Etch)
And a customised sign celebrating the work done by your company achieves the added effect of communicating how highly valued the team is.
Liven up the walls with eye catching paint colours
Using your brand colours in your new scheme will ensure the space upholds a consistent style which represents what you and your business are all about. By incorporating your brand into the office design, employees may feel a stronger connection to the business which will in turn encourage them to promote a positive company image.
The right choice of colours can have a powerful psychological impact on people which can ultimately make them feel happier, and many BusinessLodge clients opt to have their offices painted in a wide range of colours.
And if painting all the walls with colour isn’t on the agenda, focusing on just one to create an accent wall is an effective technique.
It provides a focal point without overwhelming the senses and allows you to leave the remainder of the room as neutral and light as you wish.
Invest in a Quirky Coffee table
We tend to think of coffee tables as fairly utilitarian items but there’s no reason to settle for an ordinary design. Putting the fun in functional is the name of the game after all!
For a quirky retro feel that’s bound to become a talking point, why not go with a Rubik’s cube theme? It certainly makes a change from beech veneer!
(Image credit: Amazon)
Chill out Zone
While we clearly come to work to get the job done and not to lounge around, staff comfort shouldn’t be overlooked, especially at break time. And it’s difficult to imagine what might top a funky blue velvet armchair in this regard-except perhaps a matching pair!
Bold they may be but they definitely look inviting! Ideal for a chillout zone. At BusinessLodge, we like to work hard and play hard and so in both of our centres we’ve included plenty of open space for clients to get away from their desks and take some time out.
Client’s at Stoke can also benefit from our games room, with football table, air hockey or table tennis – intended for R&R, it’s not unheard of for very productive meetings to take place in the games room!
We also have outdoor space and our wellbeing courtyard at Bury is incredibly popular.
(Image credit: Catawiki.com)
Don’t waste the opportunity
And just because we dispose of our rubbish in it doesn’t mean to say we can’t make a design statement when it comes to the office bin!
(Image credit: Bin Shop)
A colourful, even if simple, style can only encourage good waste disposal habits ultimately helping to keep the office clutter-free.
Who needs stairs?
While not every business may be in a position to install one, a helter-skelter in the lobby must surely rank among the quirkiest of workplace features.
Far from being viewed as a distraction, mucking around on the slide is viewed positively. It allows employees to take a quick breather from the highs and lows of the day and as such is regarded as a means of boosting performance.
(Image credit: Pinterest)
So say goodbye to drab wall colours, dated accessories and wilting plants!
An office that takes a fresh, fun approach to its interior design is likely to prove popular with its employees facilitating both a positive work culture and enhanced productivity as a result.
Regardless of the season it seems we are rarely satisfied with our weather here in the UK.
Most of us might yearn for long sunny summers but when a hot spell finally arrives, we’re often quick to change our tune if it means we are left feeling hot and bothered as a result!
And unsurprisingly, working in an uncomfortably warm environment increases the likelihood of lethargy and lack of focus. This is because heat stress can cause the body to lose electrolytes-minerals leading to dehydration which in turn causes low performance and decreased motor skills.
In the worst case scenario, over-exertion in high temperatures can heighten the risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke-which is potentially life-threatening.
At BusinessLodge, Bury and Stoke’s leading flex office space, we’ve made the comfort of our clients an absolute priority. We’ve put various measures in place to ensure they can get on with their day-to-day workload without worrying about over-heating!
To help prevent us becoming frazzled in the warmer weather, Health and Safety at Work legislation is clear on the requirement for:
- keeping temperatures in the workplace at a comfortable level (sometimes known as thermal comfort)
as well as:
- providing clean, fresh air
And of course, given we are living through a pandemic, adequate ventilation is crucial in terms of minimising the spread of Coronavirus by reducing how much virus is in the air.
Here at BusinessLodge, our offices can control their own air conditioning meaning that settings can be adjusted according to individual preferences.
Just be prepared to compromise – over 42 per cent of office workers admit to having fallen out with a colleague over the ideal temperature. So it may be a challenge to prevent the atmosphere from becoming too heated in more ways than one!
Access to cold drinks
The average adult human body is composed of 65% water which gives an indication of why we need to drink regularly if we are to stay well-hydrated.
While the NHS generally recommends drinking 1.2 litres of water per day (six to eight glasses), leading clinicians advise that as much as three litres is needed daily, especially in warm weather. High numbers of people presenting at A&E during heatwaves with consequential problems are found to have poor fluid intake.
They do say that once we start to feel thirsty we are already becoming dehydrated so to minimise potential risks, sipping a favourite cool beverage frequently will help keep us refreshed and alert.
Conveniently, BusinessLodge have provide on-site coffee shop (at Bury) and grab n go facilities, as well as purified water stations, so that staying fed and watered is that much easier.
Many workplaces lack the luxury of an outdoor space where employees can go to get some fresh air and-if we‘re lucky-sunshine too.
But at BusinessLodge we consider it an essential amenity and have incorporated this very feature into a well-thought out design for our premises. So holding an informal meeting or enjoying a well-earned break in the courtyard are options when the weather permits!
And should you wish to avoid direct exposure to the sun’s rays, we have supplied parasols to ensure that staying in the shade is also an option- meaning that it literally becomes a chill-out area!
While our summer holidays or staycations may be a few weeks away yet, the deckchairs are inviting enough to encourage us to spend time outside during the course of the working day-especially if it’s hot.
So keeping cool is paramount when the temperature rises wherever we are-whether we are in the workplace or not.
Peter Kay may have joked about our typical reaction to heatwaves in the UK by urging us to have an ice-lolly and keep quiet, but at BusinessLodge we can do much more than that!
We take your wellbeing seriously all year round and in the summer months, this involves making sure you have everything you need to keep your cool!