Right size, Right fit
Tell us more about your role at Anabas and your journey with the company so far?
I joined Anabas nearly five years ago to head up Front of House (FOH) Services at one of Anabas’ global marketing agency clients – putting a best in class service at the heart of every visit to the building, whether that’s for clients or guests. Since then, I have also taken on the management of our mobile reception team and account management for another client.
Can you tell us a little bit about your career history?
I started to earn my own money when I was quite young, helping my grandparents on our family farm. I used to pick cherries and apples and sell them to the wholesalers, or look after the animals and grow vegetables. After finishing my education, I worked on cruise ships in hospitality and travelled the world from the Caribbean to Alaska. From there, a short trip to London turned into a lifetime stay. I became the hospitality and client services manager at one of the UK’s leading property consultancies before moving on to manage an account at a US law firm, and then joining Anabas.
What are the main challenges you face in your role?
For me, a challenge means there is opportunity. At the moment, I feel we are in a transitory period. Even though a large number of people have been working at home for much of the last two years, the office remains an integral part of business. As more and more people get back to the office, there is going to be a greater focus on ensuring that our workplaces are optimised for employees. There will be an increased focus on getting the best out of employees by enhancing staff wellbeing.
I believe that to make the most out of real estate, savvy companies will realise the importance of excellent service and building management. That will almost certainly drive greater investment into making the workplace fit for purpose – for everyone and every task – and a greater focus on service and quality.
What do you like most about your role and working in FM?
The speed of change. Technology is changing the way we do our jobs, with an increasing number of tasks becoming automated and a greater focus on smart management of our buildings.
Regardless of tech integration, the value of the employee experience and the power of people will not be going anywhere. The ability to harness technology to cut down on repetitive tasks and allow more time on creating better customer service is what gets me out of bed in the morning (that, and my 21-month-old son telling me it’s time to get up, of course!)
What’s been your biggest highlight whilst working at Anabas?
There really are too many to mention. The way Anabas dealt with the pandemic and all that it entailed – from furlough, to changing working practices, to changes in workplace design – has shown not only the resilience of the business, but it has also highlighted the trusted partner status we have with our clients. The last two years have shown the power of collaboration, and what working together can achieve.
What advice would you give someone who is interested in working in FM?
Come ready to problem solve. While the shift in the way we work is a big structural change, it’s nothing compared to the evolution that we will see with regards to decarbonisation over the next few years. Whilst the UK has net zero carbon targets of 2050, many companies, landlords and developers are much more ambitious and are aiming for 2030 or before.
The rate of change over the next few years will be at lightspeed. A greater focus on operational energy efficiency will create change for almost every business. The FM industry needs to be at the heart of that change, so come prepared!
Tell us how Anabas is brilliantly different?
We deliver. It is easy to make promises and pay lip service to clients. At Anabas, we are committed to delivering what we say we will, based on our values, and in line with our strategic vision. This doesn’t mean agreeing to every whim but working with our clients every day to deliver the best-in-class advice and service.
To me good customer service is… (finish the sentence)
…solving the problems your client doesn’t know they have.
What’s on your bucket list?
I’ve been lucky enough to travel extensively across Europe, parts of Africa, the Americas and Asia, and there’s so much more to see. However, what excites me more than anything is the prospect of travelling with my son (who will turn two this year) and experiencing the world through his eyes.