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A company which helps business clients find flexible workspace has said it will no longer work with one of the UK’s largest office providers following concerns over customer service.

Officio said it had removed all workspaces offered by the unnamed company and would no longer be recommending them to clients following negative customer feedback.

Who are Officio?

Officio works alongside businesses to make the process of finding suitable workspace more straightforward.

Their process involves asking the right questions to find out what businesses really need and then only showing them suitable spaces.

Officio has long standing relationships with all the UK’s major workspace providers and many smaller operators who meet their exacting standards.

But in a controversial move aimed at raising standards across the industry Officio has delisted one of the UK’s largest providers of flexible space.

Failing to Meet Standards

The company, which operates hundreds of locations across the UK, failed to meet Officio’s threshold for transparency and standards in customer service.

It’s the first major casualty in Officio’s battle to improve standards in the UK flexible workspace industry.

Officio CEO Chris Meredith said: “At Officio we are committed to raising standards across the flexible workspace industry and unfortunately this means we have taken the difficult decision no longer to list the workspaces of one particular provider.

This follows a number of negative reports from customers who we had placed with this provider and for us this was unacceptable.

“We’ve had clients turn up on the day of move in to be turned away because the fit out on the space isn’t ready.  One of these clients had over 40 staff stood in a building site of a reception. There was no point of contact for them because of staffing changes so we had to step in and escalate this to the UK MD who put them in a temporary space. The attitude of the provider was ‘what do you want us to do, the space isn’t ready’.

“We often have clients who complain of the unclear nature of the notice periods and then the subsequent returning of deposits afterwards. We’ve had clients who are shown space not meeting their location criteria, when the provider had the perfect space in the right location all along.

“Others have told us about viewings cancelled at the last minute, meeting rooms included within the contract that were then charged at a premium and businesses who were unable to break the contract early because they were dissatisfied with the service.  

“Therefore, we are no longer offering workspace from this provider but we continue to work with every other major provider of flexible workspace in the UK.

Booming Workspace Market

“At Officio we take real pride not simply in helping clients find a workspace but in helping them find the right space. That means a space that will meet their needs for a considerable time to come.”

The flexible workspace sector is booming with significant growth in recent years thanks to the rise in popularity of co-working in our big cities, particularly London.

There are now hundreds of providers with choice and competition greater than ever. In 2018 flexible workspace providers took more square footage in the form of new leases than any other industry.

Raising the Bar

Officio recently changed their name and brand after trading as officebroker.com for the past 18 years. The new name is part of their mission to improve standards in the flexible workspace industry and move away from the ‘broker’ model.

Many brokers operate on an unqualified leads basis, flipping enquiries into workspace providers for short term gain.  But Officio take a much longer term view, working with businesses to help them find workspace where they will be happy and continue to grow for several years.

Mr Meredith continued: “We know that finding a workspace can be a headache. It’s confusing, time-consuming, and just needs to get done.

“That’s why at Officio, we work alongside businesses to make the process of finding the right workspace, altogether easier and more straightforward.

“Rather than bombard clients with irrelevant nonsense and endless listings, we ask the right questions to find out what they really need. Then, only show them what’s really worth their time. “We don’t settle until we’ve helped a business make their next best move. So, when they come to look for their next space, they’ll never look elsewhere for help.”