Case Study

Navigating the Future of Work: M&G’s Hybrid Transformation with Spica


Client Overview

Client: M&G Investments

Solution: Spica Workplace

Product: GemEx App

Location: London HQ

Employee App Users: 3,200

Sensors: 4,000 for Occupancy, Indoor Environment & Indoor Positioning System

The Challanege

Due to the shift to hybrid working, global saving and investment company M&G, recognised the need to invest in digital workplace solutions to ensure premises’ safety and support evolving work patterns. Global Head of CRE Workplace Solutions at M&G, Sarah O’Reilly, and her team are responsible for the property that M&G owns and operates. They aim to provide a fantastic user experience for colleagues and visitors, whether in the UK or overseas buildings. Before the transition to hybrid working, the estates team was exploring ways to enhance the end user experience by developing an app to easily find the space needed for various tasks.
“We had solutions for booking meeting rooms or a car park space but they were all on different systems. We didn’t have anything integrated. We wanted something that was fundamentally different that replicated people’s expectation of an app but within the work environment. Something fast, dynamic, and very user friendly that would refresh constantly as you have to work to keep people’s attention.” Sarah O’Reilly, Global Head of CRE Workplace Solutions, M&G


M&G opted to go with Spica Technologies’ whitelabel GemEx App. They came up with the M&G MyWorkplace app, aimed at employees, visitors and contractors, that offers a range of features to help streamline the workplace experience; whether booking desks, lockers, showers or parking spaces, familiarising yourself with the layout of a particular M&G building or raising a request to the onsite facilities team.

M&G monitored global work patterns and carried out remote viability assessments to help determine how they and their teams wanted to work going forward. Coming out of Covid lockdown, M&G were able to design in more collaborative areas within different buildings and lay it out nice and clearly within the app. The app has also been invaluable in helping to support hybrid working patterns, for instance linking to sensors which show how different areas of the buildings are being used which can inform the services team on how frequently washrooms are cleaned.

“The app enables them to coordinate that so they can come in at the same time, sit in the same place and see who else is there and meet up. In this way they stay connected and make the best use of being in the workplace.”

Sarah O’Reilly Global, Head of CRE Workplace Solutions, M&G

The Result

A huge advantage for users is that in such a large office as the M&G HQ in central London, the app allows users to find people. You simply put in their name on the app and it will show you the floor plan and lead you to their space. It can also advise users on what’s going on in the building so they can plan their visits, whether it’s a Pilates session, a special menu, or simply who is planning to be in on certain days so they can meet up with a range of colleagues.

Being a financial services firm, M&G’s people do like data, so when the workplace solutions team is dealing with different parts of the business, when some question if they have enough space, or where are their people going to be based, the app helps estates demonstrate how in reality the space is being utilised.

The technology also helps to streamline services, giving users the option of informing the property help desk if there is an issue. For instance, if they go to the coffee machine and it’s not working they can scan it on the QR code and it will automatically create a ticket they can track. But the ultimate aim is to identify any issues before it happens.

M&G’s board are massively supportive of the app, of what the M&G estates team are doing in creating really efficient workplaces. Like everyone else ESG is massively important to M&G and sustainability is at the heart of everything they do, from an energy perspective, carbon perspective, or indeed a wellbeing perspective. The app gives M&G a fantastic data point that they can then use to show the value add and also to constantly improve.

“People were very receptive and we were surprised by how easy people found it to use. It is very much a ‘get up and go’ app…it gave us a good shop window, so people knew the exact environment they were coming into. Our space needs to be as seamless, and the app gives us the scope to manage that. The result is an experience in the office where there is always coffee, the washrooms are spotless, so it just feels effortless.

That’s one of the most powerful elements. We can track which days people are coming in and ensure they are getting the most out of their space before making any physical changes. If you’re an FM working on the site it’s a useful way of proactively respond to things. When it comes to monitoring energy use, with our environmental sensors if we know they are deviating from our parameters. Spica created a level of functionality on the dashboards to see what works and pull data out that is genuinely insightful.”

Jonathan Gingell, Business Support Manager, M&G

Why Spica

“Part of the decision of going with Spica was because we knew we’d have to go through a lot of changes so we wanted a partner that was willing to work in a very agile way. “We say to Spica, ‘if you don’t see the value of [an update] challenge us’, and that we will respect that but equally, the ideas that we have help Spica’s product develop as well, so it’s a very symbiotic relationship, which is what makes it as successful as it is. It has been a bit of a revelation just watching how people use the app.”

Sarah O’Reilly

Global Head of CRE Workplace Solutions, M&G

This case study was re-written from a magazine feature between FM Magazine, M&G and Spica. It highlights the challenges, the solution and the positive outcomes achieved from implementing Spica’s workplace app.

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