Online retailer prepares for new working model with Liverpool and Bolton upgrades

Very's hybrid workspace

Liverpool-based online retailer The Very Group, operator of Very.co.uk and Littlewoods.com, has transformed its South Liverpool campus in Speke to reflect a new, permanent hybrid working model.

The £2bn-turnover business said this will be the ideal setting for collaboration, innovation, learning and socialising as the UK emerges from pandemic lockdowns.

Last June the business announced it would shut a call centre in Aintree, North Liverpool, this year and offer all 500 staff the choice to either work from home, or from its revamped Speke headquarters.

The renovations, completed by Wigan-based Greenmount Projects, will create the optimum team working space when the group’s 2,100 Liverpool-based colleagues begin to split their time between home and office working when circumstances allow later this year.

At Skyways House – a 12,400-sq m, former aircraft hangar in Speke – the company has introduced an open plan environment with a range of bespoke breakout and collaboration spaces, designed for interactive group working.

Hot desks have been installed to enable colleagues and teams to work from anywhere on site, while green spaces add an element of calm.

The Hub, the second office on campus and future home to 750 of the group’s customer care colleagues, has been transformed into a flexible contact centre, featuring collaborative zones, hot desks, quiet pods, training rooms and break out spaces of different sizes and specifications.

Throughout the campus, new zones have been defined using distinctive furniture, carpet and décor to help teams come together in the right places to collaborate, while accessible kitchen spaces and gender-neutral facilities have been added.

The entire project has been delivered to the highest environmental standards, with all existing furniture recycled.

This latest reinvigoration of Very’s campus, which has also been replicated at its Bolton customer care centre, complements the existing wellbeing area at the Liverpool HQ. This space includes a conference centre, juice bar, relaxation zone and a colleague gym with regular fitness classes.

New office layout

Sarah Willett, chief people officer at The Very Group, said: “Remote working during COVID-19 has seen our people operate with even greater ingenuity at a time when we’re attracting record numbers of new customers.

“Our colleagues have told us they like the greater flexibility that comes with working from home and when the UK starts re-opening, we’ll make some permanent changes to the way we work.

“We want our people to be productive at home and super collaborative in the office. That’s why we’ve invested in reconfiguring our workspaces, and we’re absolutely delighted with the results.

“Our new spaces will be about high energy, high impact creativity and collaboration, all with a focus on improving the experience for our colleagues and our 4.5m customers. We’ll also continue investing in our technology and systems to make sure our people have the best tools for the job.”

Mike Sharkey, Greenmount Projects managing director, said: “Designing to repurpose these iconic buildings with a brand like Very has been amazing for the Greenmount team. We’re proud of these collaborative new spaces we’ve created, which themselves were shaped through strong collaboration with the Very team.”

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