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Wednesday 20 May 2020
by Angela Hankey

How Portal Business Centres supported its clients through lockdown


As a serviced office provider, and provider of virtual office services, one of Portal’s main roles is supporting its clients’ needs and operating almost as an extension of their own business. Never has this been called into play so much as during recent times, when businesses were quickly asked to work from home and adapt to the current and unprecedented situation without any template to rely on.

Portal Business Centres moved into action in the weeks and days leading up to the actual lockdown to ensure clients had the resources they needed to keep their business running smoothly from home and with Portal’s full support for the transition. When the Government announced the lockdown on 23rd March, Portal was ready to move its team to home working and manage its clients from there. Its state of the art switchboard system allowed the Portal team to answer all calls for clients from their own home. Clients also had the option to take their own handsets home with them allowing them to effectively recreate their office environment and allowing them to run their business as seamlessly as possible. Calls continued to be answered as they would be in the centres, and messages were quickly and efficiently passed on to the clients. This allowed their businesses to run whilst they worked from home, without having to route their business calls through mobiles, and deal with calls whilst managing the added stress of working from home whilst potentially home schooling and having other family members present.

Virtual clients, whose calls are answered by the centre whilst they work remotely, noticed no changes to the service whatsoever, and calls were managed by the home based team. Indeed, some of these clients had to rely on Portal more than ever. Due to the nature of some of the businesses, the demand for their products increased massively with the majority of the country at home, and they simply couldn’t manage the large volume of calls they were receiving. The calls were instead all routed through the Portal team who took detailed messages and more importantly, dealt with the enquiries in a professional manner whilst managing the customers’ expectations.

Finally, clients who wished to remain based in the centres had the choice to do so, with 24/7 access always available to clients. Cleaning was stepped up, whilst communal areas were sealed off to reduce the risk within the centres. Post for all serviced and virtual clients was collected twice a week, with the option of it being posted out to their home address available if they wished to remain away from the centre.

As we slowly now see the country starting to move again, the team has once again been hard to work to ensure the centres are ready for when clients decide the time is right to return to their offices. Due to the size of the desks within the offices, they offer a natural “social distance” barrier, and all of the offices are large enough should tenants wish to move desks even further apart. The reception team are protected with a barrier to ensure guests remain two metres from the desk, and a postal area has been set up to the side of reception to allow safe delivery areas. Along with one way systems, reduced seating in communal areas, hand sanitising stations and as always, additional cleaning, the team is confident that the centre is ready to welcome clients back as we transition into the next phase of moving forward.

For more information contact: Yvonne Crolla Sales & Marketing Manager