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The Power of Networking – Exeter Chamber brings businesses together  

Samantha Mullins, Director of Latitude HR, recently attended an Exeter Chamber Coffee in the City event where she connected with Clare Maher, Client Relationship Manager at Bespa. Following their discussion at the event, the pair collaborated on an article on hybrid working.  

Clare and Sam reflect on their first meeting, ‘We met at one of the regular Exeter Chamber, ‘Coffee in the City’ events. As we got talking about Sam’s work with companies to turn their ‘people issues’ into practical solutions and Bespa’s expertise in creating sustainable workspaces, we could immediately see a synergy in our thinking and approach. This led to us collaborating on an article on hybrid working, providing ideas and insights into what to consider from a people and workspace design perspective. This continues to be high on the agenda for companies and we are keen to open the conversation further and encourage companies to learn from each other.’ 

Sam: ‘Exeter Chamber was one of the first networking events I attended when I set up Latitude HR. I soon became a member, as I enjoyed the events as they brought together a variety of businesses in an informal setting. This environment has enabled me to develop closer relationships within the local business community and has resulted in several collaborations.’ 

Clare: ‘As a Growth Partner of Exeter Chamber, Bespa is always keen to support Chamber events. The events provide an excellent forum for getting to know other local businesses, providing a great opportunity to work in partnership with fellow Chamber members’. 

When explaining her thoughts on Hybrid working Sam said, ‘The key to success from a people perspective is structured and meaningful engagement with your employees on ways of working. Focus groups will enable you to dig deeper to find out what is working, what isn’t and the ideas they have that would support them to do their best work. These key themes will help you shape your priorities and decide where to spend your time and money. You won’t be able to do everything, and that’s OK, the key is demonstrating to employees that you are listening to what they have to say and where practical building that into what you do.’ 

On explaining one of the main ethos behind how Bespa approach creating the best possible workspace, Clare said ‘The workplace is going through a transformation as many businesses consider how employees want to work, and how their expectations can be met. There is a necessity to create inspiring and inclusive workspaces that suit a whole host of activities, enhance productivity, and consider the need of neurodiversity. The employee’s workspace experience is becoming ever more critical to meet staff wellbeing, talent recruitment and retention objectives whether in the office full time or working on a hybrid basis. Creating a workspace where employees want to be is key.’