OfficePOD, BSc Building Surveying, LSBU alumni
London South Bank University alumni Stephen Tanner and Rob Walters recently launched their dynamic office space company OfficePOD
The innovative OfficePOD design creates self-contained working environments that can be refitted, relocated, stored and redeployed as part of a corporate real estate strategy.
A pro-active solution
The concept is to lease OfficePODs to employers and for the PODs to be given to staff to work in at home. The company believes that a corporate real estate strategy that includes a responsible, pro-active home working solution such as OfficePOD will reap significant benefits in terms of staff take-up, productivity, staff attraction/retention, cost and CO2 emission reduction.
At the heart of their business is the belief that employers should take responsibility for providing a suitable working environment for their staff, wherever they work, rather than just simply seeing the trend towards flexible working as a means to cutting costs.
LSBU Alumni Stephen and Robert joined the Building College (a former name for LSBU) in 1982 when the campus was located on Wandsworth Road. They both completed the HND Building course before Stephen secured a place on the second year of the BSc Building Surveying course and Robert went on to run his family construction company.
After qualifying as a Chartered Building Surveyor in 1988, Stephen went on to work for large multi-disciplinary property consultants before moving to the client side as Head of Property with an international company. His responsibilities required him to travel the world to monitor acquisition and fit-out projects. On one occasion he had to travel to Europe, India, Singapore and Hong Kong and back in a week.
In parallel, Robert took the reins of the family construction business that was started by his grandfather in 1904. This successful and respected business was founded on attention to detail and an exemplary level of customer service.
Stephen and Robert then joined forces in 2008 to work on the OfficePOD concept. Buoyed by the acclaim they received from showing an OfficePOD prototype in spring 2009. Work on the production model continued until sales began at the end of 2011.
Since the launch it has been all go with Stephen and Rob further developing the POD, introducing the meeting pod and offering bespoke designs to meet client's requirements. Sales to both private and commercial clients have been prosperous, ranging from the BBC – who required a live radio broadcast facility located in the reception of their new Salford premises, to the NHS.
Having noticed many organisations require additional space for meeting and working, it is no surprise that they have received a large number of enquiries from around the world – from a charity in Kenya, to a school in Canada.
OfficePOD has gained a lot of attention in media around the world, being shortlisted in Wallpaper magazine for 'Life Enhancer of the Year' and 'The Tree Hugger' Awards in the US. The company has also featured in: the Qantas inflight magazine, Real Homes, the 1000 Garden Designs book, a Dutch magazine and an education publication.
Stephen and Rob are now planning to increase their presence on the market and grow their organisation. Their next steps are to find partners in key locations, increase production and reduce costs. They are always experimenting with new designs and hope to launch more onto the market in the near future.
Read more about OfficePod on their website.