Customer Story: Queen Mary University of London

by | Oct 12, 2021 | Customer stories, Education

What Hable did:

Facilitated a smooth induction for Queen Mary staff to their new workspace at Department W 

Introduced staff to their new devices and the new technologies available 

Provided onsite Workplace Coaches to support new staff & answer their questions 

Created a bespoke Microsoft Teams app to store all learning resources

The project outcomes:

Successful induction of staff members into their new Department W workspace

650 staff supported in total through 5 Hable Coaches per day for 5 days, followed by 3 Coaches per day for 2 weeks

Received excellent feedback from the customer and made a lasting positive impact for their people

Over the course of the last two years, more and more organisations have been moving towards hybrid working: where time is split between working in a physical space and working remotely. 

This has been rapidly accelerated due to the COVID19 pandemic and changing attitudes around work. 

Queen Mary University of London are no exception to this, embracing hybrid working in a big way as part of their New Ways of Working (NWOW) project. Phase 1 of this was an investment in a brand-new building, called Department W, designed with the new world of hybrid working in mind.  

With an emphasis on high tech meeting spaces and areas for collaboration, Department W is a place for staff to come and work together with other colleagues using the best technology and space design there is to offer.  

Queen Mary came to us with a certain number of challenges, including a general resistance to change in familiar ways of working across the University, being unsure how to make the most of new technologies, and staff having shared working spaces without a fixed desk.  

It was our job to come in and provide guidance, helping their people adapt to the hybrid world and embrace these new ways of working.  

The initial premise was to bring Hable in for training on Office 365,” says Melissa-Jane OlivierIT Programme Manager at Queen Mary University of London. “But it became clear that there were gaps in training. So, I went to Chris and said, ‘how about coming on board to do an all encompassing staff induction to cover Facilities and expected open plan behaviours too?’ Chris and the team at Hable took that on with gumption.”  

Photo of a modern working space at Department W - orange chairs, grey floorings and a light, bright space.

Helping Queen Mary staff transition to their new workspace

We identified that in order to address these challenges, Queen Mary needed a smooth induction process into the new building, clear guidance on how to make hybrid working a reality, and support in the effective use of Microsoft Teams to facilitate this move to a new way of working. 

We ran induction sessions to welcome Queen Mary staff to the new Department W workspace, taking them around the key areas of the building and introducing them to the new devices and technologies available. We ran through key topics such as how to use Outlook to book rooms, how to link to wireless projection from their devices, and some of the key Windows 10 skills.

Our fantastic Workplace Coaches were both onsite and available virtually to provide support throughout the induction period, ensuring Queen Mary staff felt supported throughout the transition to this new workplace. Onsite, we had 5 Coaches per day for the first 5 days, followed by 3 Coaches per day for 2 weeks – during this time they were able to provide support on questions and run 1:1 sessions to help build digital confidence.

“The Workplace Coaches took on so many questions, some that were uncomfortable. They all handled it very professionally.”

Melissa-Jane, Queen Mary University of London

Improving the digital knowledge of Queen Mary staff   

To facilitate self-learning, Queen Mary had a number of existing guides and videos that explained the new technologies and key information about the Department W building. This included device set-up, general information for the social spaces and new system guides.  

It was recognised that whilst these resources were accurate and did the job, they were too technically written and wordy. Working collaboratively with the Queen Mary team, we made some changes to make sure they were more accessible, people-focused and easier to understand.  

These resources were then broken into smaller pieces onto a bespoke Microsoft Teams app that was built by the Hable Technical team entirely based on the needs of Queen Mary and their staff. We utilised quick links and a carefully curated navigation bar to ensure all of the improved videos, guides and learning resources could be easily found, as well as utilising the fantastic brand that Queen Mary has updated recently.  

Named the ‘Info Hub’, this bespoke Microsoft Teams app offers everyone at Queen Mary access to all relevant documents and resources in one central place.    

Training has also been scheduled for certain key staff so they are able to maintain the Info Hub on an ongoing basis.  

“Hable were very patient with us, as there were so many people that had to feed into the Info Hub. They did a fantastic job in tailoring it, and making it user friendly,” says Melissa-Jane. “In IT, we have the tendency to write in really technical language, so it was good having Hable there to step in and steer us in the right direction.” 

Image of a person working in a hub at Department W

Looking back on a successful project

Bringing multiple people across Hable together to work with the team at Queen Mary, this was a truly collaborative project which delivered on its key aim: to support staff in a smooth transition to their new workplace. 

“This was a great project to be part of,” says Chris Thackray, Hable’s Education Sector Lead. “We knew that if we were able to deliver, we could have a huge impact on how the staff at Queen Mary took to the new space and the new ways of working.” 

We delivered some fantastic work as a team and received some great feedback from the customer.  

“Hable have been incredibly useful, helpful and friendly,” says Melissa-Jane. “If it wasn’t for Hable, I don’t think we would ever have pulled off the inductions.” 

We are immensely proud to have played such a vital role in the introduction of Department W to the University and look forward to seeing how this new workplace flourishes in the future.  

Embracing new ways of working at your University with Microsoft 365

At Hable, we work closely with some of the UK’s leading Universities to help them to unlock new ways of working through Microsoft 365 technologies.

Get in touch with #TeamHable today for a no obligation chat about how we could help change the way your people feel about technology. 

More from #TeamHable