FAQ

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, we’d like to hear from you. You can submit them here or by emailing: projectteam@canopius.com.

  • I’ve heard a lot about ‘Activity Based Working’ (ABW) but what is it?

    Our days consist of a variety of tasks, which we have always done at an assigned desk or in a meeting room. But as we’ve found in lockdown, technology has given us the ability to be more flexible, and not everything we want to do is best done at an open-plan desk in a noisy office. ABW takes full advantage of this and will offer a variety of settings conducive for both individual and collaborative work.

    Why are we doing this?

    Moving to 22B and investing in new technology gave us the opportunity to approach how we all work together with a clean slate. We decided to embrace ABW because we realised that we are not working as efficiently or effectively as we could in the traditional set-up in the Lloyd’s building.

    Moreover, we are proud of being different at Canopius and this change in how we work together is testament to that. ABW will allow more collaboration and community-building between all of us, which will only strengthen the things that make us who we are

    Is this hot desking branded differently?

    No. In a hot desking workplace some or all people share a limited number of desks in a workplace that otherwise resembles a traditional workplace. In an ABW environment some or all people share a diversity of different work settings that support a variety of activities. Whether you need a space to meet, to collaborate or to work quietly on your own, there will be an area for you and you team

    I preferred the old way of working. I didn’t vote for this!

    We are engineering the move to 22B to be as seamless as possible. We’re moving into one of the most tech-forward buildings ever built, and an awful lot of time is being spent on ensuring that the space is as conducive to working, collaborating and building a vibrant community as possible. We have no intention of throwing out the good things about how we work, we’re just embracing a new way of organising ourselves.

    Who’s been involved in the ABW project?

    Various staff from all departments and at all levels throughout Canopius. The names of the members of the SteerCo, Project Team and User Group are published on the 22B c-net site.

    Who’s going to be “the police” of ABW?

    No-one! Whatever loose ‘rules of engagement’ we end up with will just be common sense and you’ll all help each other. ABW is designed to cultivate collaboration and community-building in a natural way.

  • I get that a choice of settings could be good for people who do lots of different tasks, but I pretty much look at spreadsheets all day, every day. Do I have to keep moving as well?

    Only if you want to. You might feel like sitting with specific people for some of the day or moving to get a little more/less daylight. The research on ABW shows that everyone who works at multiple locations in a day feels more effective, even if their task hasn’t changed. That’s why we’ve put large monitors on all the desks, and plenty of power sockets in the cafes and at soft seating areas so you can work wherever you want.

    As such, we hope you’ll use the new spaces to meet new colleagues and help us build a stronger community

    Can I work from home more?

    Since Covid forced us all into lockdown, the whole working world has realised what advantages the office brings, but also how effective we can be from our own homes. We’re going to move our way of working forwards, not backwards, post-Covid. Based on industry trends, broker feedback and most importantly your feedback, our office in 22B assumes that on average, 40% of us will work away from the office on any given day. Unless your role requires you to be in the office five days a week, you and your colleagues will be able to experiment with where you can be most effective, thinking carefully about the impact those choices have on others.

    Will this new set-up mean fewer meetings?

    Perhaps, or at least shorter ones. One of the criticisms of the traditional workspace dynamic is that it encourages us to organise too many inefficient formal meetings in a conference room when perhaps a smaller interactive session standing around a high table might have been more effective and efficient. The ABW spaces will allow for different levels of interaction and we hope will cultivate a more informal collaborative culture

    Is it true that we have to move desk every 2 hours?

    No! In an ABW environment, you move when you switch the kind of work you’re doing – perhaps concentrating on something on your own or working on a document with someone else or having a brainstorm with your team. Through the day you can sit (or stand) in the best equipped area for that task. Within the new space you might move multiple times a day, but you also might not.

    Will I have a say in any of the decisions around the office design or equipment?

    Through deep dives we have sought feedback with regards to the needs of teams and specific considerations. Lockdown prevented us from letting you all to try the office chairs etc but we will try to involve you in as much as possible.

  • What is the business benefit of not having allocated desks? Doesn’t all that moving around make us less efficient?

    It’s a win-win for space utilisation and our productivity. We’re already very mobile – the occupancy study we completed showed that most of us are away from our desk around 50% of the time. ABW takes advantage of this fact and offers you different areas specifically designed for different types of working and interacting – trying to do a variety of tasks within a large organisation from a single allocated desk isn’t always the most efficient way of doing things.

    With the right technology and connections, it is very simple to move to somewhere properly designed to support your need for privacy, for your ability to focus, or for the need to collaborate with others. We are sure this new set-up will help increase your productivity.

    Is it true you’re not meant to sit with your team?

    No! It’s true that you aren’t all assigned specific seats together on a permanent basis. You’ll have a neighbourhood that you might gravitate towards, but you’ll also have the choice to work in different places and with different people.

    There will be times in the day when a team needs to be together – both informally and formally – and ABW offers a catered space for that. Then, once you break, there will be areas or smaller groups and individuals to move where they can best focus on the next task at hand

    In my team, we all need access to certain books or materials, how will it work when we’re spread all over the office?

    Since we’ve all been working remotely, most of us have become much less dependent on paper, but materials that can’t be digitised will be held in your Team storage in your neighbourhood.

    What is a neighbourhood?

    It’s the place where your team will have their storage and any whiteboard or display space, so it’ll be a natural place to gravitate to when you want to find each other. There are desks, phone booths and small meeting rooms nearby so you might find some days you never leave that area. Other days you might be moving between meetings, in the broker lounge, working with colleagues in a different neighbourhood or working from home.

    How will we find each other?

    We haven’t chosen the best solution for us yet but 22B is being designed to ensure we’re as connected as possible. The floorplan isn’t huge and there are lots of places to agree to meet – café areas, soft seating, stand up meeting tables…

    There are times of the day/week/month that all of our team needs to sit together, how can we do this when we don’t have named desks?

    You’ll always be able to sit near each other when you need to, depending on the size of team and frequency/duration that you need to work near each other.

    I need to sit next to a specific colleague for information / knowledge transfer. Can I still do that?

    Yes absolutely. As well as banks of ‘normal’ desks, there are lots of diner booths and ‘duo’ settings designed for two people to look at the same screen to review a piece of work. ABW means we will have better spaces for collaborating and communicating to enable more effective knowledge transfer.

  • What are the green credentials of the building?

    The base build, and the engineering services within it, are designed to achieve an overall rating of ‘excellent’ using the BREEAM NC 2014 Assessment for Offices and to achieve a WELL Core & Shell Compliance against the WELL Building Standard (see also www.wellcertified.com). All electricity in the building will be procured as REGO minimum which is Renewable Energy Guaranteed Origin there for all electricity consumed will be Green. Learn more HERE.

    How will we manage first aid and fire evacuations in the new building?

    We are currently developing the full procedure for the building, this will be based on the base build fire strategy and a phased evacuation and dispersal plan. First Aid will be managed by our 24/7 security team for accidents in common areas. First Aid within a tenants demise falls under their responsibility.

    We all know how terrible the lifts can be during rush hour in the 12-floored Lloyds Building – how much worse will be in a 60-floored building?!

    22 Bishopsgate has designed a “lift strategy” which means you won’t have to wait for people to get off at 28 other floors before reaching Canopius. There will be different banks of lifts for different sections of the building.

    Is there a contemplation room?

    Yes! And 22 Bishopsgate will also have The Retreat, an ultra-modern spa facility.

    How will network connectivity work at 22B? For example, in the Lloyd’s building network connectivity is located in a central area then cabled off to each tenant.

    The buildings communications infrastructure will consist of a high-speed fibre backbone running throughout the building, forming the platform upon which all building integrated systems will run. A summary of the infrastructure details is as follows:

    2 MERs – on levels B2 and L41

    2 Tenant Communications Risers

    Specialist Fibre conduits are pre-installed in each of the tenants communications risers, linking the individual floors diversely to Pop rooms 1 & 2, maximum fibres available per conduit is 12

    A landlord riser contains the main building fibre backbone with SERs every second floor. SERs are installed in riser cupboards and contain 800 x 800 racks. The cupboards will be ventilated.

    There are currently 3 tenant POP (Point of Presence) rooms – 2 in B2 and 1 in B3. There are therefore diverse circuits including 2 access routes and 14 ducts.

    There is an IRS (Integrated Satellite Reception System) throughout the building, with a receiver farm on the roof.

    There are 3 dishes

    Dish 1 = Satellite Position: Astra 28.2E – Channels
    Dish 2 = Satellite Position: Astra 19.2E – Channels
    Dish 3 = Satellite Position: Hotbird 13.0E – Channels

    These allow tenants connection to major international satellite services. 4 No feeds are available per floor, each feed provides a combined signal of all three satellite feeds and digital terrestrial broadcast Tenants would simply need to plug their own box into the IRS Feed. It is possible to have additional receivers for tenants who may need a more specialised service and to run fibre to them.

    In order to maximise efficiencies and to minimise delays caused by external providers, the Landlord will provide a managed telecommunications service, utilising an infrastructure partner and lead by the Head of Engineering. To assist with the integration, 22 Bishopsgate will work with the infrastructure partner to have permanent team based in the building or an off site specialist consult, to provide ongoing management of the network and to provide prompt response to any issues or faults that should arise.

    The service is as follows:

    Each operator can bring its own service into the building or utilise a existing supplier within the POP room– termination will be located in the Basement PoP rooms.

    Each Occupier will instruct their own installation utilising the aforementioned routes from the POP room to tier floor via the tenants communications riser or the blown fibre installation.

    Will ExCo have offices/dedicated space?

    No. Michael Watson, our chairman and CEO, has a dedicated desk on the open working floor, and a dedicated meeting room (that’s available when he’s not using it). HR will also have a dedicated small meeting room.

    Will there be better shower/changing facilities?

    Yes!

    What will the gym be like in the new office?

    We haven’t yet had a clear definition of the gym yet; it is likely to be a classed based gym bookable via an app. Once we have further details we will share these with you.

    Will we have better coffee in the new office?

    We are looking into our options for the teapoints at 22B but we will have a better coffee offering that we do at Lloyd’s now.

    Will I have to carry my laptop around with me everywhere and when I travel to and from work?

    You will be able to store your laptop in your locker overnight and when you don’t need to use it. You may require it in the different workplace settings but we will ensure there is plenty of power outlets and charging points so you don’t have to carry your charging cable around with you.

    *NEW*

    Is there a maximum number of personnel in the office at any one time from a Health and Safety perspective? What would happen in such circumstances?

    Yes there’s always a maximum number, and it is higher than if all of our staff came in.

    Are there going to be enough meeting rooms?

    We think so, bearing in mind that no one knows how we’re all going to work in future. We’ve made an assumption that people will be on calls and video conferences more than before lockdown, and we’ve added more small rooms to accommodate that. You can also join meetings on your headset at a low focus desk if you’re not doing most of the talking.

    Will the meeting rooms be set up for Zoom? (As before with LifeSize) so we can do team calls with some in the office and some at home?

    They’ll all be set up for Teams, and you connect your laptop so you can take Zoom calls there too.

    How many fire drills will we have in a year and how will material be distributed? Do we have fire lifts or are the fire stairs the preferable option?

    We’ll be creating an ‘Office Handbook’ with all the information you need in it, and anything vital for Day 1 will also be communicated in a pre-move briefing.

    Is there enough printing facilities and stationery?

    Yes.

    Can I ask why the stairs are coloured red? Are Canopius changing their company colours?

    No, we’re still pink, but the stairs aren’t.

    Will there be food and drinks available in the office? Will coffee etc. be free or subsidised?

    Coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be free, and there will be the usual selection of cereals and snacks.

    Is there a powernap area?

    There is no plan for a powernap area – but there is a meditation space in the 22B Wellbeing Zone.

    Can the lockers fit suits? – Helpful if you needed one for a meeting but normally wouldn’t wear one

    The lockers aren’t big enough but there are wardrobes in the identity points.

    What is the big blank area at the bottom of the floor 30 plan?

    That’s the half of the floor that we will sub-lease.

    Have gym prices been established yet?

    I don’t think so, we’ll find out and get back to you.

    Will there be diet coke?

    In The Marketplace.

    Are there any perks of being tenants at 22B? (In terms of the 22b communal offerings). Aren’t the cafes/bars/restaurants open to all Lloyd’s passholders?

    There are lots of great facilities that are either exclusive to tenants or where we’ll get priority. We’ll always communicate whatever we know on Beyond22B.com.

    Are there bike lockups, showers, lockers?

    Oh yes, so many! Look up the Active Commuter Park at 22B or check it out on the Beyond22B website.

    What are the cycle facilities like?

    Awesome! Look up the Active Commuter Park at 22B or check out our own website Beyond22B.com.

    Will there be wrist support pads and mats for keyboard/mouse use?

    We haven’t planned on that. Initially, we’re trying to make sure any shared equipment is easily cleaned.

    How Covid ready is the office? Will we have to clean the desk every time we leave for an hour meeting for example?

    The office will be as Covid ready as it needs to be to meet the government guidelines at the time. There will be spray and wipes and we have a ‘leave no trace’ rule so wiping down desks before/after using.

    Will there be a safe storage or fridge for medication?

    Yes, reception can help you with this.

    Do we need to book a bicycle parking space/clothes locker (if a regular/daily cyclist)?

    No, you’re assigned a locker (for up to a week) on the first day of the week you arrive.

    You touched on this, but will you be offering non-dairy milk for coffee and breakfast?

    It’s not decided yet, we will let you know.

    In the bike park, would we get our own Canopius space or is it park anywhere?

    It’s park anywhere.

    Is there a specific plan for day one in the office or are we hitting the ground running?

    We’ll be asking the B22B User group for their advice on this one. At the moment we’re thinking about staggering re-entry over a few days, and prioritising everyone being up and running rather than lots of festivities – they can come later.

    What are the arrangements for meeting with external visitors?

    We’ll make sure you have this information before we move, but briefly – you book them in and they get a QR code which lets them into the building and notifies you that they are on their way. Lloyd’s passholders only have to register once and then have access to all floors (not just ours).

    Will there be motorcycle parking available?

    No.

    You mentioned that there will be access to passholders only but will there be security at the building entrances?

    Yes.

    What’s different about the lifts here vs other tall buildings nearby? Rough time to get out?

    The lift strategy (yes, it’s a thing) means we would use a bank of lifts that go only to levels 26-40. There are 4 banks altogether, covering 63 floors. There’s probably an estimated wait time at peak periods, we’ll find out and get back to you.

    Will we have a fire drill?

    Yes.

  • Where will I leave my belongings if I don’t have a permanent desk? I have so much ‘stuff’!

    If you haven’t digitised or thrown out that ‘stuff’ by the time you move, there will be storage in the new office for work materials and everyone will have a locker for personal items.

    Will we be able to reserve desks or areas?

    No. All the settings are different and some you might want for half a day, some for half an hour. It would create bureaucracy without a real gain, there will be plenty of places to work.

    If I’m sitting in a quiet area will I have to pick up all my stuff and move if I get a phone call?

    These things happen. If you need to take the call, you can forward it to your mobile or take it on your headset and pick up your laptop and move away to an area where you won’t disturb people.

    If I’m sitting in an open area will I have to pick up all my stuff and move if I get an unexpected confidential phone call?

    You can answer the call on your mobile rather than your laptop headset and move to a phone booth or dive into a small meeting room. It’s ok to leave your belongings on a desk assuming the call is relatively short.

    I have specific ergonomic requirements; how will these be addressed if I have to move around?

    We’ll support you on an individual basis to find the right solution. All desks are fully height-adjustable as are the task chairs, meaning not only that you can stand and work if preferred, but also that you can find the right ergonomic working position when seated, no matter what height you are.

    Will there be enough seats?

    Yes. You may not get exactly the seat you want, or be able to sit in exactly the grouping you want, but there are more than enough seats. If the improbable happens and everyone’s in on the same day there are over 750 seats in total on the floors (277 ergo desks).

    Is it true you can’t leave your stuff on a desk when you go to a meeting/lunch?

    Yes, basically. There are more seats than people but not enough for everyone to use two at once, which is effectively what you’re doing if you leave a desk in use while you go to a meeting.

    Is it true that we won’t be able to eat at our desks?

    We will be asking staff not to eat at desks, the space provided on both floors for lunch snacks etc is where we would like staff to eat food. This approach will help us keep work settings clear throughout the day so multiple staff can use the same space. Staff using the tea points also helps support the community feel we want to foster in the office.

    *NEW* 

    For individuals who wanted to work the full 5 days in the office, would you expect there to be any issues (from a capacity point of view)?

    We will be monitoring it see how the office is being used, and the number of people on site, but not looking at individuals.

    Will you be monitoring capacity of the office (people swiping in and out of the office) and is this data aggregated or on an individual basis?

    We will be monitoring it see how the office is being used, and the number of people on site, but not looking at individuals. 

    Are there any confidentiality restrictions that would impair working from coffee shops or other public places?

    Yes, and we will make sure that you either know or are reminded of those before we move, so you know to consider getting a privacy filters on your laptop screen and always using VPN to connect to public Wi-Fi. 

    On the basis that we have been very effective working from home for a year, meetings online etc., what scenarios do we expect whereby only face to face/in the office is most appropriate?

    You know better than us which activities you do that would be best in person, but on boarding new starters is one that’s fairly universally agreed, problem-solving where the outcome or process to get there isn’t clear, and white-boarding would help, is another.  

    I feel the concept of not being able to determine what days you can work from home. Would it not be easier to say most Wednesdays and Thursdays I will work from home?

    You can absolutely say that as long as you don’t become entrenched in it always happening and lose your flexibility. 

    Working from home on certain days could help in planning such picking up children from nurseries etc.?

    You can absolutely say that as long as you don’t become entrenched in it always happening and lose your flexibility. 

    What if everybody comes in!?

    If everyone comes in there’ll be places to work but you might not get the setting you want (e.g. a desk with monitor, keyboard etc.). There are enough chairs, tables, plug sockets for everyone to sit down and work though, you wouldn’t have to go home. 

    Wouldn’t it be sensible for each department to have a specific plan of when is best for the team to be in the office vs at home – team meetings / Lloyd’s working days says etc.?

    We’ll be sharing some discussion guides on how teams can self-organise. Depending on what you do and how you work together, choosing specific days might be a good thing to try, or it might not work at all for you. It’s ok to experiment as long as we learn quickly. 

    How do we deal with meetings where some people are in the office and some working from home? We find that currently the noise from the open space is a big issue. Special noise-cancelling microphones?

    There will be good headsets and some protocols about where to take calls and where not to, and for sure, no-one should be taking calls on hands-free in the open areas. There are small rooms for calls where you’re doing most of the talking, or you can just move away from the working spaces and sit in a diner booth if it’s not too noisy.  

    Are you going to re-survey staff on their preference on the amount of days working in the office versus home?

    No, not right now. It’s very hard for any of us to really accurately visualize how it’s going to be, we’ll wait until we are in the office and things are more real.   

    If the office can fit everyone, where has the 2 days a week at home figure come from?

    When we ran a survey, over 80% of staff said they would like to work from home 2-3 days a week. That matches what we’re seeing in reports from other companies and what companies who implemented flexible working pre-Covid experienced, so it sounds about right. 

    Could the flexible approach result in scenarios where at lunchtime you decide to go home and work from home for rest of the day?

    Yes, that’s quite possible if doing that is effective for you (and others). 

    Once we have set ourselves up in the morning in the office at a desk, will we have to move throughout the day?

    Almost certainly, assuming like most of us your day is a mixture of meetings, emails, conversations etc. 

    What happens if we arrive and there is nowhere near our teams to sit? Is it really sit anywhere?

    Yes. 

    What happens if you turn up and there isn’t a desk for you? Would you have to commute home and how would this impact working hours?

    We really don’t think this will happen but if it did, you wouldn’t need to go home, you could work off your laptop until a desk freed up.  

    Where will our laptops/books etc. be stored when not in the office e.g. overnight?

    You can put personal belongings in your locker, and there are lockable cupboards for dept materials e.g. books or folders. Most people will take their laptop home so they have the option to work from there the next day. 

    So are we or aren’t we expected to take our shoes off when we enter the office?

    Dress for your day (which we’re kind of hoping means you’ll wear shoes). 

    Will there be rules around leaving desks unoccupied for periods of time (e.g. going for lunch or a long meeting)?

    The rule is to clear the desk when you go somewhere else. 

    Apologies if this has already been answered, but is there a way to quickly tell if a colleague is in the office or wfh?

    Quickest way is IM/text, we’re also asking people to put it in their Outlook/Teams status. 

    What about cleanliness of the space e.g. crumbs from lunch?

    We’ll have more cleaning than before, including during the working day, but we also ask you not to eat at the desks for the same reason. 

    When we come to the office will we always need to take in our laptops or are we able to log into the screens remotely?

    You’ll need to bring your laptop. 

    Are the headphones your own or do you use ones on the desk?

    You will be given your own. 

    If we forget our laptop will there be spares in the office?

    Maybe some new ones that haven’t been handed out yet but we’re not planning on holding much stock 

    What’s the acceptable/flexible time scale you can leave your desk without needing to clear it each time? For example, if you’re occupying a desk from the morning and you have a 30-60 minute meeting elsewhere in the office, are you expected to clear your desk? In particular if it’s a last minute meeting and/or if meetings overrun?

    If you’re going to a meeting, you need to clear the desk you’re leaving. There’s no time limit, it’s about not occupying more than 1 seat at once. 

    Do we have a projection as to how much time one would spend to find a desk after returning from a meeting?

    No projections, we’re not expecting people to need to wander around much. 

    Just to confirm, if I go to a meeting do I need to clean and leave my desk? I.e. not leave my laptop on the desk

    Yes. 

    What happens if I leave my coat on my chair at the end of the day?

    It’ll end up in lost property and you can collect it. 

    If people are to be allowed, albeit not encouraged, to eat at their desk, how will I know I’m safe from my severe peanut allergy when I find a new desk after lunch?

    We will be asking everyone shortly to notify us of anything we need to take into account, exactly like this, and then we’ll agree the best way for you to be able to work safely. 

    Given that the system will not work if people are occupying more than one space, does ‘the buffer’ adequately account for meeting rooms that are in use but not at capacity?

    Yes, we count fewer seats in meeting rooms than there actually are. We will need to find a way to manage large rooms being booked for meetings where most of the attendees end up joining remotely though. 

    If we have many meetings each day and need to leave our desks, will we have something to cart about our items?

    There are Canopius laptop bags and backpacks available. Most people seem to prefer their own bag though. 

    What about people who have not had their Covid jabs yet? Are they expected to come into the office?

    The Return to Office group are working with HR on policies and standards relating to Covid and coming back into the office. We’ll communicate something soon.