Planday spoke to Scape, an international student hall chain, to find out more about the challenges of providing first-class accommodations to London’s students and how they use our platform.
Both HR Manager Alex Spellman and Siobhen Brown, Resident Manager, explain how Planday helped save Scape Bloomsbury time and money and allowed them to focus more on what matters: their resident students.
Convenient Housing for London’s Students
Scape Bloomsbury is centrally located in the heart of Bloomsbury near University College London. King’s Cross railway station is just a five-minute walk up the road. Because of this special location, we have plenty to offer, from beautiful parks to the London Zoo and Buckingham Palace.
Our residents include students from all over the world – around 80 percent of the residents are international students. They typically arrive in September and stay through to September of the following year, though we do have some on shorter contracts who leave in June. With so many different cultures mingling, it makes Bloomsbury a really interesting place to live.
Small Company, Big Goals
We use Planday to manage the different teams on site. Each team member’s job is to anticipate and cater to the residents’ needs, which includes everything from reception staff to maintenance and housekeeping.
There are around 120 employees at all of our locations across the UK. There are also three Scape sites in Australia. There are obviously challenges in managing all of this, because we have people in various sites, in various roles like housekeeping and sales and marketing. And we’ve got people working Monday to Sunday, 24/7.
At Scape Bloomsbury in particular, there are only around 14 staff members total. That includes our night porters, the reception team, housekeepers, the maintenance team, plus me as a residents’ manager and a maintenance manager.
Managing a 24/7 presence, especially across multiple sites, requires having a really good, responsive platform like Planday in place. It allows us to schedule the shifts we need, and we can communicate out of hours as well. It’s a central platform where everything can go through the same channels so communications don’t get accidentally lost.
Keeping It Moving
Planday is especially useful for employees like our floating night porters, since they often have different shifts in different locations. Planday makes it very easy to manage that. If a porter’s shift has to change and they have to go to a different site, I can easily change it in Planday. Since it’s all one function, all of the residents’ managers can log in and see that the person’s now changed from one site to another. For us, that’s a really huge benefit.
The culture here is very collaborative. Managers will often sit down with their teams, and if somebody needs another week off, then they can arrange for someone else to come and cover. The residents’ managers also work well together, so they can take someone from a different site and put them on their shift plan. Planday lets us continue that collaboration outside of meetings.
If I had to quantify how much time Planday saves me, I would struggle to put a number on it. There’s just no way that I would be able to function in my role without it. My entire job would probably be doing spreadsheets and admin tasks and managing shifts. It would probably take up the entire day. Planday takes me from trying to handle an 8-hour task to having that same task reduced to a matter of minutes.