Compass Offices, the premier serviced office service in Hong Kong, is a relatively young company with incredible success. The company is only four-years-old, but already has 14 locations in Hong Kong, 2 in Japan, 4 in Singapore, and a new branch set to open very soon in Melbourne, Australia.
Despite their achievements, or perhaps because of it, they are determined to give some of their success back to society. Apart from being an official partner and participant of the Hong Kong Cleanup 2013, they are also pioneering a month-long “Check-in for Charity” event. People can simply check-in to a Compass office on Facebook and show the check-in to the front desk staff and voila – HK$10 will be donated to the HK Cleanup.
They are also involved with Drink for Good, an event started by Hands on Hong Kong, to raise money to send disabled children to Ocean Park for a day.
David Smalley, the Marketing Manager, talks about how and why Compass Offices are passionate about helping Hong Kong.
ECOZINE: How did the idea for “Check-in for Charity” come about?
The idea came from one of the guys from the front desk team members, who said “hey, I was in a restaurant and they had a check-in campaign, where if I checked-in I got a free dessert.” And he went straight to the CEO and said, “I think we should do something,” because we want to extend our social media reach. So what do we do? Do we give someone an extra half hour in a meeting room? Some free fruit for their meetings? But then our CEO said, “No, actually I think we should donate to charity, because we don’t do enough and going forward, it’s something we’d like to get more involved in. So let’s start here, let’s donate to the HK Cleanup because we’ve already got that relationship.” So it was a team effort from someone having this idea at the weekend to Monday morning camp to the CEO.
ECOZINE: How did you get involved with the Hong Kong Cleanup?
We decided to do it for our staff. We like it because it’s very local and it has a lot of meaning to everyone, because everyone uses the beaches. I’m sure that accidentally, at some point, someone’s dropped a crisp packet or a bottle top or whatever it’ll be. So it’s got a personal connection as well, because you want to go to the beach and have a nice beach to go to. We can get quite a lot of people involved, so the next time we do it, we could maybe make it on a bigger scale and have several clean ups, one for our clients, one for our staff, and one that mixes the two, or we’ll see. But we certainly want to have a relationship going with a company that we can always do something with and make it bigger and bigger as we go through.
What we’d like to eventually do, two or three years down the line, if we can keep this relationship going, is we’ll push it to our clients. And we’re doing this as a bit of a test, because we’ve never done it before. So what we’re doing is we’re gonna have, not sure how many yet, but maybe 30-50 of our staff to go and do the Cleanup and treat it like a team-building exercise, so make it fun, have some games down there and take some lunch, and have a nice day at the beach effectively, but we’re doing something good, rather than just sitting there, swimming and lying on towels or whatever else.
ECOZINE: Why is Compass involved with Corporate Social Responsibility?
The nice thing about CSR is that it’s an added value for our staff and going forward we’d like to see added value for our clients as well because there’s so many mall companies, there’s big companies as well, but there’s a lot of small companies that, for example, don’t have the budget to look at CSR programs, but they can get involved with CSR if they want to, off the back of us. So then we can enable your reach to be a lot wider though our clients, ‘cause we’ve thousands of them. And then it’s just another added bonus, ‘cause we’re always looking for added benefits for our clients – we don’t charge them for this service, but it helps to help increase our relationship between Compass and our clients, and in the wider network as well.
ECOZINE: What are some other CSR goals for Compass?
A couple of our high-level directors are really into charitable work – one of them has been involved quite a lot. I’ve personally been involved with charity in Shanghai, I was there for 2 years, working for another serviced office, and through the Australian Chamber, was sitting on a CSR committee, so I had a big involvement over the last couple of years. It’s nice to come to Compass and they’ve also got a similar sort of thought of how we should get a lot more involved with local charities. We’re trying this in Hong Kong, but then we’ll push it to every country.
Going forward, we’ll have a different charity and a different push every year. We’re going to build a plan based around one month a year, which might be say September or October, [which will] hopefully be a big charitable month for us, where we will lay everything on different charities in different countries – that’s what I’ll like to see in the long run. Just to start with [that] we need to build a program and I’m speaking to a couple of chambers here that want to do that anyway.
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