In our latest Portico People Blog Series, we spoke with Marta Meller, Regional Client Support Host at Portico.
Marta joined us 8 months ago and has hit the ground running ever since, looking after four client locations across the South West. Before joining Portico, Marta had a unique career background within hospitality, sales, customer service and patient care, each centred around the human touch.
In our interview with Marta, she discusses his career history, experiences, and the future of hospitality.
1. Hi Marta - Thanks for speaking with us! Tell us, what does your role entail?
I joined Portico eight months ago as a Regional Client Support Host covering the South West. I look after four offices now –it’s usually three but I’m currently taking care of an office in Chandler’s Ford. The regional team tends to cover smaller offices where we operate with just one Portico team member per site.
It’s my responsibility to make sure our clients’ offices run smoothly and support our clients and their colleagues. My role covers health and safety, property services, office support, servicing meeting rooms, ensuring video conferencing technology works as it should, as well as dealing with repairs and generally keeping our office spaces clean and tidy.
Part of my role involves communicating with other regional team members across the country to share best practices and support.
It's my duty to look after both places and people and make an employee’s day better.
2. Tell us a bit more about your career history.
My career background has been in hospitality, sales, customer service and patient care. Directly before joining Portico, I worked in a sales and customer service role for a medical company. Before that I was a care leader in a care home and, prior to that, I worked in a hotel.
Each role has been connected by customer service whether that’s with clients, guests or patients. Each of my roles has been centred on the human touch.
3. What do you most like about your job?
I love the super friendly culture at Portico and the fact that it is such a people orientated company. It’s the first company I have worked for where everybody truly matters. We have monthly visits from managers to see if we are ok and if we need support. This is something I’ve never experienced before.
In front of house no two days are the same and there are challenges everyday which keep things exciting. I travel a lot in my role, and I enjoy seeing new faces.
4. What are the challenges you face in your role?
I’m travelling every day to somewhere different and because I work across multiple sites it can take longer to gel with people and build relationships. I know some people would hate all the travelling I do but it doesn’t phase me. I think it’s important to like what you do.
Ultimately, I love a challenge and that’s what we are here for as front of house professionals.
5. What has been your biggest highlight at Portico?
For me it was the training I did during my first two to three weeks with Portico at 250 Bishopsgate. This was the best time of my working life. Everyone was super friendly, happy to teach me and show me the ropes. People were so passionate, and it was so inspiring. It really gave me a great start. The courses were so well prepared and full of motivation and optimism. Portico gave me the reassurance to just be me.
6. How do you see the future of the workplace changing?
Some offices have downsized since the pandemic began and, for the most part, office footfall continues to be less. As this year unravels, the weather gets better and people get more motivated, I think occupancy will start to increase. I hope offices get back to 100% occupancy one day, but it will be a very slow process.
Technology to track occupancy, like Condeco for desk bookings, will be more commonplace as companies monitor footfall more closely.
At the moment we’re dealing with some workplaces that have downsized and been under construction. We are helping clients clear out surplus stock after refurbishments including confidential waste and excess computers. A lot of organisation is involved.
For front of house, it is nice to be creative with the service we’re offering but if there aren’t people in offices, we can’t do it.
7. What are the key ingredients to premium guest experience?
In my opinion listening is paramount. You must listen attentively to needs and treat everyone individually.
8. What would your advice be for somebody considering a career in guest services?
Go for it! You get to meet a lot of people. It’s a happy job and very rewarding. It’s a great feeling to be able to help people. Keep smiling and do your best.
9. What are your top tips for happiness and wellbeing in the workplace?
Connect with people. If there is something you are unhappy about then say something. Don’t let it build up inside. If you leave it too long, it becomes frustrating, and you won’t enjoy the job you are doing. Sharing can help. Other people might have had the same problem and be able to offer advice.
10. What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Live to your best every day. Be kind. We don’t know what’s around the corner.