Posted by Joe Averill

Posted 15 December, 2016 OBI BLOG

Space Innovators

Long gone are the days of Frederik Taylor and his scientific management theory – the scrutiny and micro management of employees are a thing of the past. As leaders of the business world look to improve performance there is one thing high on the agenda…employee well-being.

Executives are looking to provide their workforce with autonomy and cater for their needs to give their people the ability to flourish in order to improve business performance. One key concept being taken in to consideration is how businesses execute their real estate strategy to motivate their workforce.

A prime example is who have grown from 25 to over 1,000 employees in a matter of years and during their rapid expansion, how they managed their end to end real estate was positioned as a key priority. Their design and fit-out in Manchester was nominated as the ‘UK’s coolest office’ which heightened their ability to attract and retain the best talent in the region.

Nigel Wolstenholme, Head of Online Marketing, stated, “Since the new office design and fit-out work completed we’ve seen a notable improvement in our teams performance. There has been fewer sick days and we’ve increased staff retention significantly. With the large amounts of positive press coverage we received about the office design we’ve also been inundated by people wanting to work for us, which is great news for us all.”


Strategy Vs Culture

American management consultant Peter Drucker once famously said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” and this statement hasn’t gone unnoticed, particularly by some of the world’s leading business leaders. As bureaucracy and rigid processes have been slashed by innovators, a movement towards more open plan space has begun. Businesses are shifting away from a hierarchical to more of a flat structure encouraging collaboration, idea generation and networking.

An office is now much more than the regular; Workstations, meeting areas, kitchens and receptions. Businesses have become more conscientious when designing their space to reflect their culture and to generate an inspiring working environment.

Google, amongst others, look to support their employees to make their work/life balance easier to manage by providing different offerings within their Headquarters. Google provide gymnasiums, washing/dry cleaning facilities and more to help make time more manageable for the workforce.

Closer to home, in Manchester we have several companies that are growing at a rapid rate that are seeking advice from property advisors to manage their growth and look after their ongoing property interests. A few names that spring to mind are Social Chain, NCC, Zuto and UKFast.

UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones, is a huge advocate of creating a fun working environment and puts a huge amount of investment in his people. In the UKFast office you can find everything, from ping pong tables, a bar, gym classes and many other entertaining features. This fun-loving workspace contributes to a more productive workforce, and he says none of his 255 staff ever take a sick day.

It is evident that in order to be competitive in the relevant industry, a clear concise real estate strategy it is needed.