Who knew that going to the office could be so cool?

Cool Offices - In Association with Roberts Limbrick
Ovo Bristol_2

In our March issue, In Association with Roberts Limbrick, we showcase 10 Cool Offices.

Love it or hate it, whatever your views of working from home, increasing numbers of companies and staff are saying it’s time to get back into the office.

While we might not have missed the commute itself, millions of us have missed getting dressed for work, the camaraderie and collaboration – the water-cooler moment which sparks a creative idea. They’re just not the same over Zoom.

But there’s no doubt that an equal number of us don’t want to go in full time, so companies are having to work much harder, and spend money, to ensure that their staff’s working environment is attractive, comfortable, inspiring – and supports their mental health.

Many are ditching the desks and dedicating expensive office space to open kitchens, bar, or yoga studios and theatres.

Others going even further, offering “sleep pods” for powernaps. If this sounds too indulgent, look at it this way: they can be used for mindfulness medication, or a 10-minute time-out for staff to gather their thoughts for an important meeting.

What we’ve all realised over the last two years is that many of the offices of yesterday are just not going to be fit for purpose for the new generation of office workers, who demand environments which offer both stimulation and relaxation in equal measure.

Using space as flexible working areas encourages collaboration, creativity and the impromptu exchanges of information and ideas.

Just as importantly, with the current recruitment challenges, most sectors are facing, it’s going to offer a more attractive proposition to potential and current employees, making it easier for businesses to recruit and retain staff.

Joe Roberts 2Joe Roberts, director at Roberts Limbrick, sponsors of our Cool Offices feature said:

“In a world where hybrid working has become the norm, now is the perfect opportunity to re-evaluate your office space. Flexible spaces mean that you can support different styles of working, leading to a happy and productive team. We now accept that people can work anywhere, but a collaborative, supportive and inspiring atmosphere will encourage staff to return to the office.”

 

 

We celebrate 10 of the most inspiring offices from across the region…

Shakespeare Martineau – Stratford Upon Avon, Warwickshire

Shakespeare Martineau Stratford-upon-Avon office refurb – FSC wood stools with bottle top seats and yoghurt pot tables

Reclaimed pallet-clad walls, sustainably-sourced fabric seats and tables made from recycled yoghurt pots are some of the eco-friendly features at Shakespeare Martineau’s revamped office hub in Stratford- upon-Avon.

The space is the first in Shakespeare Martineau’s property portfolio to undergo a major makeover to reflect new ways of working.


Titania – Worcester, Worcestershire

Titania Staff room 2

On the outside, cyber security company Titania’s head office is an unremarkable 1960s office building. Inside it’s a cool space where collaborative working is encouraged. The top floor of the building, which has views across the historic city of Worcester, offers an open plan kitchen, games room (with a sound system hidden in a life-sized Dalek) and squashy sofas.


SLG Brands – Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

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International cosmetic brand creator and owner SLG Brands opened its new offices in Cheltenham in 2019. CEO Miles Dunkley said: “A company like ours thrives on creativity. If you can immerse your staff in a sense of design, style and cool, then your creative ideology naturally embeds. It’s an investment in our brand values. And it’s not just our staff. Customers, suppliers, associates – all who visit us feel it too.”


Groupe SEB – Reading, Berkshire

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The world’s largest cookware manufacturer recently opened its new office space on the first floor of the Botanica Building, Ditton Park. It now offers four bespoke kitchen areas that provide meeting and demonstration areas, an in-house media capability and a presentation zone that can be reconfigured for events and training.


CyberCX – Bladon, Oxfordshire

CyberCX Kitchen

Sometimes, it’s not all about the interior, but the space outside as well. CyberCX, a cyber security services company operates from a former farm which has been converted into offices by the Blenheim Estate. The offices have unique features but the icing on the cake is its garden, and a back gate giving access to the Blenheim Estate grounds offering an amazing lunchtime walk or run.


Roberts Limbrick – Gloucester, Gloucestershire

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Set in Gloucester’s iconic Carriage Building, the architects’ offices use period features while providing a modern, flexible working space. Responding to the changes in the way people work, they recently transformed the office into a destination: a place where people would want to work and feel productive and inspired. They achieved this by creating social areas, quiet spaces and collaborative bench-desking.


Purdicom – Wantage, Oxfordshire

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Purdicom is a wireless, cloud and security distributor which has offices in the heart of the South Oxfordshire countryside in a series of beautifully converted barns. Everything is provided for a comfortable working environment. The company says: “Our employees have everything they need to produce their best possible work every day.”


Vigo – Bromsgrove, Worcestershire

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Logistics software company Vigo wanted its staff to be inspired and to be able to tell other people how cool it is to work at Vigo. They’ve certainly succeeded.


OvoEnergy – Bristol, Avon

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Who doesn’t want a treehouse in their offices? Ovo Energy’s Bristol office is a ‘living jungle’. There are trees in the main area, 500 balcony plants and more standing plants. And you can have meetings in the treehouse, too – how cool is that?


Buick Mackane – Newbury, Berkshire

Buick Mackane

Psychedelic images greet visitors to Buick Mackane, a recently opened canal-side co-working space in Newbury. The space is named after a song by Marc Bolan of 1970s rock band T Rex, and the colourful murals and pictures that adorn the walls of the office are inspired by his music.


This feature has been published inside our March Issue of Business & Innovation Magazine – Pages 88-95 – in association with Roberts Limbrick.

To see the feature in print, read our latest edition online

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