With rapid regeneration currently taking place in Chesterfield, we got the thoughts of two people in our town helping to lead the way in providing high quality office spaces.
Developments such as the Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre and One Waterside Place are set to open this year, while existing spaces are continuing to be revamped to create affordable and state-of-the-art premises for businesses.
Whether you’re just launching or taking steps to grow your business, Chesterfield has plenty of options available. Find out more at: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/business/invest-in-chesterfield/office/
To find out more about the Chesterfield Property and Construction Group, go to: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/propertygroup/
Building high-quality offices in Chesterfield
Tom Swallow, Development Manager, Bolsterstone Group PLC
Offices remain important to companies – they are vital hubs to facilitate collaboration, team building, training and mentoring particularly where younger members of the workforce are concerned.
The post-pandemic return to the office has led to a shift away from the ‘traditional’ approach to office space. Businesses are now reconsidering how they use their space and looking at how they can adapt it to a more modern, agile way of working. This has resulted in a dramatic change in office space requirements. and a ‘Flight to prime’.
As a result of the pandemic, companies are now looking to modern, high quality workspace to attract their staff back into the office and maximise on the efficiencies of agile working.
Companies want modern, quality workspaces that are flexible and provide good services and amenities. Quality is overtaking quantity, as it’s unlikely all employees will be in on the same days as they adopt a hybrid working from home /office model.
On the back of the delivery of high quality office developments and refurbishments across the borough – Chesterfield is in an excellent position to capitalise on the change in office demands post pandemic.
A 2021 survey by CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, found that 63% of employers planned to introduce or expand the use of hybrid working to some degree, combining time in the workplace with time at home, depending on the needs of the job, the individual and the team, and the team working practices.
Additionally, many large companies are now looking to move away from their single city centre HQs and, instead, implement a ‘hub and spoke’ office model – a network of smaller regional offices in well-connected locations.
With new offices at The Glass Yard, and the Enterprise Centre and our own scheme, One Waterside Place at Chesterfield Waterside, nearing completion, Chesterfield is well positioned to meet all the post pandemic office needs.
The addition of high quality office space to Chesterfield is important for economic recovery. The quality of space offered not only supports the growth ambitions of local companies, but also facilitates inward investment from companies locating from elsewhere in the UK (the hub and spoke model).
The social impact of offices is another emerging key factor for occupiers too, with Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) policies now at the heart of decision making. Sustainability is at the heart of such decisions – occupiers are focusing on their carbon footprint in all aspects of their operations. High quality design with a focus on sustainability through the whole life cycle of the building are real criteria for businesses looking to relocate and Chesterfield has designed buildings to meet the highest scoring criteria, further adding to its appeal.
The creation of new, Grade A office space with larger floor plates and high quality amenities allows Chesterfield to compete with other towns across the region. One Waterside Place for example is a BREEAM rated ‘Very Good’ property, has two passenger lifts, raised access flooring, air conditioning, LED lighting, a high-quality entrance foyer, showers and cycle parking facilities onsite. It is city-quality office space that allows employers to provide flexible and collaborative workspace in the post-Covid world.
Add The Glass Yard, the recently refurbished HQ building and the Enterprise Centre (BREEAM ‘Excellent’) to the town’s existing office space provision, and I believe we can truly say that Chesterfield has something for everyone – from start-ups to growing and mature businesses.
The new office marketing campaign, led by Destination Chesterfield in partnership with Chesterfield Borough Council and Derbyshire Economic Partnership, provides a central showcase for companies to see available office space opportunites across the borough.
Our variety of office space, competitive cost, central location, mainline train station and proximity to the Peak District, is all helping make Chesterfield an obvious location for many businesses looking to balance and accommodate hybrid working arrangements for their workforce. The town has, once again, proved it is ahead of the curve.
Creating great working environments
Amy Revell, Co-Founder of We Are Spaces Ltd
The workspace is a fascinating topic for me, I’m a creative person with a keen interest in the psychology of why we do what we do. The workplace is the perfect blend of the two, bringing together people and property.
Our Businesses are full of different personalities, pressures and demands, which is why a quality workspace is so important to support the needs of your team. Throughout the pandemic we’ve all been forced to change and work in different ways, some embracing this, and others really struggling. But what is evidently clear in our modern world of working is to ensure we provide dynamic, engaging, sustainable and healthy workspaces for us all to achieve our very best.
The office isn’t just about providing a desk, we all need much more than this to feel inspired, energised and productive. To futureproof our offices, it’s important we adapt to hybrid working, meaning you are able to provide a little bit of everything, at any time. From open plan agile work stations, to quiet focus zones, collaborative areas, fully AV enabled meeting spaces, places to be sociable, to build trust and rapport, and crucially, an environment to allow our younger, less experienced workers to learn from their co-workers.
In addition, our health and wellbeing is a hot topic, and something we should all be striving to improve upon. Our workspaces need to be healthy environments, with good levels of fresh air and ventilation, robust heating and cooling systems, lots of natural light and acoustic comfort really needs to be considered. If we get all of these basics right, creating an engaging and productive space is much easier to achieve.
This is proving to be a huge success in Chesterfield as we are seeing a large increase in inward investment and large businesses looking to locate their workspaces here, due to the mix of high quality office space, good transport links and overall quality of life. This brings new and exciting job prospects to Chesterfield, its raises the aspirations of our young learners and workforce, more people look to live in Chesterfield and in turn boosts our local economy.
We are very fortunate in Chesterfield, as the council and local developers have continued to invest in a range of high quality workspaces. For example, the Northern Gateway has a warm and inviting reception with modern and bright furniture pieces, sociable shared breakout areas, temperature controlled office suites, with plenty of fresh air, natural light, acoustic baffles and lovely views of the towns greenspaces and iconic crooked spire.
The Waterside development has high reaching ceilings, with energy efficient LED lighting, fantastic fresh air and ventilation system, floor to ceiling windows, allowing all the natural light to flood in and the higher floors have fantastic views of rolling hills lush greenery. In addition, The Glass Yard really provides a fantastic industrial style workplace experience, with leisure, food and beverage and health and wellbeing businesses on site. In creating workspaces that allow us to create a great experience for the user, we will all have a happier, healthier and productive workforce.
Our workspaces also need to cater for the rapidly growing digital and tech sector. There is huge growth in new tech and digital starts up, and Chesterfield is already great at providing business support, but our workspaces also need to be able to provide fast and reliable broadband, spaces for efficient digital content creation and inspiring design to really allow new innovation to thrive.
This is where investing in a quality interior fit out and furniture, can have such a big impact on the overall success of the workspace. Lots of our businesses in Chesterfield are already embracing this. I have been working first hand with many. For instance, Hunters Estate Agents have now adapted to a fully agile work environment. Moving to The Glass Yard, they have reduced from 3 floors to 1, so they can work collaboratively together as a close knit team.
They have also been able to reduce their overall square footage, saving key overhead costs to their business. By working closely with the team, we have been able to understand their challenges and opportunities, and with the volume of high quality workspace on offer, they have been able to make great changes to their workspace, which will put them in a much better position for the next 10 years.
To this end, I hope you will be able to see how important it is that our councils and developers continue to invest and build high quality workspaces, so that we can attract new businesses, create more jobs, generate new revenue and grow further opportunities for everyone to thrive.