The Importance of Being Social

| Leanne Forshaw Jones

We all love a Pizza Friday, but businesses need to invest in much more to attract and retain the modern employee.  The lure of free beers, food and social nights out are great, but the thriving organisations of the future are investing in great buildings in which people can perform at their peak.  In this article, we explore the ways our clients are addressing this, and the spaces they are creating to attract and retain a modern workforce.

Social spaces are a must in modern office buildings. Whereas a decade ago, workers were satisfied with relaxation and coffee breakout areas, it’s dedicated social spaces that are fast becoming integral to the very fabric of productive, innovative, and harmonious workplaces. 

Fostering collaboration  

Forward thinking developers across our portfolio are investing more in these spaces, places in which their workforce can foster collaboration, with inspiring designs and aesthetics that stimulate creativity and innovation.  

Places like Bridge Properties’ Element in Birchwood, which features a café and a business lounge, or Urban Splash’s Boat Shed in Salford Quays. The latter has riverside gardens filled with people enjoying al fresco meetings in the summer months (and some brave souls doing it in the winter too!). Urban Splash recently invested again here, creating a newly-designed meeting and coffee space on the ground floor – a haven away from occupiers’ offices and a space in which to develop great connections and great ideas that are of benefit to a business. There’s also Orbit Developments’ Park Square in Cheadle, where social spaces and great amenities are supplemented by a vibrant aesthetic courtesy of Manc-creator Dave Draws, whose work adorns the walls.


Boosting employee wellbeing  

Such spaces are also proven to boost employee wellbeing, offering respite from the daily grind, and giving colleagues a space to recharge and relax. Element in Birchwood is again a great example here with its fitness suite giving occupiers somewhere in which to unwind, and protecting colleagues’ work-life balance. 

Making the move to such a space shows foresight on the behalf of business owners looking to maintain a competitive edge, demonstrating a company’s commitment to innovation and a great working environment. These spaces can also help owners attract and retain talent – sending a clear message that they value employees. 

Developers are increasingly seeing the changing trend in this area, and we’re proud to work with companies already blazing the trail, creating exemplary social spaces that are appealing to occupiers from a range of sectors.  

Park Square

There’s more on the horizon too – like South at Cheadle Royal. Formerly a DeVere hotel, developer Aus-Bore is taking the lead from the erstwhile occupier, creating workspace that’s supplemented by a concierge and hospitality-style service, investing in what they hope will be the most sought-after office building in the Manchester area. 

We’re proud to be at the vanguard of this change, helping our clients – be they developers or occupiers – as they change the UK working landscape. Social spaces are a huge part of that; no longer just an afterthought, they have become the nexus of creativity, collaboration, and culture, contributing to the success and vitality of today’s dynamic organisations. 

Find out more about the workspaces we’re marketing right now here