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Office culture is changing...

27 April 2015
Office culture is changing...
Many companies are beginning to reconsider the idea of office space, paying more attention to the perspective of the modern day worker and their evolving needs. It is estimated that 15% of the workforce in the UK are self employed, a figure that has slowly risen over the past few years. We’ve done a round up of those businesses in Leeds that provide flexible working space in the city and here’s what we found:

The Creative One: Duke Studios

The Creative One: Duke Studios Duke Studios endeavour to provide not only flexible working conditions but also primarily to cultivate a community centring on collaboration and innovation. The studios champion creativity and independent business, allowing it to blossom all under one roof. Having moved to their new headquarters down at Sheaf St their space has under gone very thoughtful curation, from the details in the carved pastel light fixtures in the Sheaf Street cafeteria, handmade by co-founder Laura Wellington to the Americana neighbourhood feel of the office huts (an slight upgrade on the cardboard cut outs) designed by Lord Whitney, the space is all about expression and inspiration. People really get things done here though, as it houses some of Leeds most exciting businesses including food and drink agency Big Dinner, and design agencies Hungry Sandwich Club and Rabbit Hole.

The move has allowed more space for new members. Prices for the co-working desks start at £85 per month, upgrading to desks for £210 and private studios that start at £360 per month.

The space is now home to The Sheaf Street Cafeteria, which Laynes lovers rejoice, will be home to the Espresso and Brunch favourites, serving coffee and lunch.

The new events space has a 250 capacity, with the kind of ‘blank space’ approach to encourage a tailored approach to events. Laura also proudly describes their ‘pay it forward’ scheme, which enables them to help one person pro bono with their event each month. Duke Studios are emphasising the inclusivity that such schemes and communal spaces like the cafeteria will encourage.

And if all that weren’t enticing enough, Duke Studios has its very own resident border terrier Holly keeping guard of proceedings. Visit www.duke-studios.com for more details.

The Media One: Round Foundry

Housing a number of different creative, digital and media businesses the Round Foundry Media Centre is located a convenient 8 minutes away from central transport link Leeds Rail Station (soon to be even more conveniently connected with the South East Entrance to the station due to be completed this summer). At The Round Foundry, colleagues are granted the flexibility to be able to up or downsize their space according to their businesses changing needs.

Their Work Pods provide an alternative to working from home or cafes, facilitating groups such as start up businesses, mobile workers or contractors whose checklist for a work space is unique. The spaces are available to rent monthly on an all inclusive basis with a flexible one month minimum commitment. These self contained units include an adjustable working area, integrated filing systems, high speed internet and telephony facilities and can be locked up safely at night. Round Foundry also provide businesses in these spaces with secretarial support, dedicated parking spaces (including free visitor parking) and bookable car rental.

Round Foundry also offer Virtual Office services providing members with a professional business address for post, telephone answering services, answered in the company name by a ‘friendly and professional team’, of which messages are then relayed via email or SMS, including access to your call log via a personal virtual office portal login.

For full listings of services, check out Round Foundry’s website: www.roundfoundry.net

The Swanky One: No 1 Aire Street

Located within Leeds Rail Station, One Aire Street is the epitome of convenience located within Leeds’ main transport network and central to the surrounding city. Not only that, the building is part of ‘The Office Group’ who reside largely within upscale offices scattered around London. Here in Leeds they rub shoulders with the formidable Queens Hotel in the classic 1930’s art deco station building.

The design led aspect of No 1 Aire Street is very apparent, decked out to be stylish and understated, in a Mad Men kind of way. The large rooftop terrace is also a bonus with 360 views of Leeds, with promises of ‘outdoor meetings, yoga on the roof and lots and lots of BBQs’.

Aire Street offers a variety of approaches to flexible working space. They offer dedicated office space, which can be communal or private, according to your working style, ranging from open tables, to semi private booths, quiet rooms, phone booths (quite literally, private booths for taking phone calls), private spaces or lounges.

The ClubRooms Lounge is perhaps Aire Street’s most enticing feature with Leeds Station being one of the few select locations within The Office Group that offer a more casual facility that members can use within Leeds and key London locations for meetings away from the office. These areas provide a more spacious, relaxed feel to meet clients or take a breather from your desk.

Curious? Book a tour online: www.theofficegroup.co.uk

The Waterside: Hello Work

Opening in spring of this year, Hello Work who are already established in Manchester are developing more offices in London and our very own Leeds with a vision to change the way that businesses operate for the better.

Located in the trendy and increasingly cultural Leeds Dock area, the space is ideal for start up enterprises and SME’s.

Hello Work provide various flexible working services including hot desking, co-working and event space providing. They also offer an events and support programme to help the businesses they house, ‘nurturing business growth’, reevaluating the various aspects of business and the way it is conducted.

Membership with Hello Work also welcomes you into a wider family of business, establishing links and providing support.

The space designs its services around nurturing a rewarding office culture as well as hosting programmes, events and socials such as ‘Friday Beers’ to establish a strong community.

Hello Work offer a range of transitional spaces across various locations that cater for workshops, presentations, exhibitions, and large seminars.

For a limited time you can hotdesk at the Digital Garage, Leeds Dock for free including free Wi-Fi a bookable event space and refreshments.

To register your interest or schedule a visit you can sign up here: www.hellowork.co.uk

Emma is a Freelance Writer for Leeds Living. She has a degree in English literature from the University of Leeds and specialises in writing cultural editorials.