We've been catching up with Andrew Cooke, Director of Manchester at Bruntwood Works to discuss how how Greater Manchester is ideally linked for ‘hub and spoke’ workspace solution:
I love working in the office – but who misses those daily commutes to and from work?
Like so many pre-Covid, I spent around ten hours a week travelling in and out of the office.
Commuting time would double during rush hours – often triple – which would often lead me to feeling stressed before I’ve even sat down at work. Not the best start to the day.
Numerous studies and surveys have found that commuting is people’s least favourite activity, including one by Ford Motor Company, which revealed the journey to work to be more stressful than a visit to the dentist.
And we know with many people who are currently travelling to worksites – or about to in the near future – they may well be dreading their daily journey and the health risk that it brings.
As always, the safety and wellbeing of employees and customers has to be the number one priority.
More flexibility is key, and one solution which lends itself ideally to businesses in city regions like Greater Manchester, is bringing the workspace closer to home.
The office hub-and-spoke concept is nothing new
Companies have used it for years.
HQ serves as the hub of the business, while the spokes are a geographically distributed network of offices.
Companies and employees are demanding flexibility in space, time and location quicker and Covid-19 has just turned the action wheel much faster.
The flexi-era is not new either. In fact, a YouGov survey conducted last year found four in ten (42%) UK adults work flexibly and for 61% of us a ‘good job’ constitutes having the ‘flexibility to work the hours and patterns that suit them’.
However, flexible working isn’t just about changing work patterns, it’s about changing where and how we work. At Bruntwood Works, we adapt the space to the needs of our customers. There’s no ‘one-size fits all’ or ‘nine-to-five’ approach.
This also goes for the location.
Having a ‘hub and spoke’ model can often lead to:
Greater Manchester is ideal for having these ‘hub and spoke’ locations with so many boroughs circled around the city centre and the connections between the ten metropolitan boroughs.
Businesses and employees are looking to regain routine and make face-to-face connections again.
When we approached our Greater Manchester customers through our Return to Work survey, around 60% were positive that they want to get back into the workplace.
Technology has been vital during lockdown for so many, but it will never replace those face-to-face interactions.
Having more ‘spoke’ locations could mean the number of long-term leases may reduce, but businesses want space solutions that provide flexibility, choice and options. Employees want a place where they can not only work, but can eat, get fit and socialise.
At Bruntwood Works, we’ve been offering that outlet for years and is often a tick from our customers and popular with their employees.
As I said earlier, this is not new but Covid has acted as an accelerant.
With the right amenities, and technological and transport infrastructures in place those valuable connections will still thrive I feel within ‘hub and spoke’ locations, to the benefit of businesses operating from them and the health and wellbeing of their customers and employees.
Also, that commute will be more enjoyable than going to the dentist.