As the world of working changes rapidly, businesses are doing more and more to make sure their workplace stands out to existing and potential employees. But just as important as the design and environment of the workplace is the sense of community within a space. Without a community, work can feel like a lonely place, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or part of a small business.
One person who knows the value of community is Stephanie Dawson, Director for the UK and Irish Business of Mile Positioning Solutions. Based in our Tech Hub at Platform in Leeds, Stephanie Dawson is the only member of her team in the UK, but is still surrounded by like-minded people and businesses. “From day one, I have been surrounded by instant friends and colleagues, with the other Tech Hub residents - a dynamic community of like-minded people with a collaborative spirit,” says Stephanie.
Being based at the Tech Hub means Stephanie is part of a ready-made community, which enhances both professional development and personal wellbeing. “I’m on my own for now, so being part of a community here is fantastic,” says Stephanie. “It’s also opened up a good business network for me around the city region.”
“As a business person I have benefitted immensely in terms of being able to exchange on topics whilst building a support network with surrogate colleagues,” Stephanie goes on to explain. “From a more personal point of view, starting fresh with an activity on your own can be lonely at times so to have ready access to colleagues and friends is a great advantage.”
Using geographical positioning and data around tourism, health, wellbeing and culture, Mile Positioning Solutions creates open-data-ready mobile apps. Their flagship application is called ‘Runnin’City’, and it’s this arm of the business that Stephanie is looking to grow in particular.
The idea behind Runnin’City came while on business trips overseas. The two founders of the company travel around the world for business and are both keen runners. “They took their trainers with them and wanted to go for runs, but they ended up getting lost and missing out on the heartbeat of the cities they were visiting,” explains Stephanie. This app enables its users to visit over 150 cities around the world and, using a GPS system, guides them to key points of interest and landmarks while giving an engaging audio-commentary.
Leading the development of this product and the business in the UK and Ireland, Mile Positioning Solutions is growing rapidly, by developing partnerships worldwide with global brands such as Air France and Asics, as well as city regions such as Paris.
At Platform, customers are able to take advantage of a business support programme. “This gives us access to a wide range of key stakeholders, from legal to accountancy services, growth and talent advice, as well as potential investors in Mile Positioning Solutions as we progress our second round of funding,” says Stephanie.
The community feel in the workplace can be enhanced even more through events and social programmes. At Bruntwood, we have dedicated community engagement managers who organise regular events in our spaces to help nurture community spirit and create strong business networks. Buildings across the Bruntwood portfolio have hosted events such as foreign language lessons, mindfulness classes, summer parties and wellbeing breakfasts, to name just a few.
Of course, community isn’t the only essential element for a vibrant workspace. “The location is brilliant, the facilities are superb and a key differentiator to some of the other incubators and workspaces around Leeds is that it provided good support with the delivery partners, workshops and opportunities to network,” says Stephanie.
It is clear that becoming part of a community has benefits not only for a business, but individually as a professional and personally. As more and more companies look to bring people together to continue their success, at Bruntwood we’re creating the places that will help business communities and its people to thrive.
Find out more about Runnin’ City by visiting their website www.runnincity.world and why not try the app yourself http://runnin.city. If you’d like to join Stephanie and become part of our community, get in touch.