Exeter initiative to celebrate and improve workplaces
A new initiative to inspire and encourage organisations across the region’s fastest-growing city to create and celebrate fantastic workspaces has been launched.
Supported by Exeter City Council and Exeter Chamber of Commerce, Exeter workspace transformation specialists Space are launching ‘Future of the Workplace’.
The aim is to uncover and share best practice, discuss and highlight benefits of having fantastic workspaces and set out some of the opportunities and challenges of creating workspaces best suited for 21st century working.
Organisations including Classic Pod Company, Corkscrew, Cosmic, Crowdcube, Expedite, Humanscale, OTB Eveling, Office Labs, Oxygen House, Stephens Scown LLP, the University of Exeter, The Workplace Wellness Company along with representatives from Devon County Council, Exeter City Council and Exeter Chamber gathered at Exeter Science Park to take part in a workshop to help shape the initiative this month.
A report compiling findings from across the city will be developed and shared with businesses, council leaders and other key organisations. There will also be awards to recognise those already working hard to create and nurture great work environments.
Tim Wadsworth, Director of Space, based at Southernhay in Exeter, said: “We’ve had a fantastic response from organisations looking to get involved. Exeter has some great examples of innovative workspaces. We want to celebrate those and help organisations understand the benefits and ways to improve workspaces, which can often be simple steps that can make a big difference.
“Evidence shows just how vital having the right workplace environment is both for the people who work there and the organisation itself. It helps build a more supportive culture, reduces risks of conflicts and fosters a happier workforce. That leads to improved job satisfaction and pride in people’s work, which in turn helps boost productivity and staff retention.”
The Future of the Workplace will give organisations opportunities to highlight creative and ‘employee-friendly’ work environments, and examples of initiatives that encourage healthier lifestyles, support well-being and good mental health. Companies and employees will be invited to take part in a survey to find best practice to share, as well as pick up on challenges or concerns. Awards will celebrate best practice across the city.
Exeter Chamber, the city’s leading business organisation, is supporting the initiative.
Jo Caine, Chamber director and co-owner of Exeter-based Cathedral Appointments, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Future of the Workplace initiative. Recruitment and retaining talented people is a key concern for our members. It’s fantastic that Exeter is close to a ‘full employment’ city but that makes it even more important that companies understand what it is that employees and potential new recruits are looking for.
“Creating healthier and happier work environments, and providing the technology, training and support people need, are all key aspects of modern workspaces. We should be celebrating the best and encouraging other businesses to recognise the benefits and do what they can to improve.”
Findings will be gathered ahead of the publication of The Future of the Workplace report later in the year. As well as local insight and best practice, the report will set out what kind of workplaces Exeter should be aspiring to and provide practical guidance for organisations looking to improve workspaces for their teams.
There will be opportunities for organisations to get involved and have their say on topics and provide insight, at upcoming workshops and online at betterworkspace.co.uk