Awards have been launched to celebrate the best workspaces across Exeter.
The Space Awards will celebrate workspaces and employee initiatives that help boost well-being, productivity and smarter ways of working at organisations in and around the city.
Run as part of the Future of the Workplace initiative, the awards will act as a showcase, helping businesses learn from each other by highlighting approaches and benefits of developing great workspaces.
By encouraging innovation and best practice, another hope is that more people will be attracted to work for Exeter-based organisations and the city will establish a reputation for great workspaces.
Supported by Exeter City Council and Exeter Chamber of Commerce, the Future of the Workplace initiative has already seen businesses gather at Exeter Science Park to discuss opportunities, challenges and ways of sharing best practice, including through these new awards.
Tim Wadsworth, of Exeter-based office transformation specialists Space, who are helping to run the awards, said: “We want to celebrate fantastic workspaces across Exeter, be that new spaces or companies who have refreshed their workspace in new and exciting ways. There are strong reasons to nurture and support best practice, but we want to have fun too – there’s even a ‘best desk’ award!”
He added: “Exeter is one of the country’s fastest growing cities with a strong business community and productivity already outstretching other parts of the South West. There can be challenges because of the type of building an organisation is based in, but actually there are numerous examples of innovation that we can all learn from, be that on business parks or purpose-built production facilities, collaborative work spaces or historic buildings.”
According to The Centre for Cities Outlook 2018 report, Exeter saw an increase of 3,000 jobs last year and has the 5th lowest unemployment rate of any city in the UK.
Organisations can enter the awards at spaceawards.co.uk
Categories include Best Office, Best Production Facility, Well-Being Award, Sustainable Space, Coolest Space, Shared Working Space, Best Public Sector Office, Best Desk, the Impact Award and Wow Award.
The deadline is Friday September 14, with judging taking place on September 18. The shortlist will be announced on Thursday September 20 and the awards’ ceremony will be held in Exeter on Thursday November 15.
The judging panel includes Sally Basker, Chief Executive of Exeter Science Park, Julie Hawker, Joint Chief Executive of Cosmic, Maureen de Gori, of Exeter City Council inward investment team, Jo Caine, Director of Cathedral Appointments and Exeter Chamber Director, Tim Wadsworth, Director of Space and Dr Craig Knight, Doctor of Psychology, Chartered Psychologist and Registered Occupational Psychologist at the University of Exeter.
Jo Caine said: “From recruiting and retaining employees, to boosting productivity and well-being, the evidence supporting great workspaces and employee-initiatives such as flexible working, mindfulness at work, healthy eating, gym membership and cycling schemes, is now well established.
“I’m passionate about how organisations can better support employees and the emerging focus on mental health. If the awards can help promote better ways of working and support for employees, that will be a fantastic achievement.”