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New research reveals Exeter’s changing world of work

By November 8, 2019January 26th, 2021Member News & Updates

The changing nature of work has been revealed in a study which shows that only a third of employees in and around Exeter are now permanently based in their workplace for their job.

The findings are part of the new Future of the Workplace report, carried out by Exeter’s workspace transformation experts Space. It found that most people now operate from a mix of locations, with over 80% sometimes working from home.

Launched to the business community at Space’s Southernhay offices in Exeter, the report reveals big changes in the world of work.

Only a third of staff are now permanently based in a set workspace, according to the survey. Alongside the rise of flexible working, the report reveals that employee well-being initiatives are on the increase, with 62% of companies offering flexible working and 51% having well-being initiatives. In all, 84% of respondents recognise that a workplace impacts on people’s well-being and productivity.

The survey also found that employees in and around Exeter are generally happy at work, with respondents rating their well-being 8 on a scale of 1-10 and work-life balance at 7.5 out of 10.

Cathedral Appointments Ltd, IT Champion, LiveWest, Old Mill accountants and financial planners, OTB Eveling and The Family Law Company, were amongst the businesses at the launch. The full Future of the Workplace report and survey is available at

Tim Wadsworth, Director of Space said: “It is clear that workplaces are changing and with it the expectations of employees. There are very positive signs around practical initiatives to support mental health, well-being and work-life balance, but there are also businesses who are not adjusting quickly enough to today’s modern workforce.

“Exeter is a rapidly growing city and it’s vital that businesses stay up-to-date with best practice and technological developments to attract and retain the very best talent. The Future of the Workplace report includes case studies from the businesses in Exeter who are not only leading the field but already preparing for future changes.”

One area of concern is the lack of suitable office space and another is people’s technology skills.

Less than half of businesses say their current workspace is the right size for their organisation and a third do not think their workplace will be suitable in five years. Finding information about available workspaces in Exeter is also an issue, rated at just 5 out of 10 by local businesses.

A third of employers say their staff lack the technology skills needed to make best use of technology at work.

Tim Wadsworth added: “Whilst the city has seen a big rise in quality student accommodation in recent years, the same can’t be said for working environments. City planners and decision makers need to work more closely with the growing business community to ensure we are developing a city that can continue to compete on the national and international stage.”

Exeter City Council Director, David Bartram spoke at the launch.

He said: “The Future of the Workplace report provides a fascinating overview of workplace provision in and around Exeter, and an exciting insight into the future of workspaces. The findings are challenging and inspiring for business leaders and city planners and there are challenges and opportunities for us all to consider to support the productivity of Exeter and employee well-being now and in the future.”

The report, which also includes practical tips for companies, is part of Space’s Future of the Workplace initiative, to help reveal the ‘state of play’ across Exeter’s workspaces.

Future of the Workplace helps organisations improve their workspace through shared learning and celebrating best practice, including through the annual Space Awards. The survey was completed by business leaders in and around Exeter, with the support of Exeter Chamber and Exeter City Council.

Owen Richards, Director of Air Marketing, which won the Award for Well-being at the Space Awards in September, said:  “For Air Marketing, employees are at the heart of everything we do, without our team we couldn’t achieve great results for our clients. We pride ourselves on taking care of our team with a great modern working environment, flexible hours, reward schemes.

“We were delighted to be recognised at the Space Awards 2019 for our commitment to well-being and will continue to improve and develop our offering in-order to attract and retain highly skilled and happy staff. We believe that all businesses can learn from the Future of the Workplace report, which provides a fascinating insight into the future.”

Companies including Lightfoot, Crowdcube, Old Mill and Air Marketing are featured in the Future of the Workplace report, available at: