The warmth and friendliness and excellent service from staff at The Work Place creates a happy community feel, making it a motivating, inspiring and exciting place to work and do business.
This has been the key to its success for 14 years, ensuring it has not only weathered the storm created by the pandemic and the subsequent switch to virtual and remote working, but has actually grown from it.
Business manager Angela Wilkinson, who has been at the helm at The Work Place for 10 years, admits the uncertainty over whether things would “ever get back to normal” during the pandemic made it a testing time.
“We didn’t know what to expect after the pandemic,” Angela says.
“We couldn’t predict whether people were going to come back to meeting face to face.
“But since spring this year, we’ve seen a big rise in our clients using the spaces for training, interviews and meetings with occupancy levels rising to about 75 per cent.
“People are enjoying coming back to face-to-face meetings, with regular clients returning since the pandemic, while we are also picking up new clients.
“The growth in demand we have seen has been excellent news for us. For example, despite the departure of a local authority which had previously taken up a large office space within the building, office space remains in demand, and we are pleased to see tenants back to their offices following the pandemic, some on a full-time basis with some opting for a hybrid model.
“There is currently some internal movement within the building, which will free up some smaller spaces that will be available to new tenants in the New Year. The Work Place has a mixture of businesses based within the building, 11 in total.
“Once people are here, they tend to stay and we like to think of ourselves as a little community.”
The Work Place – which is owned by the Vocational Learning Trust – has done a lot of work in the building over the last few years, including revamping and updating office spaces, creating a work lounge area and are currently creating a high bench hot desking area for tenants to provide alternative flexible work spaces to use for lone working or huddle meetings.
“We received funding through the local authority business recovery grant scheme which was used to refurbish office space to make it more workable and attractive to new clients,” adds Angela.
“We’ve managed to make a good recovery through rebuilding our operations, making some new investments in the building and enhancing some of the services we offer.”
The Work Place has extended its car park to accommodate the growing number of people using the building and has also installed two electric vehicle charging points.
It is a modern purpose-built centre which was constructed to high environmental standards that included low energy lighting, underfloor heating from ground source heat pumps and solar PV.
It has air conditioning, mostly providing cooling, to various spaces and conference areas. A project to upgrade the lighting in the building to LED lighting has also begun.
Demand for the ground floor conference centre and meeting facilities at The Work Place has been exceptional.
“The local authority, the NHS and big names on the business park all use the conference centre,” Angela explains.
3M recently held a four-day leadership course at The Work Place and the feedback described the “excellent service and support” and the high quality of the facilities.
The Work Place is also a key provider of quality accredited first aid training for a wide variety of organisations across the local area, running new open courses every week on site as well as delivering courses at client premises.
One recent trainee from this course described it as “the best first aid course I have completed” providing “valuable” knowledge and confidence.
Angela says: “Business has grown out of the pandemic and it is an exciting time for us at The Work Place.
“We are looking forward to seeing what 2023 brings.”
Find out more about The Work Place at twpa.org.uk.