Innovative Leeds start-ups and growing businesses are reaping the rewards of working side by side in shared and flexible workplaces.
Hubs and incubators which bring like-minded businesses under one roof, are increasingly being shown to create an innovative spark and bring a host of other benefits.
Flexible shared offices provide businesses with secure office space but with easy access to high quality facilities, such as meeting rooms and extras like fitness centres and cafes.
As well as providing an efficient and cost-effective way of working, because like-minded businesses are working in close proximity there’s the chance of sharing information, contacts and opportunities – all of which is particularly helpful in today’s fast-paced world.
And as start-ups evolve into growing businesses, a whole range of further benefits from flexible, shared accommodation are emerging.
Established in 2013, cybersecurity business Altinet has its own fifth floor office within Platform, a landmark 13-storey building above Leeds railway station which provides office space to rent for tech and digital businesses of all sizes.
Altinet’s co-founder Henry Doyle says working alongside others with a similar focus creates a unique sense of community and has also helped to attract talented workers.
“There’s a real sense of community, comprising of almost every service provider you can think of; law firms, accountants, web designers, marketing agencies, and finance companies, all under one roof.
“It’s good to know that we also have space to grow – our office has room for another 20 people – so we don’t have to think about relocating as we move through this next crucial phase of growth.”
While Altinet has the benefit of a secure and modern office space, its staff can mingle with others from the 50 or so other companies based in Platform, and make use of the mezzanine floor, a communal space complete with sofas, pods and coffee machines.
Meanwhile regular networking events - from sports to breakfast clubs - help fuel fresh ideas and share expertise: vital in today’s rapidly changing business world.
According to Carl Reader, business advisor and author of The Startup Coach, hubs, incubators and flexible workplaces which provide a range of accommodation and come with business support built in, bring a host of benefits for businesses.
“You could find your next-door neighbour is the ideal person to help with the recruitment of your next team member, while the people you meet at the coffee machines may well be your next suppliers, customers, or even joint-venture partners.”
When the time comes to scale up the business, the support, contacts, community and innovative working environment found in shared space accommodation are key to making the leap into a bigger arena.
It also helps that a business can grow without having to move to a new location.
“As your business grows it’s easier to move to bigger office space within the same building, without the logistical issues that arise when you change your physical address and phone number,” adds Carl.
To find out more about how you can connect with people, spaces and support to help your business grow, visit Bruntwood.