At the Leeds City Region Tech Climbers panel event earlier this month, hosted by BusinessCloud’s executive editor Chris Maguire, we heard Bobby Thandi, founder and CEO at Leeds based XR Games, speak passionately about how they had consciously invested in their workspace and the benefits it provided the fast-growing team. 

Forecasting your business’s future workspace needs can be a challenge, especially in a high-growth environment, where the workforce may be predicted to double, triple or more over the next few years. So, how do firms make the right move and get a space that suits them now and into the future? 

Embrace the ‘flex’

Flexible office operators have been on the rise over the past few years, with their popularity accelerated by the pandemic, and more businesses than ever embracing hybrid working practices. Gone are the days of lengthy leases if that doesn’t suit the needs of a business, they can now flex their space as demand requires – perfect for growing tech firms.

A flexible office provider in Leeds has recently secured a letting on a 45-person sized office from a firm which currently only has four employees but anticipates exponential growth over the next few years.

For some, this might seem a bold move, but the beauty of flexible space is that if the additional space is no longer required, or conversely, even more space is needed, businesses can release it or take more as needed.  

Clusters and communities

As the saying goes, it’s all about location, location, location and this is just as true for office space as it is for residential.

Whether it’s finding a flexible office scheme that has plenty of breakout space for companies to mix and mingle in or being based within a larger district that is brimming with digital, tech and creative businesses, for many high-growth SMEs, collaboration is key.

Being in a location that creates its own collaborative eco-system can help open doors and spark opportunities and as more tech businesses begin to set up in certain areas of a city, they will attract even more.

The big decision lies in whether to move into an established and renowned tech district, or to break into an emerging neighbourhood? In Leeds, the area around Leeds Dock has a vibrancy and creative feel from existing occupiers that could suit incoming tech firms, whereas developments such as 11 & 12 Wellington Place will provide the majority of new Grade A space this year which could attract tech players. 

Quality space for quality talent

The fight for talent is fierce. As well as location playing a role in employee attraction and retention, office fit out and amenities can be just as much of a draw.

Even though many people are typically spending less time physically in the office than they used to, when they do, drab soulless spaces no longer cut it.  

Stars of Leeds City Region’s tech sector recognised

Tech companies have really led the way over recent years in terms of creative, modern office fit outs, as they continue to use them as a way of setting themselves apart from their competitors.

Take Sky Bet at 4 Wellington Place for example, the team benefits from a wide range of state-of-the-art facilities, including an in-house cafe with a barista bar and a beer pump, a gym and gaming room.

The social elements of the office design are coupled with silent spaces known as ‘zen zones’, as well as a faith zone and a rooftop terrace, allowing the team to prioritise their own wellbeing and work in spaces that suit their needs.

Of course, many employees want more than a cool office when they’re looking for the perfect job for them, but in a market this competitive, it could be what makes the difference and seals the deal.