As human beings, we have a natural ‘nesting’ instinct which compels us to make our immediate surroundings comfortable and familiar. This is fine when you’re a company in a single building as you have more control over the environment. However, when you’re in a shared workspace, it’s not that straight forward; you can adapt your office space to suit your requirements but the space beyond the office door is shared. There may be multiple different companies with differing tastes and wishes. Additionally, there are the communal areas such as: a reception, the lobby and any corridors or lounges where the landlord is responsible. If no thought is given over to how these spaces work, then it can detract from the feeling developed within your own space.
Creating a family feel
When we purchased The Blade in 2018, we spent a lot of time thinking about what we wanted to create, how the building would work and what it would offer. It’s an icon and that comes with its own expectations but the great views and modern styling alone aren't enough to foster a productive work environment.
We knew we wanted The Blade to be occupied by lots of different businesses. We knew the versatile space would work for this and allow us to let entire floors, half floors or even split the space up to support numerous smaller, growing enterprises. Having made that decision, we understood the importance of making the communal areas an extension of the offices. We needed to formulate a plan to effectively manage the building in a way that would benefit everybody.
The power of community
We noticed that too many other offices in the area had a faceless reception desk with no lounge space and the expectation that occupiers should manage their own hospitality needs. It was down to each company to source meeting rooms and refreshments. This ethos creates a reclusive mentality and limits interaction between occupiers. That was absolutely not our vision. We also knew that our people would have a big impact on life inside the building and whenever we speak to an occupier for a case study, they’re always enthusiastic about the support they receive and the care and attention our team shows for the entire building.
Despite letting our space to multiple occupiers, we don’t see The Blade as anything other than a single entity; a family. From being the welcoming and hospitable face for everybody who passes through reception, to providing comfortable break out spaces, everything we do is focussed on promoting that message. Our family ethos extends to running charity events and keeping the building meticulously clean. We’ve seen start-ups arrive, grow and expand into bigger spaces and even ‘fledged’ some occupiers as they seek their own front door. Our space has the feel that we hoped it would. As you would want for your own family, we’re also keen to promote success for our Blade family. That’s why we actively promote networking, introductions and idea sharing, whether through events or simply over a cracking cup of coffee in the lounge.
It may sound funny, thinking of a building as anything other than a structure, but here at The Blade we know that we’ve collectively created something others want to be part of – not just because of the building but because of the community inside it. It’s a family thing...