In the weeks since Covid restrictions were eased on 17 May, a growing number of people have returned to the city centre and their workplaces, at least in a hybrid capacity, showing positive signs of recovery and growing confidence for businesses of all sizes.
Public transport timetables have returned to almost capacity, with 85% of the UK’s rail network now running, and rush-hour traffic congestion at 65% – 10% up month on month, according to the Department for Transport.
Anthony Powell, managing director at Department comments on the increase in workspace occupancy at Department Bonded Warehouse, an iconic workspace for varying-sized businesses within Enterprise City.
“Despite the circumstances over the past 12 months, Department Bonded Warehouse has remained open to its members and those that are unable to work from home. Over recent weeks and months, we’ve welcomed even more of our members back to Department, as restrictions ease and the workforce require an alternative to working from their kitchen table.
“We are now in a position where office space occupancy here is at 91% compared to a market report trend of 70% within flexible workspace operators. We believe our progressive approach to the workplace, which includes beneficial wellness and social amenities, enables a positive association around returning to the office; where a work life balance is attainable outside the remit of working from home. We’re optimistic this will continue to be a contributing factor to positive occupancy levels.
“Since the start of 2021, despite the pandemic, Department Bonded Warehouse has welcomed 43 new businesses to its community. This is a promising indicator that the flexible workspace market in Manchester is making a strong recovery after a turbulent year.
“We have also had six of our Exchange Programme graduates move into larger spaces within Department Bonded Warehouse in recent months, following the successful completion of the scheme. PixelMax, Koolstof, Hydr, MissKick, HN Flow and Qonnected will continue to grow and develop their innovative business concepts, as the programme looks to welcome the second cohort of 25 ambitious entrepreneurs hoping to scale their tech businesses.
“Almost 60% of the businesses that are occupying Department Bonded Warehouse are from the tech, digital or creative sectors. Not only does this boost Manchester’s tech scene, but the members themselves will benefit from the collaborative community we have developed within Bonded Warehouse. The workspace is specifically designed to facilitate these types of interactions, and grow a community of like-minded businesses, creating a place of connection and collaboration.”