For several months members of the Sheffield office have known about the exciting possibility of an office move and this week we have publicly announced that we are relocating from our current premises to a brand-spanking new (newly refurbished) building in the heart of Sheffield’s city centre.
We will be moving (99.9% certain!) to the former National Union of Mineworkers building smack bang in the centre of Sheffield, which was originally built in the 1980s. It was occupied for around four years before the decline of the mining industry led to the building being vacated and sadly has stood empty since then, despite reports over the years of various proposed developments.
To put this announcement into some perspective, our impending office move was discussed internally at my very first Quarterly Business Update at Grant Thornton way back in October 2013 when I was a 12-month placement student. To further highlight the long journey that we’ve been on, none of the three or four options that were initially proposed included our new office. But, like moving home, you want to make sure that you get it right, and this is definitely looking promising. The postcode ends in ‘GT’ – it was obviously meant to be!
This is an exciting move for the Sheffield office which has steadily expanded over the past few years and outgrown our current location slightly out of town – both in size and in status. This move re-affirms Grant Thornton’s commitment to being at the heart of Sheffield’s business community and the announcement coincides with the Vibrant Economy events that we are currently running with business and community leaders here in Sheffield, and wider nationally (see our special Vibrant Economy website that has been set up for more on that – http://vibranteconomy.grantthornton.co.uk). Perhaps it’s almost poetic that we’re moving a large team of highly-skilled business advisers and specialists, the picture of the modern, vibrant UK economy that we’re helping to shape, into a former mineworkers’ building – which is probably the stereotype people associate with Sheffield (although I’ve lived here 7 years now and haven’t met a single miner yet!).
While this move does mean we’ll inevitably lose a key perk of our current location, the free parking right outside the door – a definite bonus when it’s 08:58 and you’re swinging into a parking space in third gear so you’re not late for a 9am meeting, this move presents lots of great opportunities. The building is currently in the process of being completely gutted and refurbished for us, and in true Grant Thornton style, there has been a collaborative process within the office of getting people involved at all levels and across service lines to provide their input in how we want the building to look, feel, and respond to the way that we work. Despite being in audit and spending probably upwards of 80% of my time on site with clients instead of in the office, having a great office to work in can be a real motivator – anyone who has spent weeks revising before exams will know that the physical space you work in can have a real impact on your productivity. We are also increasingly moving toward flexible and remote working practices, so the time that you do end up spending in the office is enhanced by being in a great space. And if all that wasn’t enough, there’s also going to be a pub downstairs for when it all gets a bit too much on a Friday afternoon!