Cardiff based serviced office provider, Workbench, is bucking the pandemic related economic downturn with a six-figure expansion plan.
The family-run business, set up five years’ ago, currently provides 22 office spaces and has just under 100 virtual office clients. Clients include the Mental Health Foundation, Sanctuary Financial Planning, Graffeg Publishing, and cybersecurity company Optec.
“The pandemic has changed the way we work forever. Companies are rethinking the space they need and are downsizing more and more,” says Jason Gill, director of Workbench. “Our flexible approach, with a monthly licence and sensible pricing structure, is attractive in these uncertain times.”
“We are still full at Workbench and are responding to increased demand by taking over a similar building across the road in Neptune Court Business Park, just off Ocean Way. The new space is 6,500 sq ft, and will have room for 32 offices, with around 100 desks. Our offices will be suitable for sole traders all the way up to larger companies with 10 or more employees. Once the £240,000 conversion is complete, we will be welcoming our first tenants in April.”
Workbench has also seen a big uptake in virtual offices since the pandemic. For £20 a month companies can use Workbench’s address for their business. Jason Gill explains why it’s become so popular.
“Using our business address instead of a home address is a lot more effective for search engine rankings,” says Jason Gill. “What’s more, a virtual office is a lot more secure and credible than using your home. Having your home pop up on Google business doesn’t exactly instil confidence.”
During the pandemic Workbench has provided invaluable support for its clients – deferring rent where necessary, and has helped companies access Covid recovery grants.
“We understand what small businesses need, having experience of running companies ourselves,” he says. “For example we charge by the office size and not by the number of desks, so it’s more cost-effective, and businesses aren’t punished for growing.”
Gareth Shears, co-founder and financial adviser at Sanctuary Financial Planning, has been a tenant for over three years. He adds,
“Workbench is a great place to work. Jason and the team really look after us and have supported us a great deal during Covid. Nothing is too much for them when we need something doing. The location is ideal as it’s close to the city centre, and there’s ample free parking. The offices are a good size and are fairly priced. We’d certainly recommend the offices to anyone looking.”