Looking back on 2020 and thinking forward to 2021

Bracken Workspace Plus Looking back on 2020 and thinking forward to 2021
It goes without saying that 2020 has been an unprecedented year, especially in the serviced office sector as many businesses turned to working from home. For the team here at Bracken Workspace Plus it has meant that we’ve had to consolidate, adapt and get creative in order to not only survive, but thrive in what has been a very difficult set of circumstances. So contrary to what you might expect, we’re ending the year by looking back on some of the team’s best bits from 2020…

First up, the completion of our rooftop terrace at The Tannery simply has to be one of our proudest achievements of 2020 and a real highlight for both our tenants and staff. It’s an addition to the building that’s been in the pipeline for some time now, and to see it finally come to fruition has been great. We couldn’t of course, have the launch party we would’ve liked to celebrate the opening of the roof terrace (so that’s something to look forward to in 2021) but it did see some action (socially distanced of course) in August as tenants enjoyed catching a few final days of summer sun up there.

The Tannery Rooftop Terrace - Bracken Workspace Plus

On a similarly creative theme, a very recent highlight for the Bracken team was the arrival of a new mural in association with Leeds United Football Club and Rocnation, which appeared down near Calls Wharf. Being able to help facilitate the creation of this mural by collaborating with Leeds United, Leeds City Council and the artist was a fascinating project. Watching the artwork develop over time became a real source of entertainment over the few weeks it was in progress with our Director Matt Fuller even taking a daily photograph to capture the transformation from brick wall to mural masterpiece. 

Rocnation and Leeds United Mural - Calls Wharf - Bracken Workspace Plus

We’ve been delighted to welcome some new businesses into the Bracken family during the year with a number new arrivals at each of our buildings. We’ve also been thrilled to see the fabulous photos of the new offices being shared across social media too. And speaking of sharing things on social media, during the height of the first lockdown, which saw some of the quietest times inside each of our three buildings it was wonderful to still stay connected as everyone worked remotely, through sharing photos of home office set ups and remote working top tips. It was fascinating to see how everyone adapted to work from home with everything from caravans to conservatories stepping up to fill in where our workspaces had to temporarily step back.

Just because the workspaces themselves may have been quiet over lockdown it doesn’t mean the Bracken team haven’t been busy. During this time we turned out attention to revitalising the Bracken website to make it a useful hub for homeworking tips and content like these recent blog posts. We created video footage including some fabulous drone footage of all our buildings to better show case where we are and the facilities we have so people could still find a new workspace without leaving the safety of their home. Virtual tours were set up, our IT services were overhauled and we invested in developing our “work from anywhere” concept. As a flex space provider being able to pivot and adapt to meet a sudden change in circumstances and requirements is so important and is where our experience and agility have helped enormously.

Going into 2021, this is a concept we’re going to be developing even further so we can continue to best support our current tenants and successfully welcome new ones. The pandemic has highlighted flaws with a more traditional single occupancy office solutions but has also taught us that working from home full time can lead to issues around creativity, collaboration, mentoring and staff welfare.

A flexible hybrid solution, a combination of remote and in-office working within a flexible service ecosystem that allows seamless transition between the two, has been on the horizon for some time, and if anything, the pandemic simply escalated the transition towards this burgeoning trend. This is a change we recognise has so many benefits for modern businesses and something we are keen to embrace.

Our “work from anywhere” concept is all about giving businesses in the Bracken family the support and infrastructure they need to do exactly that so that they can navigate through the continued uncertainty with a little more confidence.