In late June 2017, e-commerce organisation EKM opened its new £3.5 million head office in Preston, Lancashire. The principal reason for the new headquarters was to bring together the organisation’s 85 employees, who had previously been based in two separate Lancashire-based offices. However, EKM designed its new work environment with employee happiness, wellbeing, motivation, and performance in mind. Antony Chesworth, founder and chief executive officer, says: “It’s all about loving where you are and being happy.”
The new 23,500 square foot building provides a variety of different workspaces so that staff can work in the area that best suits what they are doing. The office design also encourages employees to move around the building, and interact and collaborate with colleagues across the business.
The new head office also includes an on-site gym and a rest and relaxation area to support the health and wellbeing of staff.
Perhaps the most striking feature, however, is a three-storey slide. “You can’t go down that slide and come down the other end without a smile on your face,” says Chesworth.
In addition to boosting the happiness of EKM’s current employees, the unusual feature, and indeed the workplace as a whole, serves as a talent attraction tool.
Ultimately, providing a world-class facility helps to reinforce to EKM’s employees that they too are world class, explains Chesworth. Although it is still early days, this is already beginning to have the desired effect on employee performance, he adds.
Chesworth adds: “[As a business], we help people to do something that they love, and if this building helps us to help more people, whether that be team members or whether that be external customers, it’s all going to benefit us and help us make a small dent on the world.”