CB1 – the new city quarter for Cambridge


12 April 2022

New research reveals Cambridge businesses want a return to the office

Research conducted by Cambridge Ahead shows that Cambridge businesses want to return to the office.

Directors and employees of Cambridge-based companies have expressed their stances on long-term remote working arrangements, with four in five respondents saying they are spending less time in the office now than before the pandemic began.

The survey was carried out amongst 97 directors, partners and employees based in Cambridge, and gives valuable insight into the opinions of both senior management teams and more junior staff: two groups who have previously held opposing views on returning to the office.

The results show positive signs for workplaces, with workers starting to acknowledge the drawbacks of remote working, and instead focusing on the advantages of welcoming a return to the office.

The benefits include greater collaboration amongst staff, with nearly half of respondents saying collaboration has deteriorated between teams since remote working was introduced.

David Cleevely, a Cambridge-based entrepreneur and investor said:

“We can’t underestimate the role that chance meetings have played in Cambridge’s ability to pursue ideas that change the world.”

A return to the office also welcomes a better experience for training new and younger members of staff. Enhanced day-to-day interaction amongst staff is another major benefit to working in the office, with respondents twice as likely to think that post-pandemic working preferences have had negative rather than positive effects on employee wellbeing.

Although long-term remote working has its drawbacks, flexibility is likely to remain a fundamental part of the working week with people expecting to spend three days each week, on average, in the office over the next year.

Jane Paterson-Todd, chief executive of Cambridge Ahead, said:

“We know that Cambridge’s strength as a high-growth economy lies in its networks between individuals and organisations. Now, as people spend more time working from home, the nature of the networks that have fuelled the Cambridge ecosystem is changing.”

In contrast with lowered amounts of people commuting into the office each day, the amount of people visiting cinemas, restaurants and travelling abroad is back up to around 90 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

The CB1 community has seen a bounce back in a return to the office in recent months, with law firm HCR Hewistons moving into 50-60 Station Road last September and welcoming back the whole team. The amenities offered at CB1, including restaurants Tawa Kitchen and Stem & Glory offers the Cambridge community an exciting range of places to visit, whether during lunch breaks or after work.  

Image credit: Hufton + Crow

Original article: The Times


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