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Why should I choose an office in Cardiff?

View of offices in Cardiff city centre from castle grounds

When searching for an office in the UK for your startup, London might be the first and most obvious choice – but is it necessarily the best one for your business? If you’re keen to reap the benefits of being based in a bustling city centre, but want to forgo the increased competition, high costs and busy commutes that being in London brings with it, then the Welsh capital of Cardiff is a great alternative city to set up a business.

Since being crowned the capital of Wales in 1955, Cardiff has become one of the coolest places to live in Britain, with it being placed at number 7 on Condé Nast Traveller’s ranking of the best UK cities in 2020 – and this is due to factors such as its great restaurants, vibrant nightlife, and the friendliness of the locals. Cardiff is also a blossoming tech centre that attracts exciting new businesses and hungry young talent from all over the UK, making it an exciting place for modern companies to put down their roots.

However, if you need more convincing of why this small but mighty city is such a great place to live, work and play, check out our round-up of the top reasons why you should choose to set up your office in Cardiff below.

It has great transport links

Thanks to its more compact size (being considerably smaller than other popular UK cities, such as London, Birmingham and Edinburgh), it’s extremely easy to get around Cardiff. Many of its key attractions are a short journey from each other (such as the main city centre and Cardiff Bay), plus there are regular bus and train services, and a total of 20 railway stations located in the city for those that don’t drive. There’s also plenty of cycle routes – in fact, Cardiff was named the best city for cyclists in a poll last year.

View of Cardiff city centre from the bay

Based in South Wales, Cardiff is also a great commuter city if you do need to travel to London or other key towns and cities in the UK. It’s actually located on the M4 corridor, which connects the fellow Welsh city of Swansea to Cardiff, as well as Newport, Bristol, Bath, Reading, Swindon, London and other popular business and tech hubs.

There’s a lot to see and do

Life is never boring in Cardiff, with it being famed for its fantastic choice of shops and attractions to visit, such as the Museum of Cardiff, Cardiff Castle and St Fagans – and this isn’t forgetting its many great restaurants, coffee shops, and cocktail bars! As well as all your favourite chains that you’d expect to see in the city, from Costa Coffee and Starbucks, to Bill’s and Miller and Carter, there are some great independent eateries dotted around the city too. So, whether your staff are looking for a place to grab lunch quickly, have after-work drinks together, or even hold a casual meeting, there’s plenty of options to choose from nearby.

It’s full of green spaces

For an urban city, Cardiff is surprisingly green – which is good news as living and working near parks and other green spaces have been proven to boost our health and happiness by giving us places to exercise and socialise in the fresh air. Not only that, but plants also reduce pollution. Sophia Gardens, Roath Park, Bute Park and Llandaff Fields are just some of the beautiful parks located in the city – there’s also the popular Cardiff Marina and Taff Trail which are perfect for your employees to take a casual stroll or run along during their lunch break.

View of river and greenery in Cardiff park

It has a wide talent pool

Despite its relatively small size, there are a number of universities with campuses in the city of Cardiff, including Cardiff University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of Wales – and around 70,000 students study at these institutions. With many individuals choosing to settle down in the town or city of their university after graduating, or even completing work placements at local companies alongside their studies, Wales’ capital city has plenty of hungry young talent to help you grow your business.

As a matter of fact, Meanwhile Creative reported last year that 48% of Cardiff’s population (69% of which are of working age) are qualified to NVQ4+. This is not only higher than the average for the rest of Wales (at 35.15%), but the rest of the UK (which is 38.4%). Cardiff was ranked 36 out of 90 cities in the Global Talent Competitiveness Index 2018.

Why choose our serviced offices in Cardiff?

Being just a short drive, train journey or cycle ride away from Cardiff’s city centre, our home of Tec Marina in Penarth is the perfect location for any startup that wants to experience any of the benefits of being a new business in Wales’ thriving, talent-filled capital city.

Located on the outskirts of Cardiff, next to the stunning Penarth Marina, Tec Marina offers great views, as well as fully furnished offices complete with 1Gb fibre-optic broadband and reliable IT support, rentable meeting rooms, an onsite gym, colourful kitchens fully stocked with all the tea and coffee your team could want, a spacious atrium, and a friendly reception team that are here to help you with anything you need.

bird's-eye view of the atrium in Tec Marina's Cardiff offices

Our building is also compliant with current COVID-19 guidelines to help keep our residents and visitors safe, has secure onsite bike racks, and is near a free public car park and Cogan railway station, making it extremely easy for commuters.

Want to book a free viewing or simply find out more about our current available office space in Cardiff? Email us at contact@tecmarina.com or give us a call on 02921 678391.

The most sought-after employee perks your business should be offering in 2021

Employees working together in office

For many years, salary hasn’t been the most important part of a job description; instead, offering the right employee benefits can mean the difference between attracting the right talent that will grow with your business and your vacancies not remaining filled for long. Although last year brought plenty of uncertainty that has sadly continued into 2021, one thing that has changed is the needs and expectations of employees – and as a result, the workplace perks they expect to be offered.

2020 was a difficult and confusing time for most of us, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic causing a sudden shakeup in the way we work and communicate with our family, friends and coworkers. As a result of our usual face-to-face chats in the office largely being replaced with instant messages, emails and video meetings for much of the year, in 2021, a bigger emphasis needs to be placed on offering employee benefits that boost morale and well-being.

According to a recent study from Perkbox, the most sought-after workplace perk in 2021 will be employee discounts (on things such as supermarket shops and meals out), with over 50% of UK workers admitting that this benefit would make the largest difference to their happiness and well-being. Although this is something that may be difficult for every business to offer due to the current climate and logistics involved, there are plenty of other highly sought after perks that you can start working into your employee benefits packages now…

Remote and flexible working

Even before COVID-19 temporarily changed life as we know it, flexible working ranked highly on the list of the most sought-after perks of the job. In fact, 59% of respondents of a 2018 survey from TotalJobs said that this would be the most important benefit to them when looking for a new role. With statistics from the ONS showing that last April, 46.6% of UK workers carried out some of their work at home, it’s likely that your employees did the same – and that they may be continuing to work remotely now that the UK is back in lockdown.

Flexible working is a great morale and productivity booster, improving our work-life balance and allowing us to choose to complete our most pressing tasks when we’re at our most productive and focused. In 2020, many employees proved that they can be equally as productive when working from home as they did from the office, so you should continue to offer increased flexibility around working hours and location – even when social distancing and lockdowns have become a thing of the past.

How to offer this perk: If remote working is something that your organisation is still struggling to adapt to, investing in team collaboration software can help your employees to stay on the same page when working together remotely. Having 24-hour access to your workplace can also enable you to give them greater freedom around when they choose to work when they are in the office.

Greater recognition

We all want to be recognised for doing a good job – it can be a great morale booster, as feeling valued for the effort we put into our work encourages us to work even harder. Perkbox’s survey found that behind employee discounts, ‘greater recognition’ ranked as the second most desired employee benefit with 42% of people admitting that it would make them happier at work. Sadly, this is something that may have fallen to the wayside if your team is currently distributed across different kitchens, spare rooms and home offices.

How to offer this perk: It’s easy to say a quick ‘thank you’ to your teammate for a job well done when they’re sitting right next to you or even show your appreciation by bringing treats into the office for everyone to share. With the amount we interact with our colleagues falling as a result of working from home, managers should be scheduling regular 1-2-1s with the members of their team over a video call. This gives them the opportunity to check how they’re feeling and highlight any work that they’re particularly happy with. Offering early finishes or extra time off is also an easy and effective way to reward employees who are working remotely.

Additional (or unlimited) holidays

Yep, even with most of us having many of our plans cancelled and less events to fill our spare time in 2020, 41% of UK employees said that having unlimited or a greater amount of annual leave would make them happier in their job this year. The Perkbox survey also found that 35% of employees believed that being able to have time off for their mental health (known as ‘mental health days’) would be the most beneficial to their well-being in 2021.

With the effects of the pandemic still being felt (and likely to be felt for many months to come), taking care of your employees’ mental health and well-being is now more important than ever before. It’s easy for the lines between your working hours and your free time to blur into one when you’re working from home without the change of location. For many of us, the commute home 5 evenings a week is usually a great time to switch off from work. Instead, this has been replaced with simply shutting down our laptops and walking into another room in our home.

How to offer this perk: This really is as simple as it sounds – by looking at the current amount of annual leave you offer your employees and determining if you are able to add on a few extra days. If this is already pretty high, you can put a spin on this benefit by giving employees a day off for their birthday or offering them the chance to work overtime in order to accrue additional hours, which they can use to shorten their working days or even have a full day off work. Letting your staff know that they can speak to you about their mental health concerns and take the day off when they’re not feeling their best can also greatly reduce stress and help employees avoid burning out.

Safer environments

Interestingly, yet not surprisingly, access to free COVID-19 tests and vaccinations through their organization also ranked amongst the list of the most sought-after employee benefits. Although this is something that not every workplace can realistically offer, you can help your team to feel safe and assured that you care about their health during this difficult time by going the extra mile to make changes to their working environment and patterns.

Close-up of face mask and hand sanitizer

How to offer this perk: Your business should have already implemented necessary changes to your office to help prevent the spread of the virus, such as implementing a one-way system with appropriate signage, placing hand sanitizers throughout the building, installing screens between seating and ensuring that everyone is able to keep a 2m distance. However, you can do more by staggering your employees’ working hours so less people are in the office at one time and allowing them to work from different locations – both outside and inside of your office (if you have enough space). You should also be asking your employees directly what would make them feel safer.

Offering the right workplace benefits is one of the easiest ways to make your employees happy and encourage them to stay with your company for the long-term.

Tec Marina’s serviced offices near Cardiff, South Wales offer plenty of room for social distancing, as well as unlimited tea and coffee, a free onsite gym and changing rooms, and bright and spacious meeting areas. The building also has 24/7 access to allow for flexible working and we have taken all necessary measures to keep our residents and their visitors feeling safe during the pandemic.

Ready to feel inspired by your workplace? Find out more about our flexible offices and facilities or enquire about our available office space by emailing contact@tecmarina.com or calling 02921 678391.

Innovators set sail from Digital Festival 2017 to Tec Marina

As part of Digital ’17, Tec Marina played host as eager digital enthusiasts and entrepreneurs were, in true marina fashion, transported by boat from the Digital Festival through Cardiff Bay to Tec Marina. There, founder and CEO Chris Griffiths spoke live from the London Stock Exchange about his company’s journey so far and how OpenGenius, the ones behind Tec Marina, is the first Welsh company to be accepted onto the LSE’s Elite accelerator programme. A unique experience for all, Chris spoke of what an exciting time it is to be at the company right now.

As Digital Dozen finalists, OpenGenius took to the Showcase Stage to dazzle digital enthusiasts with their productivity and creativity-enhancing software tools at Digital Festival 2017 this week. Alongside a number of other tech companies based in Wales, OpenGenius pitched their technology tools to like-minded thinkers and investors in the digital sector. The festival, one devoted to ‘Innovation, Investment and Industry’ was a fantastic opportunity to showcase what Wales has to offer the global tech industry, and to mix with other companies to show off their products, iMindMap and DropTask.

GoCompare boat

Boat arrives

Entrance

Guests gather in the atrium

Chris live from LSE