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Manchester Office Amenity Confronts All Your New Year Fears Head-On


So 2019 is the year you will really, truly, seriously cut down on the mid-week boozing, and make some serious use of the gym membership?

No, me neither. The human capacity for self-deception is boundless, so it is fortunate that Manchester's office landlords are showing signs of adapting to our real selves as much as to our aspirational best selves.

Ekistics, the UK/Lithuanian vehicle whose very name means the science of understanding how human communities work, has gone with the human flow as part of a 24K SF refurbishment of the 435K SF Exchange Quay office scheme at Salford.

Ekistics has included a landlord-operated bar in its fit out. ICE, a café by day which transforms into a bar in the evening, will be an attractive go-to destination for occupiers, it said.

The bar will "enhance the existing offer for occupiers and encourage a cohesive, collaborative community," Ekistics said. 

Located on the ground and first floor of ICE, the Ice Café Lounge and Coffee Bar is designed to provide a contemporary and cool haven for occupiers to work and unwind in, presumably with refreshment.

ICE can also double as coworking space and there is a large meeting room called, no doubt in honour of the artisan gin and tonics to be consumed there, the Ice Cube.

“Values in the workplace are changing, which in turn means that what occupiers want from an office building is also evolving," Ekistics Managing Director Axel Waldecker said. "A successful working environment must cater for a fully diverse workforce with the employee experience of balancing work and wellbeing. Our carefully designed new space provides a place for our residents to work, meet, talk, network, present, eat, drink, relax, entertain and play."

Exchange Quay has undergone a £10M refurbishment and remodelling programme in recent years. Ekistics acquired the development in 2017.

Exchange Quay is managed by Hunter Real Estate Investment Managers.

ICE, the new landlord-run café and bar at Exchange Quay, Salford

Whilst the wine flows at Exchange Quays, the joyless zealots who think January is about fitness and sobriety can take heart from new research by digital agency Hubble.

Hubble say that the number of companies searching for offices with gyms increased 8% month on month during 2018. One in seven British residents are said to have a gym membership, although how many make regular use of it is not so clear.

Alongside average month-on-month growth, Hubble’s figures show a particular spike in searches for offices with gyms in the first quarter of the year, and in the spring. The analysis shows February to March 2018 saw a 31% jump, and May to June rose 27%. 

“Fitness may always be high on the agenda in the new year, but a gym on site is a smart investment that goes way beyond a January resolution. It makes it easier for employees to find the time to exercise, which has a proven effect on health and wellbeing. In turn, this feeds into morale and overall productivity, and employers that can provide perks like this are setting themselves apart in attracting and retaining staff," Hubble Chief Executive Tushar Agarwal said.

Makes perfect sense. Now pour me another glass of red.