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Take a tour of Moneypenny

Building our dream.

Complete with tree house, sun terrace and even our own Dog & Bone pub, our co-founder Ed takes us on a tour of our new office.

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Ed Reeves, co-founder: Welcome to Moneypenny’s new headquarters; our new office based here, in Wrexham, which we’ve built over the last 18 months. 12 months of construction; this is the result.

It is, hopefully, one of the most exciting office developments in the area, certainly the largest office development that’s been in North Wales or the Wrexham area, ever, and its somewhere which is pushing the sort of boundaries of how an office can work in terms of mixing that work-life balance quite a lot; we’ve got things which we’ll talk about inside, in terms of we’ve got a pub and we’ve got tree houses and we’ve got lots of play areas, but at the same time, the emphasis on this building is about productivity for Moneypenny and achieving our overall goal of consolidating our five different offices into one single office, here, and giving us the opportunity to grow.

I had a great moment yesterday, which is where some of the architects came over along with the developers – and they were there to have a bit of a bun fight over signing off the building and handing it over – and, as they walked up here – I just so happened to be inside – one of the first things the architect did was sit on the hand of my gorilla and got his photo taken and so, suddenly, for me that meant that things had worked. One of the main things we want to achieve from this building is when people walk up to it and walk into it we want them to smile – be that the clients, be that a member of staff, be that a potential recruit – if people smile we know we get the best out of them in every respect and the building is helping people smile, that’s job number one.

Every single employee at the moment is listed on here – again it’s all part of that feeling of belonging – because we’ve got an extraordinary team at Moneypenny and their contribution to the business, in whatever small or major role they play at the moment, is the only way we’ve achieved this. The building is owned by our staff, for our staff and the start of that, really, is making sure that their names are on the walls and part of it.
Welcome to the middle; the middle of Moneypenny! What we want to do in this area is we want every single member of staff to rub shoulders with other members of staff and it doesn’t matter what department they’re in – doesn’t matter if they’re IT, Marketing or whatever – we want them to come into this space and share their thoughts, their ideas, their aspirations. It’s Moneypenny’s heart and it’s its soul and its character all in one space.

People will walk in, everyone at Moneypenny will have an app on their phone, and it’ll say “Ed I like a…” well that looks like and expresso, and you walk up here and press ‘go’ and you have your coffee waiting for you as you walk into the company, which I adore. Here we go and that’s it; the whole coffee machine is that pipe and the app, if you want the app – if you don’t have your phone with you – if you do have your phone with you then we have it here. This is my first ever taste, first time I’ve seen it working…. it’s great.

Around the reception desk and the back of reception desk, again it’s great to encourage people to come into work early because people sort of, yeah… people run into work run up to their desk like, “Sugar! Yeah I’ve only just got in that’s not such a great thing.” On here, every morning, there’s fruits there’s croissants, there’s all sorts of lots of hot nibbles and so on and it’s a free service for everyone. Breakfast is there, so if people can enjoy their time and just relax as they come to work, it’s good for us, hopefully it’s good for them, it’s a good thing.

You need to get a lifestyle designer to design a lifestyle space; office designers will create office spaces and trying to get an office designer and put them into that box of designing a lifestyle space is nearly impossible, so we gave up, and we got in touch with this company that do pubs and they do funky sort of pubs around the place and we’ve said to them “Guys what can we do?” they got very excited about this in a way that excited us. The furnishings in this area are totally down to them and they’re very different to anything we started out at and we would have saved an awful lot of time if we had clocked this idea in the first place.
We needed a wall there and some bright spark said “Well when you have company meetings why don’t you just sit everyone down in that space on that wall and put seating on there?” and it works absolutely brilliantly.

This area, we feel, is critical to Moneypenny’s daily routine. Everybody eats, at Moneypenny we put on, hopefully, a good spread for them every day. We love the team that run it; they’re all part of our daily lives, they all know what we like and what we don’t like, and it fits, hopefully, with what we feel is the heart of the business.

This whole region of the building exemplifies so much of what is good about Moneypenny, about that enjoyment of being here and the fact that we’re, hopefully, striking a balance between that sort of “What’s work and what’s play?” and we like this area, too, because of the way it is; it’s a happy area and we’ve gone for truly logical signage, so where things are put away, hopefully, we say they are put away instead of shoving it in the storeroom. We have a right hand side and a left hand side and we have down on the right and up on the right and so on, it’s a nice fun way of pinning down locations.

Come down here, come into the bar; this is one of the most exciting areas. This space is about being social and enjoying your time at Moneypenny and enjoying it after Moneypenny and using those relationships you have at work and using the facilities you have at work for your own enjoyment in your own time.

This space here is hopefully starting to… well, on the original brief of the architects, we had this bring the outside in the inside out, turn it round mix up these spaces. We want everyone to want to spend time outside we don’t want to feel cocooned in an office, so we’ve got a path running round, we’ve got various swings in trees lots of fun things hopefully to encourage people out there and enjoy that space.

We’ve even got our own pond, which we’re very excited about; we had four little ducklings on it last week, which has made my day. This scene is quite alien to a lot of businesses and we are very fortunate to be where we are, to be in this semi-rural location, I don’t think that many offices have such brilliant views, but we don’t share this space with anybody; we’re in our own little world and were very fortunate for that.

Throughout the offices we’ve created individual kitchen pods; again, nothing too exciting about this, tea or coffee areas for each person. The reason we did them and the reason we did them this way is so we break up the office space. I don’t know if you’ve ever been into a call centre environment but one of the most shocking things is this mass of people and just little heads everywhere and in losing that sort of individuality that comes with being one of those thousands and we didn’t want it, so we’ve used those kitchen pods to break up each of the floors.

I do love these, they came from Camden Lock; somebody had a lock up, they were pulling it apart and a friend of ours was there and he said “I’ll have those.”
In the office, natural light is a critical thing for us. Again, I sat down with everyone from Moneypenny getting everyone’s thoughts, in fact it’s right up there – I would say the highest thing up there – was people wanted a view, they wanted natural light and so what we said to the architects was that we’d like everybody to be somewhere five meters from natural light and we’ve got that and what they did was they incorporated the atrium, so they put all the light into the atrium coming into the office space on that side and, obviously, outside light coming in there.

This is one of the rooms which I know that everyone will come up with every excuse to come and use. We say we want all the meetings to be down there in the middle of the atrium, however this is where people will want to have the meetings and this our tree house. At the end of the day, it’s a meeting room; it’s just a meeting room like any other you’ve ever been to, but it’s a fun one and why not, there seems to be no reason why not. We can have a laugh in here, we can have a giggle, we can do some serious business and we can enjoy all that’s going on around Moneypenny at the same time.

There will be a lot more going on; a lot more plants, a lot more shape. It feels very, sort of, flat so we’re introducing a lot of character and that’s all turning up tomorrow. We worked very hard to develop a seating arrangement which worked for Moneypenny, so we came up with this system here; these are 120 degree desks, we got them made by a company called Gresham and we’ve been trialling them over a year in lots of different scenarios. The point is that, when a Moneypenny PA is sitting here, they’re talking directly at the screen and yet, just to the side, to either side, their colleagues are around them and they can share information that they want to outside of the phone conversation. So at any time, when you’re on the phone, you’re talking to a high screen, as soon as you’re off the phone, you can spin round and share.

In all of the office spaces – come round here, shame on you camera you can’t actually feel it – every single surface as you go around the building is sound absorbent so, be that these chaps here, we’ve got more absorbent carpet tiles on the screens, even these – I think they’re called – celling rafts, hanging up there and, basically, they are a bit like compressed domestic insulation foam, all squashed in and put into panels and the result is that in this space we have no bouncing sound and, its quite eerie at first, there’s no echo at all.

We’re up here on the top floor; this is a shell of a room, this is our growth space, this is the future of Moneypenny. Within 12 months we will be fitting this out and this will house two wings, another 400 odd people. The rate of growth we have as a company, we have to make sure that the building itself supports us in every way possible and supporting new staff coming in is critical to that.

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