Something for the weekend: Cirencester-based technology organisation Money.co.uk has completed a £3 million renovation project to transform a grade two listed castle into the ultimate high-tech workplace, personalised to cater for the wants and needs of the organisation’s 50 employees and to boost employee engagement.
The 10,000-square foot Victorian castle, which is part of the Bathurst Estate, features a variety of themed rooms that follow suggestions from staff members, including a Star Wars-themed cinema complete with popcorn machine, as well as Rolling Stones and Steam Punk-themed bathrooms. Even the meeting rooms have been given a makeover to feature an ice cave, ski lodge and a library with a secret passage.
State-of-the-art technology has also been installed, including iPads, in-built video conferencing, surround sound systems with high-definition projectors and subwoofers built into tiered seating, and customisable lighting.
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Staff can unwind during their breaks with access to an arcade machine, pool table, table football and PlayStation 4, or they can check out the free on-site weights gym and cardio studio if they prefer to do something more active.
After employees were asked for their input, the final design was completed by TV designer Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, and design and build organisation Interaction.
The office renovation is the latest perk to be presented to staff. Employees already enjoy free breakfasts, flexible start times, monthly socials, weekly beers and an early finish on Fridays, free weekly games of basketball and football, and three days off a year to volunteer for charity. Staff also receive an all-expenses-paid mini break abroad every year, to destinations such as Florida, New York, Budapest, Dubrovnik and Copenhagen.
Chris Morling, founder and managing director at Money.co.uk, said: “You spend half your working life in the office and I wanted to create a motivating, uplifting environment which gave my team flexibility and encouraged collaboration. Looking after your team is paramount and it’s really important I give them the best of everything. Ultimately my team are my most valuable asset.
“An amazing physical environment is just a small piece of the jigsaw when you’re creating a great place to work. When your team truly feel valued and their opinions are listened to they feel empowered and that’s worth far more than any of the perks and benefits we offer. The castle redesign is not at the core of my mission to create the best place to work, it’s simply the icing on the cake.”
Here at Employee Benefits, we love the grandeur of being able to work in a castle; and we would definitely make the most of a Star Wars-themed cinema!