Leading business advisory firm Grant Thornton UK LLP is celebrating moving to the heart of Reading centre, part of its continued investment in the Thames Valley region.
The new base at One Valpy in the central business district marks Grant Thornton’s continued focus in Reading and follows the firm relocating to a state-of the-art collaborative workplace in Oxford in September.
Designed by Peldon Rose, the Reading workspace incorporates feedback and insight from across the local Grant Thornton team, with everyone from trainees to partners consulted before the vision was brought to life.
The 7,851 sq ft layout is based around the principle of employees choosing from three work modes: social, collaboration and focus. In practical terms, this means that the office can facilitate a variety of working styles, with meeting rooms configured in such a way that anyone joining virtually is highly visible, audible and engaged with in-person participants – helping to encourage hybrid working. There are also quieter soundproofed areas, and more creative and collaborative spaces, which help to cater to different working styles in the business.
Grant Thornton’s Thames Valley and Southampton team of 320 people will be able to work flexibly across One Valpy in Reading, Sea Court Tower in Oxford and Benham 5 on the University of Southampton Science Park. All offices are easily accessible by public transport and have design continuity for those who split their time between the offices.
Jim Rogers, Practice Leader for Grant Thornton in Thames Valley, said: “We’re excited to open our new office and deepen our commitment to Reading, where we have many long standing clients and connections.
“The thinking around workspace has changed so much in the last 18 months. We feel we have created a hugely attractive and inclusive environment where people will want to be, and one which supports the great work we do as a firm. We believe the office space is where our culture comes alive and it is the beating heart of Grant Thornton. Our new space allows for quiet working, collaboration and mentorship. But it’s predominately a creative space. If people are sat at desks all day and not engaging with each other, they might as well be at home. So this about an environment that will draw us together so we have can start to have those valuable conversations again.”
Georgia Nogas, senior project designer at Peldon Rose who also designed the Oxford office, said: “After the success and positive feedback from the new Oxford base, we are looking forward to seeing this space come alive with the Grant Thornton team. During the design process, we wanted to ensure we created offices that brought all generations of the workforce together, attracting experienced people back into the office and also helping new entrants into the company understand the business’ ethos.
“The office caters to a variety of different working styles allowing teams to socialise, and collaborate, while also offering areas for focus and concentration. The reception area, the beating heart of the space, has a coffee shop feel which will promote conversations whilst the central spine borders a workspace with a mix of traditional and project benches which cater for full-team collaborations and focus areas. We worked closely with the Peldon Rose team to embody Grant Thornton’s values of diversity, excellence and agility and we couldn’t be more pleased with the final design.”