EY has announced that it will be relocating to new office space in Reading, which has been designed to facilitate the firm’s new hybrid working model.
The new office marks EY’s continued investment in its Thames Valley business. Over the last financial year, the firm has acquired Lane4 and Pythagoras, which both have operations in the Thames Valley. In September 2021, EY Reading also welcomed 46 new graduates and apprentices to the team, bringing its headcount to over 750 people.
Investing in a modern workspace
EY is moving to R+ on Blagrave Street which maintains the firm’s location in the heart of Reading and is in close proximity to key transport links. It will provide more areas for collaboration and tech enabled meeting rooms, along with a variety of workstations including desks, team areas and informal seating.
Last year, EY confirmed that it would be transitioning to a hybrid working model in the UK, enabling individuals to split their time between the office, client sites, or working from home. This builds on the firm’s long-standing culture of flexible working, which had been in place for many years prior to the pandemic.
EY has signed an initial five-year lease on the 25,000 sq ft of office accommodation, which is located over two floors, and expects to move in by Spring 2022. The new office will provide better connectivity and facilities for hybrid working, including interactive meeting rooms with enhanced video conferencing facilities. The office will benefit from webinar and webcast rooms, which will be used to host online and in person audience events for clients and EY people.
Wellbeing and sustainability at forefront of new office design
The office space has also been designed with health and wellbeing in mind, with a dedicated multi-faith room, as well as social spaces, including larger communal eating areas. These enhancements aim to encourage individuals to take regular breaks away from their desks and provide areas to meet with team members.
Supporting EY’s sustainability goals, echargers and cycle racks will also be available, along with access to showers and changing spaces. R+ Reading is rated BREEAM Excellent (*) and benefits from solar mounted roof panels and LED low energy lighting throughout.
Richard Baker, Office Managing Partner at EY in Reading, said: “We believe that a hybrid working model will allow us to maximise the benefits of in-person collaboration with flexible remote working. It’s about trusting and empowering our people to manage their day in a way that works for them, their teams, and their clients.
“Our new offices in Reading have been designed to help facilitate this new way of working. There’s a much bigger emphasis on areas for collaboration, where teams can come together, rather than just having desks for independent working, which is more likely to be done at home.
“We’ve used focus groups, surveys and pilots with people from across the business to test, refine and evolve our approach and ensure that we develop a concept for a new office environment that meets the needs of our people, clients and other stakeholders. This is a really exciting time for our business in Reading, after what has been a challenging couple of years for everyone during the pandemic. I look forward to welcoming the team to our new premises in Spring.”
Concluding, Richard said: “We have continued to recruit throughout the pandemic, strengthening our Thames Valley and South business with a number of new hires. Investment in new office space continues our commitment to our regional business as we look to meet the needs of our clients and colleagues.”