Since 1571, people flocked to Harrogate for its medicinal waters, now the spa town’s business community is tapping into its feel-good vibe.
A Harrogate office space is showcasing best practices for Stress Awareness Month (1-30 April), as 79% say work is the most common cause of stress (Statistica).
Cardale Park, which offers office suites and co-working spaces, has put well-being at the heart of its offer.
One in in 14 UK adults (7%) feel stressed every single day (CIPHR).
Sophie Phillips, Business and Marketing Manager at Cardale Park Properties, said: “Our ethos is very much that a healthy body and state of mind are key to good performance in the workplace, which is why we’ve incorporated an abundance of indoor and outdoor planting, a large relaxation space, low energy LED lighting as well as plenty of natural light into the design.”
Cardale Park has an interesting history. It was first opened by Princess Diana in 1991, and was home to Ackrill Newspapers, then owner of Harrogate Advertiser Series, with printing and production on site.
Bought by Cardale Park Properties in 2007, the office and warehouse were then refurbished, with four warehouses and seven offices created from the original design, before a major refurbishment programme in 2020 to create an eco-friendly business centre with health and wellbeing in mind, eventually creating workspace for up to 350 people.
Following the pandemic phase two got underway with the development of 16 additional offices and a co-working area on the first floor.
The site features not just the usual communal kitchens and lounge hubs, but breakout spaces, an onsite café, showers for those who want to use the nearby gym or jog or cycle to work, alongside a wellbeing events programme.
One of its model clients who have taken over multiple offices in Cardale Park is the research agency, Harlow Consulting.
Founded in 2019, Harlow Consulting is a fast-growing young business in Harrogate that has seen remarkable revenue growth at a rate of 220%. Clients include the NHS, Historic England and Skills Development Scotland.
Directors of Harlow Consulting, Clare Vokes and Jennifer Brennan (see photo right), were attracted to the space after deciding to put the well-being of their staff at the centre of their business practice.
Jennifer Brennan, Director of Harlow Consulting, said: “Our strapline is Changing Lives Through Research. That includes the lives of our staff team, as well as our clients. We offer flexible working and adhere to the Mindful Employer Charter. Staff are given access to a well-being hub of useful resources and have access to a dedicated Mental Health First Aider within the business, as well as multiple independent coaches based outside of the organisation.”
Their approach is for work to fit around employees’ lives, supporting their staff to navigate the other priorities in life, such as the school run or care commitments.
Harlow Consulting offer paid leave to their staff to do volunteering in their community, and give annual membership to RHS Harlow Carr Gardens so their team can go for walks in nature at lunchtime. They also offer a wellbeing allowance for staff to pursue their own thing – whether that be a spa day or pottery course.
Their Well Being Hub includes information and tools on topics ranging from the menopause, to effective management of stress and anxiety.
Jennifer added: “Cardale Park don’t just consider the practicalities of a working environment; they elevate it to take care of your wellbeing. Our staff take part in wellbeing activities throughout the year, last week we learned about exercises that can be done at your desk. They also bring in lifestyle and nutritional experts to provide guidance and recommendations on important topics such as eating well as well as relaxation exercises.”
Director at Cardale Park Properties, David Oxley, said: “We believe modern workplaces should support wellness goals, which is why we wanted the whole look and feel of 1 Cardale Park to be a little like a spa rather than an office, which we think we have achieved with a relaxed and natural ambience, creating an environment to enhance mood, motivation and performance. 1 Cardale Park moto is, ‘Don’t just exist at work…live!’”
Changing Lives Through Research
Harlow Consulting is a full-service research and evaluation agency operating across the UK. Our directors have over 30 years’ combined research experience in a wide variety of sectors including construction, Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), heritage and healthcare. We also work extensively in the education sector, and develop qualifications, standards and apprenticeship frameworks.
We are passionate about delivering high-quality research that makes an impact. Read more.
About Stress Awareness Month