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Where We Work: Space & Time, Manchester

Space & Time

Growth marketing agency Space & Time initially opened its first Manchester office back in 2004 with just four people.

Exchange Quay has been home to Space & Time since 2016 and is the agency’s third location in the North West. Alongside the Manchester office, the agency’s additional offices span across Bournemouth, Edinburgh, Surrey and London.

In the six years since Space & Time moved into its offices at Exchange Quay, it has grown the Manchester team from 11 to 41 people, reconfigured its layout and signed a second, longer lease.

Now home to 30% of the agency’s total headcount, the sizable office will support the Space & Time’s plans for expansion in the region over the coming years. 

We took a look behind the scenes of Space & Time’s 3,000 sq ft office, which features an open plan design with breakout areas.

 

Heather Connearn, Executive Director
Heather Connearn, Executive Director


Heather Connearn, Executive Director at Space & Time, introduces us to the Manchester office…

“Our Manchester office is an open-plan space that encourages interdisciplinary working. It has great commuter links giving access to our team that comes from all over Greater Manchester and Lancashire. Being situated within Exchange Quay really offers employees the best of both worlds. As well as working from a large modern space with incredible views, the team is also able to benefit from the numerous facilities and activities offered by the wider estate.

Where is it?

5th Floor, Building 8, Exchange Quay, Salford Quays, M5 3EQ



How big is it? 

Spread across 3,000 sq ft, our space is open plan with two meeting rooms, a breakout area and kitchen. All the standard amenities and clutter of agency life are provided: Xbox, dartboard, Sonos system, neon wall art, fruit basket, drinks fridge, life-size Obama cut-out, sea lion stuffed toy… 

Being on the fifth floor, the views are impressive, with full-height windows looking out across the city to the Pennines. The light and aspect offered were one of the things that drew us to the space in the first place, and we had previously seen and rejected more-overlooked spaces for exactly this reason. 

Situated within the Exchange Quay estate, we have ready access to Exchange Quay Metrolink and the neighbouring Pure Gym. There is an on-site post office, refectory, coffee shop, nursery, convenience store, cycle hub, faith room, games room and parking. The facilities are high-quality as well as numerous: the cycle hub for example includes a first-rate shower facility, lockers, two secure cages, a maintenance station and regular visits from “Dr Bike” for free cycle health checks.

What happens there?

Although we offer hybrid working, each office remains the focus of the work we provide for clients, with the timing of in-office days arranged to allow teams for any given discipline or any particular client sufficient opportunity to meet in person regularly. We make comprehensive use of comms and remote-meeting software, but in some circumstances there’s no substitute for sitting down face to face. 

As well as using the space to meet with each other, we also meet with clients regularly, for a marketing meeting, a strategy session or one of our wide range of training sessions, while partners are also routinely in attendance to ensure we are fully abreast of the latest opportunities they offer. 

Being in the office together is also an opportunity to relax with colleagues, whether that’s Friday beers at your desk, inter-office quiz sessions, arguing about the agency’s Fantasy Football league or book club, pizza lunches or trips out to nearby bars and restaurants. 

An exciting and diverse calendar of events is also provided on the estate, organised and promoted by the excellently managed facilities team. There is an Exchange Quay app that promotes these events to staff directly and secures their engagement. In the last six months our team has enjoyed free yoga classes, harvested honey from the Exchange Quay beehives (a significant source of civic delight for our team of proud Mancunians), attended free counsellor sessions covering topics such as ‘managing imposter syndrome’, and had a poke around an F1 car. Various makers’ markets attend during key seasonal events (Christmas, Easter for example) and different food pop-ups are scheduled, ranging from Souvlaki to (my personal favourite) pick and mix.

The refectory also has an engaging events calendar, whether that’s screening major sporting events or running themed menus. With a more commercial hat on, Exchange Quay also organises B2B networking events for its tenants, which given the size of the space here and the diversity of the businesses within it, is a valuable opportunity for an agency like ours.



What sort of work goes on?

The full breadth of the agency offering is covered from Manchester, including media (PPC, SEO, programmatic, social and traditional media buying), technology, performance creative, and training. In addition to housing specialists in every capability, we have a number of highly knowledgeable client experience professionals, tasked with ensuring that the delivery of our output is seamless, fully integrated and dovetails to the wider growth marketing roadmap of each client. 

The open plan office supports our ‘hub model’ way of working, promoting collaboration between specialist teams, de-siloing our work and supporting development and opportunities for the team as they get access to a broad range of our own capabilities and a greater understanding of the wider commercial endeavours of both the agency
and its clients.

With ample meeting space both within our office and across the Exchange Quay estate, or with walking meetings available along the Irwell, the fabric, layout and location play a significant role in the collaboration that allows us to meet a highly diverse and specialised range of client needs.

Why is the workplace appropriate?

Location is a key benefit here. As well as simply being a fantastic place to work, Exchange Quay is superbly served by public transport, has almost immediate access to the M602 and the M60, and sufficient parking. Being able to get out to see clients in person and visit their outlets to walk the ground, see the competition and review the point of sale is essential to our business, and the location of this office facilitates that. 

At the same time, however, the bars and restaurants (and now, famously, the Greggs) of Media City are within walking distance. There are enough facilities on site that we don’t really miss out by not being located more centrally, and the city centre is still only a couple of stops away by tram. 

The range of transport options has been central to our capacity to attract and retain talent over recent years, enabling the significant growth that has been achieved. Whilst not a key determinant in our decision to move here, the quality of the estate management has proven key to its suitability for our continued tenancy.

The energy put into events and activities for staff is impressive, and as we work on realising our commitment to achieving net zero by 2030, we’re confident that the landlord and the management team will be able both to support our endeavours and to provide sufficient granularity in terms of their own energy usage or carbon costs to allow us to benchmark our progress properly.



Who works there? 

Space & Time takes care to distribute each of its numerous specialisms across its five offices. It ensures that the people actuating paid social, for example, are not all cloistered in one location but are fully integrated into the business and its delivery of results: meeting clients in person, presenting performance data and advising on strategy in person, seeing products in situ and playing a full part in the broader marketing project. 

Our 41 experts in Manchester offer a massive range of skill-sets covering client experience, PPC, SEO, social, programmatic, technology, training and consultancy skills. A full range of job roles and seniority are also represented, from board members, training director, leads in SEO, social, OOH, programmatic, broadcast and OOH, solutions architects, strategic performance directors, all the way through to LaunchPad (our entry-level training program open to all and with a new phase preparing to launch later in the year).

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