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Where We Work: The SEO Works, Sheffield

The SEO Works, Sheffield

The SEO Works is a marketing and SEO agency with offices based across Sheffield, London and Leeds.

At the agency’s Sheffield office, based at The Fountain Precinct building, it is right in the heart of the city, opposite the famous Cole Brothers building and next to the City Hall.

Originally opened in 1974, it was built on the site of the demolished ‘Grand Hotel’.

Before the pandemic, the building underwent extensive renovations, including a £3.5m modernisation project by its owners. It’s now equipped with multiple custom fit-out office spaces, an upgraded reception and core, a work lounge / breakout space and an exclusive external terrace.

The brand new mezzanine and communal break out spaces are on the site of a famous Sheffield nightclub! Last year, the popular bar ‘Manahatta’ opened a new restaurant and bar on the ground floor too.

Ranked as one of Prolific North’s Top 50 Digital Agencies for 2023, we find out what happens at the agency’s HQ…

Ben Foster, Chief Executive Officer at The SEO Works, introduces us to the office…

“Our office space represents two commitments we are making as a business – a commitment to hybrid office working and it’s benefits, and a commitment to the city of Sheffield. By undertaking a completely custom fit out, we have created a space for our team that helps collaboration, communication and culture to thrive. It’s also right in the heart of the city where it all began for us.”

Where is it?

Fountain Precinct, Balm Green, Sheffield, S1 2JA

How big is it?

The building has eight floors, which includes a mezzanine break out space as well as an external terrace. The communal break out space comes equipped with a fresh bean to cup coffee machine, and a wide variety of meeting areas – from comfy sofa spaces, to more practical communal working pods. The terrace is a perfect space for when the weather is nice – with seating and fairy lights, it is even a brilliant space for team socials.

We occupy an 8,600 sq ft unit on the third floor. Before moving in, we completed a £200,000 custom fit-out to create a truly unique space. The meeting rooms are state of the art, and come in a variety of sizes to account for different requirements. Complete with glass walls and hanging plants, these are light and airy spaces for creativity to flourish. The break out spaces also have a focus on community and collaboration, with sociable bench-style lunch areas, a pool table, communal book shelves and plenty of board games too!

Finally, the working spaces themselves are open plan, allowing the team to work collaboratively and to create an open and social working environment.

What happens there?

What doesn’t happen there! This office is our HQ, and where all of our team are based. We offer flexible working, so people can be in the office two or more days per week. However we ensure teams are all in together a minimum of one day per week – this ensures our teams (or ‘pods’) develop close working relationships and are able to collaborate effectively.

We deliver award-winning SEO, PPC, Web and Digital PR services to a wide variety of clients. Our ability to provide a wide range of digital services is something many clients find helpful, and we have many clients with us for multiple services. This is where the office comes in – the open plan and collaborative nature of our office allows seamless work throughout the departments, and a better more integrated service.

The variety of meeting room spaces also accounts for the blend of home and office working, with plenty of space for both video calling and in person meetings.

What sort of work goes on?

None of our work is outsourced, so every single aspect of our campaigns occurs in the office. Content writing, website building, campaign creation, everything! For us this is why a
very modern and open working space was so crucial. Campaigns consistently rely on multiple brains working together, so we wanted to ensure the office space encouraged collaboration.

We also have our own internal training programme, which takes place at the office. Again, the variety of meeting spaces comes in very helpful – from smaller rooms for our one-to-one session with new starters, to larger boardroom style rooms for full-team training! We also encourage our team members to run sessions on areas of work they’re passionate about – these ‘Share Your Work’ sessions attract a large number of attendees, and having the capacity to accommodate everyone (virtual attendees included) is crucial, and helps make these a cornerstone of our culture.

Why is the workplace appropriate?

This office represented two commitments for our business – a commitment to the benefits of office working, and a commitment to the city of Sheffield.

Although we understand and support the benefits of a hybrid working style, we are also great believers in the benefits of the office – whether that’s through peer to peer support, creative collaboration, or growing our culture. This office was created with that front of mind, and was a significant part of encouraging our staff to return to the office following the pandemic. We wanted to create a space they wanted to work in, and a space that reinforced the benefits of in person working.

Our agency was founded in Sheffield and despite taking on clients around the world, is still a very important place to us. This office also represented our faith in and love of the city, with it’s central location and iconic history. Sheffield is experiencing a fantastic period of development and we wanted our team to be right in the heart of it. From the growth of retail and hospitality, to the booming digital sector here, it’s a very exciting time to be in Sheffield – and our office is right in the middle of it all!

Who works there?

90 people (and growing!), across our senior leadership team, service-delivery teams (SEO, PPC, web and digital PR), administration and accounts, plus sales and marketing.

Take a look inside the office…

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