Softcat are a leading provider of technology solutions and services, working across the public and private sector. Softcat believe in working with their customers to create effective, innovative IT solutions. With a bold vision to be the leading company in their sector for employee engagement, customer satisfaction and financial performance.

Following a large increase to head count, the workspaces needed to provide high-quality breakout areas and facilities, along with the training facilities in their Marlow office being upgraded. Our partnership with Softcat started in 2018 for what was an initial new London Office and culminated in a ten phase, six site office design and build programme.

Creating a multi-site harmonious design

Softcat’s vision for their UK office network was to create a harmonious design across all sites. The design needed to reflect Softcat’s values; a fun and intelligent workspace, to support the passionate workforce, supporting their business objective to attract and retain employees, creating an environment where employees are excited to come to the workplace.

Manchester Softcat

A high-tech space supporting employee wellbeing, communication, and collaboration

Employee wellbeing was the heart of the design, we opened the reception area to create a welcoming space and improve movement and flow for employees throughout the building. We introduced various breakout spaces including pool and table tennis offering the team plenty of opportunities to step away from their desks for a break.

Being a tech-led business, technology integration into the space was crucial. Multiple large screens were incorporated into project spaces, including gaming screens for employees to utilise and connect with their teams. We also integrated technology into the space including a fully functional podcast room.

Communication, collaboration, and integration is key to Softcat. Working with lots of high-end clients, they regularly host vendors in their offices. The vendor spaces were designed with sleek and distinct visual zoning features and sufficient power and data to allow for long term working.

The Marlow office hosts training for employees across the country, we designed a training room designed to cater for a large volume of people – including folding walls and smart furniture storage. Manchester was kitted out with a similar training room on a smaller scale.

Project designer Alison Hollier explains “I enjoyed seeing the various projects come to life and seeing the harmonious design between all the offices being created. The Marlow office was built over nine phases, phase five, being the biggest design change in all the projects, an amazing new tea point, break out and games zone as well as reception and front entrance. It was a real wow moment”.

Softcat Lunch space
Softcat kitchen

A safe pair of hands

There were several challenges across all the projects, mainly the larger Marlow and Manchester projects, as we originally programmed for them to be delivered in phases whilst the client was in occupation. Whilst the projects were on site COVID-19 hit the UK, so all site activities were paused, whilst we set in place a new approach to health and safety for our on-site operatives

Once the sites were set up to meet the government guidelines for new working practices during the pandemic; three of the six projects were immediately returned to site – with the three already completed. Our transparent communications with the client and dedicated team approach enabled us to deliver these projects on time and achieve a successful PC.

Project Director Steve Taylor explains “We have an excellent relationship with Softcat - built upon trust and team spirit. Following the successful delivery of their first office in London, the confidence that Softcat had in our team, led to a six-site national roll out. There is no ambiguity with Softcat, transparency and great communication creates a strong relationship that has already spanned over two-years and promising to continue for many years to come”.

“We delivered an outstanding project, in terms of design, the experience of working with our in-house design and M&E teams, creating a harmonious relationship with the client, and we became partners in the delivery”.

“The team remained consistent during the two-year relationship, providing Softcat with the surety and confidence that they would receive the very highest levels of service and attention. Most importantly we had a lot of fun along the way”.

Softcat
Softcat breakout space