Paul Eatock

Manchester-based Eatock Design and Build has celebrated a successful first year of business, securing the appointment of CarFinance247 for the office refurbishment at their Manchester HQ.

Set up last Autumn by one of the region’s leading fit-out specialists – Paul Eatock – Eatock Design and Build now operates nationwide; servicing the office and commercial sector, accommodating projects of all sizes including full reconfigurations to extensive refurbishments.

With much of 2020 and early 2021 consisting of workplace consultancy in the face of changing COVID-19 regulations and guidelines; the company achieved a first-year turnover of £550,000. Buoyed by the appointment of several new client wins including CarFinance247, this is predicted to reach £2 million this year.

“We worked with CarFinance247 on a consultancy basis at the start of lockdown as they wanted to make sure they were compliant with regulations”, said Paul. “We’ve now been tasked with revamping their office space to cater to the changing needs of their large workforce post-lockdown.

“Crucially, as a client, they understand the value of their company culture and what this means for staff retention. This translates into the trust placed in us to create something truly unique and special. Their team will now be provided with a range of both quiet and collaborative spaces offering the flexibility to enable them to work how they want to.  When people don’t need to be in the office all day every day and certainly not chained to a desk, it’s the importance placed on company culture that keeps them coming back.”

Paul’s previous working relationship with CarFinance247, and his understanding of the business, their people and company culture plays a crucial role in this new project.

David Miller, CFO and Head of People at CarFinance247 said: “We don’t feel like we’re dealing with just a fit-out company, we feel we’re dealing with Paul as a person. Not only does that give us the confidence in his vast experience and extensive network; but it also means we’re working with someone who understands the unique requirements of our business and the value we place on our people.

“He’s someone that can move quickly as things change. Whether that’s ensuring we’re compliant with changing regulations or ensuring that our people can work somewhere that caters to their needs, he just gets it.”

Much of Eatock Design and Build’s work in 2021 has been assisting their clients revamp their offices to welcome back employees who have become used to working from home. The challenge has been to transform traditional spaces into workplaces that cater to the health and wellbeing of staff, enhance productivity, and retain and attract talent.

Paul said: “These days, offices can’t simply resemble the same spaces that workforces left pre-pandemic. Resimmercial is the real buzzword of the moment. We’re talking offices with a more residential feel, including more soft furnishings and spaces that feel much more like coffee shops.

“First and foremost we want to help our clients encourage people back to the office, but we also want to make sure these new spaces work from a productivity perspective. Productivity is no longer simply measured on time at your desk, it’s about output and outcomes – the office spaces of 2021 and beyond must cater to this.

“Where once breakout spaces were small and viewed as add-ons, now they are the core focus with things having turned full circle. These are where the best ideas and the best concepts come from. The approach should be to encourage people to communicate and collaborate. Employees are valuing that more than anything else as we’re all humans at the end of the day and we want to interact with people.

“When you want to retain staff and attract the best staff, it’s not always about paying the highest wages. It’s about the environment, culture and how it feels to work for that business.”

With more companies placing increased emphasis on this, Paul and his team have been working closely with their clients to ensure their workspace reflects the company culture.

And with city centres continuing to evolve post-COVID, the company’s work has also focused on new retail and hospitality fit-outs, as well as transforming former retail units to state-of-the-art physiotherapy spaces.

Paul added: “This is a crucial time for businesses up and down the country to get things right for their staff and customers. But it’s also a key time for our business too. We’re seeing significant growth and we’ll be looking to move to new city centre office space while we continue to build our team and our unique company culture.”