Business advice specialist moves hybrid work model closer with office switch

Jun 08, 2021

Challenge House, Bletchley

IT IS a sign of the times and perhaps a harbinger of things to come across the business world.

Professional services firm KPMG, one of the largest in the world, has vacated its office in Central Milton Keynes to take space at Challenge House in Bletchley.

The move is part of the firm’s decision to switch to a hybrid model of working, giving its staff a new balance of office and home working. KPMG employees have said that they would feel comfortable spending more of their time working from home.

KPMG has agreed a two-year lease on “a large space” on the ground floor of the business centre, near Bletchley railway station and historic Bletchley Park, in Sherwood Drive.

KPMG’s new office space at Challenge House

The firm sees the move as important and strategic, with the improvements to Bletchley station being completed for the reopening of the East West Rail line linking Oxford, Milton Keynes, Bedford and ultimately Cambridge.

KPMG is also a major partner in the Institute of Technology based at Milton Keynes College’s Bletchley campus nearby.

Caitriona Hunt, KPMG’s senior partner in Milton Keynes, said: “We are extremely pleased to be moving to new premises in the region which not only enable us to stay close to our clients and the vibrant Milton Keynes business community but also supports the firm’s planned adoption of hybrid working.  

“Our new office space is very exciting and will be used primarily for collaboration, teamwork and learning as we look to bring staff back to offices after over a year of working from home.”

Caitriona Hunt

KPMG unveiled plans in May for new hybrid working patterns, The firm is to begin a £44 million programme of investment to transform its offices into collaborative spaces and invest in new home working technology for staff.  remote working over the past year has been a success, the firm says, and the new strategy has been designed in consultation with KPMG’s 16,000 workforce and aims to offer greater flexibility and choice. 

In a survey of staff carried out in March, 87% of respondents said they liked not having to commute. 76% enjoy the greater flexibility working from home offers and 65% feel they now have a better work/life balance. 

Being based at Challenge House enables KPMG staff to travel easily into Milton Keynes and to London, Ms Hunt added.

“The space is well placed to pick up on the benefits of the government’s plans for the Oxford-Cambridge Arc with significant investment in the East-West Rail line, a planned refreshed station at Bletchley and investment in the town centre. 

“The location is also close to the new Institute of Technology where we are an anchor partner and will allow staff to get involved with the IoT as they support the next generation of STEM students helping bridge the local digital skills gap. 

“We are genuinely excited about this move which we are sure will provide staff with a flexible new way to work and an opportunity to make a real difference in our local community and in our local economy.”  

Landmark Property Solutions, which owns Challenge House and other business centres in Leicestershire, has described KPMG’s move as “momentous”.

Managing director Peter Rahal said: “It is fantastic to see an international company of the stature of KPMG choose Challenge House in Bletchley as a key location for their new hybrid work model. Our team have worked closely with KPMG to enable the creation of their first flexible workspace post pandemic. This is a momentous development for Landmark Property Solutions, Challenge House and Bletchley.  

“We look forward to providing KPMG with all the services they require in the new era of flexible workspace solutions.”

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