Revealed: How Sky Betting and Gaming is designing its new Leeds office

When Sky Betting and Gaming launches its new headquarters this year, all eyes will be on what the post-pandemic offices will look like for one of Leeds’ biggest employers.

Sky Betting and Gaming has revealed plans for what it’s post-covid office will look like when it moves into 4 Wellington Place later this year. Picture: John Kees Photography

The firm, which is part of Flutter, the world’s biggest online gaming company, is moving into 4 Wellington Place, which was completed just before Christmas.

The investment will see Sky Betting & Gaming consolidate around 1,400 staff into one building on MEPC’s city centre business park from its dual locations of Number 2 and Number 6 Wellington Place.

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The company will increase its floor space from 105,00 sq ft to 136,000 sq ft, which includes more than doubling its number of meeting rooms from about 37 to 79.

The firm hopes to start the internal build by the end of this month. The fit out is expected to be completed by the end of May.

Speaking to The Yorkshire Post, Michael Afflick, Sky Betting and Gaming’s brand, creative and sponsorship director, who is leading the 4 Wellington Place project, said all employees were currently working remotely but the company is planning to move to hybrid working.

Under the new model, individuals will no longer have their own desk in the office. Instead there will be six desks for every 10 people.

The company is setting up what it calls ‘neighbourhoods’ for each department - physical spaces within the office, which individuals can also connect to from home.

“We’re trying to promote working from home when you want to and coming into the office when you need to, which we think will be about 40 per cent of the time,” Mr Afflick said.

The exact layout is still to be decided but features of the new building include a roof top terrace, a beer pump, silent spaces known as ‘zen zones’, and a social gaming space with pool tables and other equipment.

Technology will play a big role in the move. The group is building an app for people to book meeting rooms as well as parking and bike spaces. it is also spending £1m on new video conferencing and audiovisual equipment to further boost its remote working capabilities.

The ground floor of the new building will be SkyBet’s reception plus retail space for tenants, which is still to be confirmed.

Floors two to six will be ‘neighbourhood’ floors with up to 266 physical desks - a combination of work benches and sit/stand desks. Each floor will have between eight and 18 meeting rooms, plus informal meeting spaces, quiet pods for individual working and a ‘zen zone’.

Floor seven will have an in-house cafe with a barista bar and a beer pump, an amphitheatre presentation area going up to the eighth floor, an in-house gym, a production and editing suite plus training and interview facilities. The gaming room, a faith zone and mothering facilities will also occupy the two top floors. Bi-fold doors at the top of the building will lead to a rooftop terrace.

The inspiration for the new set up has been other Flutter buildings around the globe, but the group’s newest building in Leeds will also set a benchmark for future offices.

“We’re preparing for a post-covid world so the desks won’t be two metres apart,” said Mr Afflick. “We want to make coming into work more appealing than it ever has before. We think that part-time office working and more collaborative spaces will set us up better for the future.”

The company is also looking at its environmental impact and inclusive approach to employees. “We’re thinking about lighting, acoustics, different equipment, different set-ups, making sure we take every consideration into account,” Mr Afflick said.

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James Mitchinson