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Working and collaborating together – our new UK HQ

We’ve all been there: you’ve arranged a catch-up with a colleague and then you find there are no meeting rooms free. Or you’ve bumped into someone at the coffee machine, got chatting and need to find a space to talk through a project you’re working on. If you’re like me, you might also sometimes need a quiet place away from the madding crowd to do some serious writing/planning/coding/watching cats play the piano on YouTube. So having the right working spaces in your office is important – and that’s why we’re building this idea of working and collaborating into our new UK HQ building.

Creating an inspiring workspace

In part 1 of our office move blog series we explained why we’re moving to a bigger location – because Xero UK is growing so quickly we need more space for our amazing people. We really want our new HQ to be a shining example of flexible, cutting-edge working. So, how are we going to do this? I sat down with our new UK Facilities Manager, Christine Prince, to find out what the new office will be like once it’s all fitted out:

“Collaboration is really important, so there will be eight, fully teched-up meetings rooms in the new office. So that’s a great starting point for us working more closely together. But we’ll also have open-plan desks, booths and meeting pods dotted around the floor so people can have more informal meetings, or quick catch-ups where privacy isn’t an issue. I think that’s really going to improve how we work.

We’re making sure we have some super-fast WiFi in the office, so that means all our people will be able to connect wherever they are in the building. And there are going to be breakout spaces where clients can come in, hot-desk and get on with some work away from their own office. We’re hoping to make it much easier for us to collaborate, brainstorm and work alongside our partners in this new building, especially now that we’ve got so many educational and enablement resources for our Xero partners.”

Space to work, rest and play

And that’s not all, folks. We’ll also have a games console space with a big plasma screen and comfy beanbags to chill out on. And there’s a pool table in the kitchen for when we need a bit of competitive spirit. The kitchen is going to be amazing. We’ll have full cooking facilities, all the usual white goods appliances and some quality coffee machines, all focused around a central kitchen bar with stools and seating for us all to get together for lunch or a sneaky tea and cake – there’s even a tea and coffee point for when the caffeine buzz is needed. By the way, thanks very much to Receipt Bank for the amazing cake they sent us in the run-up to Accountex. It didn’t last very long, as you can see in this pic. We never turn down a free cake!

For the more energetic members of the team who want to run/cycle/skateboard to work (or who’ve eaten too much of that cake), we’re also fitting in two shower rooms and one wet room shower. So there’ll be no excuses for our trainee Xero Dragon Boat team not being fresh as daisies after their training sessions.

So, what shall we call our meeting rooms?

We’re always very keen to innovate here at Xero. So we’ve been thinking very hard about what names we should give our eight, shiny new meeting rooms. A few suggestions for themes that have come up so far are ‘Famous names from technology’, ‘Historical British figures’ and ‘Names of old school computers from the 80s’.

But what do you think? If you’ve got a great theme for our meeting room names, we’d love to hear your ideas. Drop us a comment below, or tweet as at our @xero Twitter account.



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14 May 2014 #

How about British food themed meeting rooms; Bangers and Mash, Fish and Chips, Boiled Egg and Soldiers, Beans on Toast, Roast Dinner, Apple Crumble and Custard, Summer Pudding and finally, Afternoon Tea.

14 May 2014 #

How about the historic MK villages e.g. Abbey, Bletchley, Caldecotte, Loughton, Middleton, Simpson, Tongwell, Walton etc?

14 May 2014 #

You know how Xero is full of coffee lovers, how about coffee themed meeting rooms; espresso, cappuccino, Americano, Latte, Macchiato or if you want to be really coffee obsessed different regions the coffee beans originate; Sumatran, Brazilian, Jamaican Blue Mountain, Costa Rican etc etc ??

14 May 2014 #

How about English Cheeses (i’m going to book out the Lanark Blue), Shakespearean plays (see you in the Tempest suite), Cakes (meeting at 3pm in the Battenberg room), Greek Gods (Zeus, Aphrodite) or old english cartoons (Bagpuss, Postman Pat, Noddy) – few ideas.

14 May 2014 #

Ok I am on a roll, how’s about the Drury Bar, the Turner Suite, the Longden lounge, the Day room, the Tate gallery, Maddisons Parlour – to name but a few!

14 May 2014 #

I like traditional English pub names: Rose & Crown, Moon & Water, Red Lion, Royal Oak, White Hart, The Swan, White Horse, The Queens Head.

14 May 2014 #

What about naming them after places on the Monopoly board. The smallest room could be Old Kent Road and the biggest and best room could be Mayfair, with a few rooms in between call some of the other places.
The rooms could also be painted the colours of those positions on the Monopoly board.

Brent Greig
14 May 2014 #

Name them after the important founding shareholders of the firm ie Drury, Edwards etc. it’s a great conversation starter and acknowledges their contribution. It also encourages humour in other ways ie someone in UK makes it big time and gets naming rights on the WC.

robbie dellow
14 May 2014 #

My votes for Dan’s monopoly suggestion. Sounds fun and most people can relate.

Ed Henry
14 May 2014 #

These tech rooms should become ideas incubators. How about naming them after UK university towns and cities which are also ideas incubators? Here’s a link to a Daily a telegraph article for 10 names to choose from

Heather Smith
14 May 2014 #

I like the monopoly idea – reconciling based on snap – rooms based on monopoly

14 May 2014 #

Cluedo rooms would be more fun than Monopoly. What could be more exciting than being invited to a meeting in the Ballroom with Miss Scarlet?

14 May 2014 #

Pies! – everyone likes a pie!

Steak and Kidney
Chicken and Mushroom
Cheese and Onion
Steak and Ale

Gary Turner
14 May 2014 #

I’m liking Pot Noodle flavours to be honest.

Tommy Tucker
16 May 2014 #

How about UK slang words for money? e.g. Cockney…… sausage & mash (cash) …… Lady Godiva (fiver) …. Cock & Hen (ten) …. Pavarotti (tenor)….. Deep Sea Diver (fiver)…. Bag of Sand (a grand)… the possibilities are endless!

20 May 2014 #

“This room”
“That room”
“The Other room”
…and much hilarity ensues… ‘are you in This room?’ – ‘no, we’re in That room’ etc. :-)

29 August 2014 #

Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sneezy, Bashful, and Sleepy. Make Dopey an appropriate senior staff members office.

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