Every year it’s the same – a variety of surveys tells us the ‘top town’ to live and work in. So far this year, Winchester, Stornoway, Farnborough and more have topped the lists. Perhaps the most interesting finding from this annual prediction is the latest criteria which help people choose where to live and work known as ‘creative congregation’.

But what does it mean?

While council strategy to date has often been the approval of Dubai style malls which destroy previously popular high streets, the discovery that this is not what local shoppers want is creating something of a U-turn. Bad feeling in the community at the loss of the high street and independent retailers is causing a dip in local economies.

Creative congregation – also known as ‘The Shoreditch Effect’ – is reflecting the wants of needs of people when choosing where they live and work. This trend is showing that increasingly people are looking for areas with thriving high streets full of independent shops, aesthetically pleasing buildings and approachable, like-minded neighbours.

The attractive Georgian frontage at Parallel House.

An example of this is Altrincham where the town made the bold move of investing in their high street rather than approving plans for new megastores and retail parks. By making the high street more appealing and offering support to local businesses, the high street’s previous 30% vacancy rate dropped to just 10%, growing the local economy in the process.

The spacious and private garden at Parallel House provides an opportunity to relax after work with colleagues or following client meetings in our board room.

How is the trend affecting where we work?

The desire for spaces with meaning has resulted in businesses being drawn away from polished but generic offices, the equivalent of sterile shopping malls, to buildings with character that inspire creativity and encourage interaction.

Parallel House is conveniently located a short walk from the centre of Guildford but with plenty of outside space so office occupiers don’t feel hemmed in.

The days of businesses flashing the cash with huge rental costs ‘just’ to show off a London postcode are long gone. While the ability to work flexibly and remotely has changed the standard 9-5, face-to-face communication is still vital for a company to run efficiently and creatively.

This has seen the Creative Congregation trend flourish because companies are looking for flexible premises, value rents and a variety of office spaces to help them thrive.

Modern, light offices at Parallel House with ergonomic Herman Miller chairs and sleek furnishings.

Parallel House managing director, Sandra Leslie, comments: “Our converted Georgian townhouses have been carefully renovated to combine heritage and modernity. We offer simple, flexible licence agreements for a fixed term of up to a year giving our clients security but with the understanding that sometimes in business, things change. With a meeting room and lovely private garden, Parallel House is a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of Guildford, giving office occupiers the convenience of a thriving town centre on their doorstep.”

Business moves fast, so Parallel House gives you the flexibility you need to keep up. There’s no lengthy lease or restrictive contract, just a simple licence agreement for a fixed term of up to a year, tailored with the services that matter to you.

To find out more, email info@parallel-business.co.uk or call 01483 230300