Nottingham ‘agile working’ start-up teams up with Debenhams

Ross Cox

Dispace, the Nottingham-based “agile working” start-up, has partnered with High Street giant Debenhams to pilot its “worker-friendly” venue model in two stores.

The move will see Dispace team up with independent cafe owner Insomnia Coffee in Debenhams stores in Cardiff and Bristol with a view to a broader roll-out across the retail estate.

Ross Cox, founder of Dispace, said: “Work is evolving rapidly. Some 50% of the workforce are expected to be self-employed within the next ten years as people seize the opportunity to make the most of their talent and take control of their lives, enabled by the power of technology.

“Dispace is creating the future of work by giving this growing community the services they need to thrive, starting with a creative way of providing workspace that helps make the most of our existing high street.

“Our collaboration with Debenhams will be beneficial for both users and the stores themselves; users will have fresh reasons to visit and the stores can look at broader opportunities to cater for the new influx of Dispace members.”

Dispace already operates out of a host of independent venues across the UK, including major cities such as Birmingham, Derby, Leeds, Leicester and Nottingham – with London, Manchester and Brighton coming over the summer as it establishes a nationwide network.

“We’re here for anyone who spends time away from permanent premises and teams,” added Cox. “Freelancers, contractors, homeworkers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, the ‘on-the-road’ workforce of larger organisations and businesses seeking innovative overflow space – they are all welcome at Dispace venues.

“Ultimately, we’re giving them on-demand facilities wherever they are located, supporting them in their business through events to develop relationships within the Dispace network, and access to tools and services to drive productivity.”

Sam Shutt, head of external business at Debenhams, said: “We welcome the opportunity to work with the dynamic team at Dispace and to support them with bringing to life such an innovative service.

“As well as giving our new and existing customers even more reasons to visit our stores, this is an exciting opportunity to promote our branded food partners and facilitate how a growing flexible work force wants to operate.”