A lot has been written about the UK startup scene over the past few years and it has come to our attention that ‘UK’ and ‘London’ are used almost synonymously when discussing the country’s startup ecosystem. Naturally, plenty of activity gravitates towards London and it is understandable that startups based in or around the big metropolis also get their share of attention.
Today, we’re going to see what’s happening away from the Big Smoke and draw your attention to Glasgow’s ambitious and cohesive startup community. To delve a little deeper and look at what’s happening in tech north of the border, we were thrilled to meet with Brian Lonsdale, Director of SEO Agency Smarter Digital Marketing and Rent An Office Space, a company providing flexible workplace solutions and virtual office services to new thriving startups and entrepreneurs in Scotland.
What can you tell us about the Startup Ecosystem in Glasgow?
Glasgow is thriving in terms of new startups, we get a lot of enquiries about our virtual office services, usually startups have a limited budget and can’t afford renting an office anywhere near the centre of Glasgow where they want to be and this is why we are so busy. Most of the Startups we have came across prefer working at home rather than having an office so to them a virtual office makes sense. Glasgow has certainly changed dramatically over the past few years and so has business, most established businesses have been looking into ways of bringing their business into the future, with many new startups forming to fill this demand.
How is today’s mobile workforce reshaping the workplace? Do you notice any specific trends in Scotland?
I think the larger cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh are ahead of the rural regions in terms of a mobile workforce, working with businesses in Scotland’s rural regions I haven’t come across many companies who offer mobile working. However, in Glasgow a large portion of businesses have a mobile workforce, this allows their staff to live in rural areas and come in to the city based offices when needed. With more businesses being moved into the future and accessibility to working out of the office I predict that the mobile working workforce will rise significantly.
How do you nurture a strong sense of community in your centre?
We have a very casual approach to those working in our centre, we usually play darts with whoever is in the office and have music playing in the background which anyone can change. By treating our work not as work we feel that we create a community around a relaxed and fun environment, a community which we think we couldn’t achieve if we were a formal, quiet and somewhat boring office environment.
Regaining work-life balance is a new trend everyone seems to be talking about. What is your advice to cope or beat stress in the workplace?
I suggest you don’t treat work as work. Take short breaks regularly, listen to music, actually take your lunch hour and don’t touch your computer until your break is over.
Following the EU Referendum results, what is your best advice for young entrepreneurs in the UK with innovative ideas?
I would say to young entrepreneurs not to worry, use your entrepreneurial talent to find ways around any walls you come across. Your business or idea will succeed regardless of before or after the referendum results as long as there is a market for it and you are determined enough to make it succeed.