Cooke Aquaculture, one of the top producers of Scottish salmon, has opened a new Scotland corporate office.
It is located in Avondale House in Strathclyde Business Park in Bellshill, close to the main motorway serving Glasgow and Edinburgh – Scotland’s two largest cities.
The main-door, ground floor office is in a prime location within the business park. The office has been completely refurbished and equipped with new energy-efficient equipment throughout to create premium office accommodation for more than 30 staff making up Cooke’s UK sales, supply chain, communications, finance, IT and sustainability teams.
Cooke said the office is powered with renewable electricity from Blantyre Muir windfarm near Hamilton and has electric vehicle charging spaces outside, in line with the firm’s commitment to sustainability.
At just over 5,000 square feet the new corporate office provides more than double the square footage of Cooke’s previous office accommodation in Strathclyde Business Park. Not only will this enable staff to socially distance, it is equipped with hot desks for staff who are not normally based in Bellshill.
Colin Blair, Cooke Aquaculture Scotland Managing Director said: “It’s been 20 months since we took the decision to enable those staff who could to work from home. Back in March 2020 no-one could have predicted how long the disruption to the business would last, nor foresee the effect Covid 19 would have on our working and personal lives.
“So today’s opening of our new corporate office, and the return of all our office-based colleagues across the country, feels significant.”
He added: “The virus is still circulating and we need to live with Covid 19 for a time yet, but it feels like things are slowly starting to get back to normal.
“We’ve missed the team spirit, creativity and collaboration that comes when people work in the same place and the same time, together. We’re really excited about the prospect of Covid-safe face-to-face interaction which is so important for our colleagues as individuals, and for the company as a whole.”
The new corporate office includes self-contained kitchen and bathroom facilities which will enable us to maintain safe and hygienic shared spaces which can only be accessed by Cooke employees.
The move coincides with the company’s decision for all office-based staff to return in a phased approach to their normal places of work. From today staff will return to offices for two days a week initially, expected to increase to three days a week from January 2022.
Since the start of the pandemic Cooke Aquaculture Scotland has taken unprecedented steps to keep its staff safe and has adopted a more cautious approach than many other employers in the private sector.
The company cancelled non-essential travel and business meetings and asked office-based employees to work from home in early March 2020, weeks before the Prime Minister’s first lockdown announcement on 23 March 2020. The majority of staff have continued to work from home for the past 20 months.
Cooke said it also took on more staff to enable social distancing, particularly in our packing stations in Orkney and Shetland and implemented Covid-safe measures in all offices in anticipation of a return to offices in 2020 that never transpired.
The opening of the new corporate office also reaffirms the importance Cooke places on staff working collaboratively, the company said, and also its long-term commitment to Scotland.