Staff at AstraZeneca’s site in Cheshire can literally work anywhere – including in their car – following a £10million refurbishment.

BusinessCloud editor Chris Maguire was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the pharmaceutical giant’s Middlewood Court building, in Macclesfield, where 900 staff relocated from Alderley Park.

The move was prompted after AstraZeneca’s announcement in 2013 that it would be moving its research facility to Cambridge, meaning the company had to relocate nearly 1,000 staff to its Macclesfield base.

It meant Middlewood Court had to be transformed from a 1970s industrial building into one of the region’s most state-of-the-art facilities, with a multi-million investment in technology.

Steve Ashton, global workplace director at AstraZeneca, described Middlewood Court as being a “very tired and very dull” 1970s industrial building until the £10m transformation by Overbury and SpaceInvader.

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Astrazeneca

“The whole premise of the building was to make it so that people could work anywhere they wanted,” he told BusinessCloud.

“To give them the ability to have calls or meetings wherever or move throughout the building and collaborate with people. If people want to sit in their car in the car park they can because it’s Wi-Fi enabled.”

The area has been flooded with Wi-Fi so staff can work outdoors or indoors.

Astrazeneca

“We have smartphone technology,” explained Ashton. “Everybody is on a laptop. Nobody has fixed desks.

“900 people call this building home but there are only 625 desks. Visitors and staff can find colleagues with the use of the Find Me app.”

Meeting rooms are fitted with movement sensors so they’re available to be hired when they’re empty.

Astrazeneca