When I first read the Patch manifesto, I was struck by the concept. I could see the company values aligning with my own and was excited to bring my operational experience to the table at such a critical moment of growth.

The company ethos hit me right to my core. As a family man (father of two daughters), reading about a company that's driving force is to put people first - 'people centric, not office centric' - was enlightening. It seemed progressive and intuitive.

I saw joining Patch as a way that would allow me to be proud of the company I work for; to utilise my skillset to help grow not only the concept, but also to help build the fundamentals of Patch with an inspiring team of people; to ensure the brand is operationally stable, financially secure and ultimately positioned on every UK high Street, driving accessibility for the community with innovative and sustainable locations.

Ben and his family.

Why do I believe in Work Near Home & the Patch vision?

The traditional boundaries defining the varied day-to-day activities of our lives have been blurring gradually for many years and the corporate world has seen a working-from-home and flexibility revolution, with many previously sceptical business leaders waking up to its benefits. Catalysed by advancements in communications and mobile technology, we have seen this gradual shift accelerate, drawing even the most resistant of employers onto the horizon.

Reduced commuting has meant increased productivity, as well as the flexibility to work in ways that fit around family life. That being said, for many, being based at home full-time has lost its sparkle. The boundaries defining what mode we’re in - social, domestic, or professional - have been erased, and work-life balance has become work-life integration.

Aside from the obvious domestic distractions, there are other issues with long-term working from home: dwindling motivation, Zoom fatigue, feelings of isolation and the struggle to stay creative without colleagues to bounce ideas off.

There is an absence of learning by osmosis that the workplace environment creates.

The Patch team coming together to share and discuss ideas.

The Work Near home concept, with Patch at its core, activates the high streets with community amenities and local work spaces. Access to these spaces will shorten the commute, not only enabling more time with family or friends outside of work hours but also enhancing the working experience, providing spaces to come together, reinstating those boundaries between the activities of our lives, and allowing the return of incidental chatter, socialising, and conversation-filled lunches.

The simple truth is that humans crave togetherness and only by being together can we truly collaborate, be inspired and be productive.

The importance of placing these spaces in our local communities is obvious to me and I am excited to be at the forefront of the Work Near Home movement with Patch, ensuring Patch is right at the heart of the conversation and always striving for innovation.