Cornwall’s tech community understands that innovation and creativity are driven by inspiration, not only from collaborations within and between industries, but from the connections made by the lifestyles of individuals.
The region’s physical and digital infrastructure and access to ultrafast connectivity creates a liberated workforce with space to refresh cognitive and emotional resources and allow energy and purpose to thrive. Whether that means hot desking at a collective hub, meeting like minds in the office, surfing with colleagues at lunch time or just taking a walk to stretch legs and thoughts, Cornwall’s working culture allows everyday life to be part of inspiring ideas that will drive the future.
In Cornwall, commuting is comparatively hassle-free and clean. There’s open space, and lots of it. Activity and socialising are often combined: in a region that receives over 1541 hours of sunshine per year making it one of the sunniest and mildest climates in the UK, that’s usually done outside on the beach or in Cornwall’s stunning inland landscapes. Riding the waves is an everyday activity for many workers based in Cornwall thanks to a pristine coastline dotted with surf spots and sandy coves. Likewise, the continued emergence of yoga studios throughout the region and a countryside threaded with cycling routes and walking trails, makes it easy to exercise and recharge in unique settings and make the most of the outdoors, surrounded by the natural world and its wildlife.
The idea that money is the best way to incentivise the workforce is outdated. Financial stimuli are no longer enough for employee happiness, which is directly related to output in the workplace. In fact, happier employees are 12% more productive, being motivated and energised by positive emotions that constantly refresh creativity. It’s not only happiness that makes a difference. Environmental psychologist Dr Lewis Elliott and his team at the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Environment & Human Health is studying how living by the coast makes us feel, think and behave. Census based data from 48 million adults showed that the closer people live to the coast in England the better they rate their health – and it doesn’t have to involve getting into the water – even a view of the sea improves mood and lowers heart rate. The opportunity to exercise and socialise in natural surroundings is increased dramatically in a coastal region. Rob Love, founder of the UK’s #1 crowdfunding platform, Crowdfunder has established their HQ in Newquay and confirms, “Everyone surfs here. When it’s good we will surf before work, during lunchtime and after work. It’s about making the most of where we are and empowering our team with the flexibility to do that.”
Cornwall’s businesses understand the impact of motivated, well rested, energised teams. Radix Communications, a copywriting agency founded by Fiona Campbell-Howes, notes “For a creative business like ours to be successful, employee wellbeing needs to be a priority. Our clients expect us to deliver well crafted, engaging content, to deadline, time after time, but that won’t come from a team that are overworked and unmotivated. Our ethos reflects that, from the bricks and mortar through to our salaries.”
The region’s Superfast connectivity, world-class facilities and cutting-edge infrastructure are removing the stress triggered by frustratingly slow or fractured systems. However, for personal happiness essential in a productive workforce, it is the natural environment that really gives Cornwall the edge. Businesses understand that to attract and retain talent, it’s essential to promote wellbeing and encourage employees to take full advantage of Cornwall’s culture and natural landscape. Staff retention is a real success story in Cornwall. Radix Communications has found that:
“Unlike the majority of London marketing agencies who have an average churn rate of 30 percent a year, we have only had to write one employee leaving card since starting the agency.” Fiona Campbell-Howes, Founder
This vigorous and stimulating environment is what inspires Cornwall’s emerging creative talent and sparks its pioneering results. It’s a unique offer: idyllic scenery and vibrant culture; exhilarating activity and quiet places to dream. It’s for those seeking an adrenaline rush as well as contemplative serenity. Such a glorious natural setting explains why Cornwall cares deeply about sustainability and the environment, a consideration informing everyday working practice as well as industries focused on, for example, renewables and harnessing clean energy.
“We are here because it allows us to achieve what we want whilst being in a fantastic place at the same time.” says Alan Sanders, director of Sanders Studios, a creative CGI studio working with some of the world’s leading architects, developers, designers and agencies.
Nature’s beauty nourishes the soul and in Cornwall the body is superbly catered for too. Local produce is second to none and with rolling fields and pastureland, some of the UK’s best fisheries and flourishing organic farming, Cornwall’s award-winning food scene is famous well beyond the region. The mighty Cornish pasty and delicious clotted cream are still beloved by traditionalists but Cornwall is fast emerging as a focal point for café culture and fine dining with chefs Nathan Outlaw, Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and Paul Ainsworth establishing destination restaurants in the region.
“It’s hard not to fall in love with Cornwall, especially for someone like me who comes from Brittany,” says Rick Stein’s Head Chef Stephane Delourme quoted in Wanderlust Travel Magazine. “It’s got a magnificent coastline with spectacular beaches. I feel very lucky to be able to live in Cornwall. I can cook world class food here because we’ve got the best local food producers.”
The supreme quality of Cornwall’s fantastic produce means it’s exported across the UK and beyond although is at its finest right at source, bought from the fisherman, in a farm shop or eaten at a tiny independent cafe like The Hidden Hut where seasonal outdoor feast nights use whatever’s best on the day, making the adventure of finding it worthwhile. All of this, plus microbreweries, gourmet ice-cream parlours, cheese shops, cider farms, vineyards, pop up food trucks, farmers’ markets and village inns are making Cornwall the upcoming foodie hotspot for anyone in the know.
These many ingredients combine to make Cornwall an unparalleled place to work and live – stunning countryside, coastal activity and cosmopolitan culture at a fraction of the living costs of big cities. Studies have shown that Cornwall has the highest contentment and “most worthwhile life rating in all the UK”. If wealth is measured by enjoyment and environment, it makes Cornwall one of the richest regions in the UK.
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