Sheffield is one of the country’s best kept secrets, according to the boss of a California-based tech company.
In a speech to staff before he opened MindBody’s new office, Kevin Teague said people reacted in one of two ways when he said he was based in the city.
“Why Sheffield?” said those who had never been. And “Sheffield? I love Sheffield!” said those who had.
He added: “Our team is in the second group. This is a fantastic place to build an office and a team. We intend to be here for a really long time.”
MindBody makes software for gyms and self-employed fitness instructors who must juggle schedules, payments, cancellations and marketing.
Following a £500,000 fit out, it has moved 40 people into an office with room for 100 in Acero, on Concourse Way, on a five-year lease.
The Sheffield site is focused on customer service.
The company has a strong healthy living ethic and has installed special rooms for mums, respite and prayer, quiet time, games and ‘wellness’. It also has showers, pricey sit-stand desks and paid-for meditation and yoga sessions.
Steve Vincent, director, people and culture, said they chose Sheffield over Manchester due to its talent pool, Outdoor City branding, high numbers of active people and access to the countryside.
He added: “It’s a sporty city with a lot of wellness going on and good access to London.”
MindBody, which employs 2,000 in the US, UK (London and Sheffield) and Australia, is encouraging staff to live healthily with a ‘wellness’ competition. Workers get points for everything from sleep to physical activity.
The firm has 60,000 customers worldwide including Trib3, a gym on Ecclesall Road. Last year the Europe, Middle East and Africa section, grew at 35 per cent, Mr Teague said.
“2019 should be a really big year for MindBody in Europe and the UK. We see Sheffield as an important centre for growth.”
The firm had help from Invest Sheffield, part of Sheffield City Council, in finding an office and connecting with local experts.