It's a Superior Place to Work; Fifteen Years Ago, Staff Were Not Sure about Moving to Canary Wharf, but Today They Ask to Work There

The Evening Standard (London, England), June 13, 2006 | Go to article overview

It's a Superior Place to Work; Fifteen Years Ago, Staff Were Not Sure about Moving to Canary Wharf, but Today They Ask to Work There


Byline: NIKI CHESWORTH

IT IS hard to believe that 15 years ago the first tenants were still preparing to move into Canary Wharf. Today almost 80,000 people work there, in the 33 state-oftheart office buildings that dominate London's skyline.

The vibrant 97-acre site of 14 million sq ft of office and retail space now has four shopping malls, one department store and numerous restaurants and leisure facilities, as well as one London Underground and two Docklands Light Railway stations.

With many of the world's largest financial-services firms based there, including HSBC, Barclays, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Lehman Brothers and Credit Suisse, Canary Wharf not only offers almost unrivalled career opportunities but has also become a desirable place to work.

But that was not always the case.

"Fifteen years ago, candidates used to pull a face when we discussed job opportunities in Canary Wharf," says Christ i ne MacDon a ld, mana g e r o f recruitment consultant Joslin Rowe Temporaries.

"Now they are eager to work there.

Better transport links, a fantastic shopping centre and buzzy bars and restaurants have made a noticeable difference to opinion.

"A high proportion of workers are temporary finance staff or contractors from overseas, because Canary Wharf 's reputation has spread as far afield as South Africa and Australia. Overseas workers tend to be attracted to the lucrative rates of pay ([pounds sterling]300-[pounds sterling]500 a day is not uncommon) and the large number of firms concentrated in one area.

"One thing our working temps often comment on is that the office environment in Canary Wharf buildings is superior to offices elsewhere.

Everything is brand new and purpose-built.

It may seem like a rather insignificant plus point but with people spending more time in the office than their own homes, it can make a huge difference. …

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