In LAB Blog


Welcome to another fab edition of the blog “What On Earth Do You Do All Day”, where we nose around the lovely businesses in our co-working space, and find out exactly what it is that they do. It’s so easy in co-working to talk in vague terms, so we really want to find out what people are doing sat in that office all day! This week, we had a chat to Robyn from RealWorth, a social impact consultancy firm, and one of our private office tenants. It’s always great for LAB to work with other social enterprises, and RealWorth do really amazing, high impact work, so we hope you love them as much as we do!

Name: Robyn Hargreaves

Organisation Name: RealWorth

Organisation Age: 3 years

LAB: So, as someone who has no idea what RealWorth do, can you tell me the basics:

Robyn: RealWorth was set up by Erik Bichard and Phil Higham, who are both experts in their fields. Phil is a property and development specialist with an established record in the industry, and Erik is an impact assessment practitioner who has work in both academic and consultancy world. They combined their knowledge and years of experience to create RealWorth – and they have such a great dynamic. What we do is identify and quantify the social and environmental impacts created by projects and programmes using a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods including Sustainable Return on Investment (SuROI). These are impacts are based on how people react to changes in their lives.

LAB: So what’s your role within the company?

Robyn: I do a bit of everything, from consultant to researcher to administrator . As a small outfit, you all do a bit of everything. It’s great, it provides more variety in the day so it’s interesting. It’s also good because we are constantly pushing ourselves , we all look out for each other to see what we’re best at, and work things out that way.

LAB: What does a day in the life of Robyn look like?

Robyn: Oh no, you picked the wrong person, this is going to be really boring! I have a to-do list every day, so I’m just going to read you that! So, today, Erik and I talked about improving stakeholder engagement, a socio-economic review we’re writing, defining some proxy values and outcomes for a project we’re working on. I liaised with an associate about some work they’re doing for us, and I even did a little bit of social media. I’m also working on an advert for a work placement in the summer. It’s a paid placement, because it’s part of our company ethics to pay everyone for their work. We just think that if you pay someone for their work, they feel respected and valued, and so the work they produce is better. Plus, it’s just the right thing to do isn’t it.

LAB: What inspires you to do what you do:

Robyn: The big thing is, I know that it has a good social impact. I feel like we’re part of a growing movement to expand the inclusion of social value in built environment projects. I actually studied environmental sciences at University, and I came from a research background, so I love the research element of my job. Plus, if you’re enthusiastic, determined and compassionate, elements of my work are just a no-brainer.

LAB: How did you end up in LAB, and how do you find working here?

Robyn: Lab came along at a perfect time for us. It was recommended by James at Kaleidoscope, and he told us about this social enterprise that had opened up, so we had a look. Actually, it was Erik who came to see it first, and he came back really excited. So then we all came to view it, and it was this perfect little corner office, so we moved in! We really liked the social enterprise aspect of it, because of how it fits with us, and obviously it’s a coworking space so everyone is really well connected and sociable. We also like the way you can get support from Capacity and the mentor network, so there’s loads that made it the right fit. Plus, we were at a point in the company where we really needed a permanent fixed space that we could go to every day, so yeah, we ended up here!

LAB: Lastly, what are your goals as a company?

Robyn: Ultimately, we want to see the whole of society value things differently so that everything is done for the benefit of the widest number of people. We want social value to be included in planning, development, construction and government policy – for it to become mainstream. We’re hoping to grow as a company, an office in London might be the next stage, and really develop our team. We just want to make social value something that everyone thinks about first as they design and establish their project or programme.

There we have it- the lovely RealWorth. They are working on some incredible projects, and making a real difference in terms of social change. To check them out further, you can follow them on twitter at @realworthorg or head to their website:

If you’re interested in LAB- either as a co-worker, a fixed desk resident, or interested in your own private office, you can get in touch at

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