A guide to
your office

We would like to extend a warm welcome to you as a new joiner to CGI! We are excited that you are joining us and hope that you are looking forward to your new role with us.

We know however, that it can be daunting when either thinking about relocation or even if you are starting your student/graduate career in a place you have lived in. We hope that this brief guide covers the essentials that you need to know.

The office

Reading office life

Location

Our Reading office is located in the heart of Green Park’s 195 acres of landscaped grounds, the largest of its kind in the UK. The park itself has been rewarded with a Biodiversity Benchmark from the Wildlife Trust.

Offering views of nature from almost every window and the perfect escape for a lunchtime walk around the lake.

Events

The Reading office offers numerous regular and one-off events around the year.

Joining the Sports and Social Club is another good way to meet people and get involved in the social side of CGI. Events include theatre trips, horse racing, restaurant visits, 5aside football and sport events amongst many others.

Graduate events in the Reading area will be arranged throughout the year for all to attend.

Support

In addition to our the first aiders, fire marshalls and mental health first aiders located throughout all of our offices, you will also be introduced to your Early Careers representative.

The Reading Early Careers representative is on hand to support our student community, arrange socials and generally aim to improve life for all of our Early Careers members in Reading.

Amenities

The Reading office has an onsite canteen with a wide range of fresh hot and cold food or you are welcome to use one of the fridges and kitchen pods located across the office.

A short walk away on the business park there are various eateries to eat in, or enjoy outside, including:

  • Byte café
  • WOLF – Italian Street Food.
  • Zest – a brasserie style restaurant

Further afield, Reading town centre has an abundance of restaurants, cafes and takeaways for every occasion.

Finding somewhere to live

When to look

Properties are generally advertised a month in advance of availability, although in some cases they can be advertised 2-3 months in advance. A good starting point when moving to a new area is to look on Rightmove or Zoopla; this will provide a general price range for the area and show what sort of space and quality you get for your money. If you are looking to find a house share Spareroom.com is a very useful website that has a large amount of rooms and houses to rent for sharers.

Other websites that may be useful include: On The Market and Net House Prices. As well as these websites Property Newspapers, Letting Agents and Property Finding Companies may also be of assistance.

Options

Reading can be an expensive place to live, with rent being your most expensive outgoing; therefore it’s important that you pick the right option for you, to ensure you are comfortable in your new home. Whilst some people working at the Reading office will choose to live locally, many others choose to live in the following surrounding areas which are within a sensible commuting distance/time: Wokingham, Crowthorne, Basingstoke, Newbury, Bracknell and Slough or perhaps even further afield into the surrounding areas such as Guildford or Farnborough.

The two most common options are

  • a room in a shared house

Choosing to rent a room within a house share can be beneficial as it encourages you to make new relationships outside of work. Rooms are typically marketed all bills included meaning that you only have to manage one monthly payment, this can be useful when first moving out if you are not used to managing finances.

  • renting an entire house with other students/graduates relocating.

Forming a group within the year to rent a house together can be reassuring as you have things in common. It can also be useful for transportation to your base location! Bills are usually split evenly between all members of the house and typically include: rent, council tax, gas, electricity, water, broadband and a TV license (if applicable). On occasion your landlord may combine the bills with your rent.

Finding housemates

During your onboarding you will be invited to a Facebook group along with other new joiners, this is often where people find others who are relocating or looking for housemates in the same area. Also if you would like us to share your details with others in the same situation as you please the Early Careers team know.

Relocating

If you are relocating then you may well qualify for our relocation allowance offering up to £1,000 to assist with the financial side of moving, from first months rent to van rental. For further details check out our relocation guide.

Transport

Train

Reading is well serviced by rail and by road. By rail, Reading is well connected, offering multiple lines into the station. The main ones being the Reading – Redhill and Reading – London Paddington lines. Reading Station is also well connected to Birmingham, Oxford and Bristol. These trains run relatively frequently, between 2 and 4 trains per hour around peak times, depending on direction and route.

Also save 15% on rails including the South Western Railway (SWR) and Great Western Rail Way (GWR) by purchasing EasitRailCard.

Bus

The Reading office is serviced by a bus service to and from the train station operated by Green Wave.

Simply walk out of the entrance of the station and continue down the road towards Reading town centre, you will see a line of bus stops along the road just look for the Green Wave one! Buses generally leave every 10 mins from the station. For the mornings you will want to take either the 51 or 53 and for the evenings you will need to get the 53. A return ticket will cost £3.50. Tickets could be purchased when getting on the bus or through Reading Buses App.

View the Reading Buses Greenwave Green Park timetable here.

Car

The Reading office is very accessible by car; it is just off Junction 11 of the M4. Alternatively, if you drive, you can travel in by car as the CGI Reading Office (Green Park) offers a high number of parking spaces. If you are parking at the CGI Reading Office for the first time, you will need to register your vehicle with reception, who will provide you with a parking permit which sticks on the inside of your windscreen.

If for whatever reason the car park becomes full (rare occasions), you can park at The Madejski Stadium which is round the corner from the office. Please click here to take you to a link on google maps to give you walking directions from Madejski Stadium to the CGI Office.

You can view additional info on travelling from Reading to Green Park here and access a map of  Green Park here.

North – If you are travelling in to Reading coming from the North, then you can use the A33 which will take you in to the Town.

Travelling East/West – The M4 in both directions enters Reading, and can also be routes out towards South Wales and London (which connects to the M25).

South – If you are coming from the Basingstoke/Wokingham direction then you can use the A33 and A329 which will direct you in to Reading.