‘It’s sometimes the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination’
Drake, cultural theorist and rapper
Work.Life houses an amazingly diverse bunch, with hundreds of obscenely talented copywriters, dog walkers, developers, bloggers and more in our midst. Beyond offering a place to sit and plug in, we believe a great co-working space should provide an atmosphere where untapped potential is unleashed over a coffee, ideas are floated by the printer and strategies are devised through an inspiring chat with your hot-desk mate.
We were curious as to why our long-term members felt coworking was the one for them. We spoke to some of our CEOs and members about why WL is not a short-term logistical solution but an inspired way to problem solve, build on their professional network and boost their businesses for the better.
Coexist, cowork, consult
Moving from a private office space to a busier, shared working environment is a tangible shift for a company used to moving at their own pace behind closed doors. Many of our CEOs find it to be a necessary injection of creative inspiration for them and their teams.
Niro Knox runs his social media management company, Social Worx, from our Camden space. He explained that during the isolation of the early years- where business is going, but slowly- you’re grabbed by the business plan and prepped for loss, long term assets and everything in between:
‘At first, I just intended to join a co-working space, grow a bit and move into my own space but very quickly I realised the advantage of being surrounded by start-ups and like-minded individuals. Honestly, the inspiration you get is unbelievable. There is something about the environment that makes you feel like you’re in the ‘fast lane’ and I found I didn’t allow myself to slack off.’
It feels good to be a part of something greater than yourself. Your surroundings can push you to maximum productivity and hold you accountable for your time at work. Staff are stimulated and able to look around them for guidance and inspiration. Niro said WL provides a space that is vibrant and busy:
‘2 or 3 people together day in, day out isn’t healthy or particularly exciting.’
Attracting talented people and keeping them there is tough in a world of magical start-ups full of promise and big budget offices with crepes ‘n cocktails on tap. A bright and well-designed coworking space can bring credibility to a young business but also go a long way to boosting employee experience if the team is small.
Save the drama for yo’ … hot-desking friends
Maybe you bond over an accidental hand graze whilst grabbing the last bagel… Or maybe you lock eyes whilst admiring a fluffy canine visitor… Rubbing shoulders, even if it’s in the microwave queue, with so many business professionals means you’ll naturally build up a shiny new Slack list of interesting work pals. But beyond LinkedIn connections and drinking buddies, our CEOs find the environment allows for real conversations to be had and ideas to be born. Chris, at Caliberi, told us:
‘It’s great to be able to bounce ideas off of other individuals within the building […] I’ve managed to meet and develop relationships with a huge number of people and businesses that I almost certainly would not have within a ‘regular’ office. I’ve utilised those relationships and different ideas to generate new ideas to help my clients… You can develop leads a lot quicker. In an owned office you almost live in a bubble.’
Oliver Kadel of 1618 Digital also said he finds it much easier to manage his team at a coworking space:
‘There is a lot of positive distraction, not only the community activities but I think also being around other people helps the team to relax for a moment and switch their minds to something else or let off steam if necessary.’
This idea of positive distraction is key to the increasing popularity and success of coworking. Whether it’s a quick chat about your shared outrage at the change in biscuit brand or a tea break on the sofa with your Membership Assistant (10/10 would recommend); talking about things other than work whilst you’re at work is a sure-fire way to refresh your mind and make room for solutions to those mind-boggling problems that have been plaguing you all day. As Chris explained:
‘I really enjoy having the option to break away from the office and sit in a new environment, where you can develop new ideas, and have that creative “me time”’
You know what they say, ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder and results in a highly motivated and happy team’, or something like that.
Coworking is a fail-safe way of trialling ideas as and when they come to you, to people with business knowledge and industry know-how. All that at no cost to you- except maybe leaving them the last slice of pepperoni at the next Beer & Pizza (just kidding, too far). You have a multitude of guinea pigs- and office dogs- to instantly feed back to you on your wildest of brainstorms. Often these small conversations can turn into big deals and insights. Chris said for him:
‘Fresh eyes and opinions, have helped me to create a number of well received campaign proposals’.
Niro agreed, explaining:
‘Information sharing is something you can’t just find on Google, it’s about the right timing, mix of people and ideas- Work.Life works for me and with me.’
Coworking can be so much more than an easy, cost-effective way of putting a roof over your employees’ heads. It’s a boundless network of talent where there’s a wealth of expertise up for grabs. It removes the isolating aspects of office working, heightens the social aspects of your work life and throws open the door to new opportunities and business potential.
Ultimately, at Work.Life, we strive to create spaces with heart; spaces where people feel comfortable and at their best both professionally and personally. We’ve found this to grow most organically from the collaboration of our members and the communities they build together.
As Oliver so thoughtfully put it:
‘Spending a considerable amount of time in a building with other folks and businesses inevitably makes you closer with them, which offers a unique opportunity to learn about other people; their success and their struggle. Exploring other people’s perspectives and circumstances helps you to better understand and manage your own. In other words, sharing experiences always helps.’