These past few weeks we have been talking to the owners of various work spaces throughout Canada that have embraced Coworking, the act of working in the same space alongside other independent professionals. However, the best way to explain what coworking is all about is to hear how members of coworking spaces feel about the concept from their own experiences. So, this week, we talked to a few members of our own space, The Network Hub, to hear how their experiences have been from coworking at the Hub.
“Coworking provides a relaxed atmosphere with extremely smart people. For early stage companies and small businesses it really helps to have an office that is not inside of your home,” Kenshi from A Thinking Ape says.
In a casual, shared space, Carlos of Bloom Marketing says, “I do twice as much at the Network Hub than at home or at a coffee shop.” This is partly due to the fact that the Hub grants all full-time tenants 24/7 access. “[For me], that is the primary reason,” says Ganesh, a software developer who is fairly new to the space. “[Plus], there’s usually someone around who knows someone who can help me.”
“The Hub is a brilliant place and source for inspiration, ideas and for making new friends or business ties,” says Chet, a former tenant who has experienced growth at the Hub that he has now moved into his own office to accommodate his new employees. Paul Preibeisch of B3D Multitech and a member of the Hub, jokes that he initially came into the space for “sanity’s sake”. As a programmer, he sits in front of the computer screen for most of the day. “A lot of my work requires creativity. In order to do that, I need a balance and some sort of social interaction. When I want to go on a break, I can actually talk to a human. And when working alongside other entrepreneurs, available work is referred to other members of the space,” he says, “so, everyone helps each other.”
“I [also] like the social aspect. I get to meet some very cool people who are self employed,” adds Carlos.
“The monthly meetups are great; I have actually met new clients at those events,” he points out. Minna Van organizes the Vancouver Entrepreneur Meetup – a monthly networking event aimed towards freelancers and entrepreneurs. “[She] is a fantastic networker and the events she organizes are top notch.”
“[It’s a] great influence and stimulation for start-ups,” advises Yuri of Shine Canada.
The casual environment at the Hub helps to build a spirit of community. “It’s Friday and nice, nobody really wants to work and every so often, a few people would gather in the main area and talk. The conversations are usually business-related but very organic, those times felt like being in a small business think tank/incubator,” says Chet. Just last Friday, members of the space enjoyed an impromptu barbeque on the patio.
Co-founder, Jay, encourages anyone interested in coworking to come down and take a look at the space.