Co-working without the bean bags
As a student and marketing consultant I’ve experienced co-working in all its glory. I’ve co-worked in London where office chairs were replaced by bean bags and the usual coffee station was replaced by ‘detox smoothies’ and kale-based snacks. I’ve co-worked in Manchester with ping-pong tables in the middle of the workspace. I’ve co-worked in Nottingham; working on my thesis whilst two other co-workers had a very tense game of connect four opposite me. I’ve co-worked from the Scottish borders to the south of London, and everywhere I’ve co-worked has been casual – apart from the coffees; these come in a variety of increasingly confusing names and temperatures.
I know why these places are designed as such – working alone can be draining and isolating. I can also understand why they are becoming increasingly competitive on quirkiness. From my own experiences these types of working environments attract younger entrepreneurs or those in more creative industries. For them it works, and it works well, however for me it’s not productive. I’m not completely anti-social but I draw the line at Ping-Pong championships with strangers, and with my limited attention span I do get distracted easily.
It’s not just my inability to compartmentalise my attention and socially interact, it’s because of the very purpose I co-work. I’m a single parent, I work hard and I study hard. My time is limited and I co-work purely because I travel to conferences/events and cannot afford to lose a day work time. I’m writing up my thesis or I’m putting together marketing plans, digital marketing material, comparison data.
I work from DBS Managed Offices one day a week, occasionally from their Co-Working facilities if I can’t get to University that day. The reason I use DBS as opposed to other more local facilities, is because of the co-working environment. It’s an office. That’s it. An office, with desks, internet, telecoms. There’s coffee and tea (speciality ones if you want, but also a nice pot of filter coffee for those basic coffee lovers like me). If I get hungry there’s multiple little cafes and delis within a few minutes’ walk. There’s no sports, or board games, we sit on office chairs not bean bags, there’s no geometric fancy colours that border psychedelic. It’s a professional environment – the only sign it’s a co-working office is the other professionals I work alongside.
If you enjoy these casual, relaxed co-working atmospheres then that’s great – we all find different ways to motivate and increase our productivity – but if you’re like me and want a co-working space that’s an office, call DBS on 01332 810 900. They offer open access packages (full time use) for just £150 a month including a free business mailing address, or ad hoc packages you book and pay as and when you need the space!