Building on the two that I visited in Manchester, I researched some more co-workspaces to see what was already out there.
You can’t search for co-workspaces without WeWork coming up. The largest and the most notorious brand of co-workspaces, it is both the most a case study in success and failure. WeWork was at it’s peak one of the most highly valued companies in the world being seen as a $47billion dollar unicorn. A typical start-up company that lacked substance but still managed to convince investors and wall street it was special. As a company it epitomises the exact behaviour that I fiercely hate, with a incompetent CEO that ran the company into the ground. He then received a $1.7 billion “leaving package” after leaving the company in disgrace. Whilst a couple months later 2,400 of WeWork’s employees were fired to “create a more efficient organisation”, as the company faced massive losses due to the former CEO’s behaviour. The workspaces themselves are as uninspiring as the company, featuring a modern minimalist feel. They are also almost exclusively located in big cities, with 49 of the 55 UK locations being in London.
I next looked at Beehive Lofts in Manchester. This branded itself as Manchester’s most luxurious shared workspace. It markets itself as being different from other workspaces by providing “stunning environment, luxury amenities and a warm, welcoming community”. From the pictures it does look warm and welcoming, with it’s lounges looking like great places for casual meetings both socially and professionally. The work areas go with a more rustic, less minimalist approach that WeWork and in some pictures looks too crowded and cluttered. It is obviously limited by the size of the building its in and only really provides workspaces, lounges, meeting rooms and a couple kitchens. This is a lot less compared to places like All Work & Social and Ducie Street Warehouse that featured a gym and mini cinema respectively.
The next one I found was called Knackeriet and is in Stockholm. This workspace labelled itself as a member’s club as well as a coworking space. There wasn’t much info on the workspaces themselves, what appealed to me about this space was the membership side. I claims to have roughly 50 members making it a small group. The events included weekly events like a Wednesday breakfast, yearly events like Skiing and kayaking trips and yearly celebrations. For this company the membership and community felt like more of the focus than the workspaces themselves which is how I’m starting to feel in these early stages of research.
The final workspace is Home Workspace which has various locations in Norway. This co-workspace also emphasises its community. The workspaces look homely, rustic and indie. They’re small and have mismatch furniture with. The facilities are also limited with it only offering workspaces without any larger recreational areas or social areas. A big thing that I liked was they mentioned about providing courses and events to keep members as well as collaborating on providing youth with job training. Having the co-workspace be a hub for information and collaborating with educational institutions is something I’m keen on my co-workspace doing.
I’m Aidan Moore, a Graphic Design student at University Centre St Helens.
Any questions or queries, get in touch in the following ways.
Based in St Helens, Merseyside, UK