Happy International Co-Working Day!
Fitting to the occasion, I’m sitting in the snazzy office space located in Cardiff’s Tramshed Tech co-working hub. And I’m impressed!
I’m working at a large wood-topped table in a spacious open-plan workspace. It’s a colourful, eclectic environment – exposed brickwork lining glass-walled meeting rooms, break-out spaces with settees, booths, plentiful refreshment.
It combines informality with an atmosphere of productive focus, individuals working quietly at their laptops whilst meeting spaces are full of people talking animatedly. All the benefits of a modern office, but without the corporate stuffiness of conventional workspaces.
I can really see the appeal for people looking to develop their network, share ideas, work flexibly and collaborate.
Merits of remote working
Back to International Co-Working Day – in a way, I’m surprised this isn’t more widely publicized. I struggled to find much online, but this article on weremote.com gives a useful overview.
Interestingly, the Welsh Government are ahead of the curve, having already adopted promotion of remote working as official policy. An important facet of the policy is availability of remote working hubs – particularly for those without adequate space to work in their own home.
While at Arup, I worked on an Integrated Impact Assessment of this policy (available under this link), which identified a range of positive impacts.
For example, reduced commuting, which not only helps alleviate transport congestion but also improves social well-being and work-life balance. Plus a greater pool of potential workers become available with less geographic dependency, which enhances wider economic productivity.
I expect large corporations will continue to favour conventional office space, albeit in flexible formats congruent with hybrid working. My former employer Arup is one of the leaders in this space with its work unbound policy.
Nevertheless, for smaller organisations, entrepreneurs, freelancers (like me) and those working away from home, they can come to a place like this and work, have meetings, collaborate, network and focus. What more do you need?
Tramshed Tech offer a range of different deals, depending on what you need. They also offer free tours. Building on the success of their Grangetown Hub, they have recently opened new hubs in Cardiff Central Square and Newport Market, and will soon be opening sites in Newport, Barry and Swansea.