As the world turns to remote working and working from home, we spoke to the founders of DESKGO to look at the main benefits of coworking and how to maximise your time in a coworking space.
Six business partners with a range of backgrounds were looking for the perfect offices for their own businesses. Having used coworking spaces in town centres, ideal for local business, they decided to go in a different direction and open up a new coworking venue in a residential area, complete with stunning lake views.
They established DESKGO with a mission to provide a safe and welcoming coworking space and to build a community where you can create, do business and be inspired.
With the number of people working from home at record levels, their move to attract small business owners, the self-employed, and other homeworkers hits the mark.
The light and modern space has a stylish and contemporary interior with pops of bright colour contrasting with a sleek, industrial finish. It has been designed for “a new way of working for an ever-changing workforce.”
The Homeworker speaks with DESKGO about how to make the most of coworking and about their freshly-designed coworking space that works for local residents and also people travelling up and down the UK. Situated on the outskirts of Peterborough, just off the A1, it’s a location that is perfect for people who need a flexible solution beyond just working from home.
Q&A with DESKGO coworking
What were your backgrounds prior to opening DESKGO?
We are six business partners in this venture with all very different backgrounds! Travel, property, finance, trading, technology and teaching. We each had the opportunity to put our own thoughts into what DESKGO needed to be and also use the technology platform from one of our other businesses.
Tell us a bit about what is special at DESKGO and what facilities people can enjoy.
We have opted to take a different route by opening in a residential area. We are lucky to have stunning views of Hampton lakes, which is something you are less likely to find in a city centre alternative.
We have spacious coworking benches and desks, a range of stylish meeting rooms and booths and an onsite coffee and tea bar for when you need that midday caffeine boost.
In the café, there are ZIP taps running fresh still or sparkling water. We also have lockers so you can store away any valuables. We will soon be offering catering services too, so watch this space.
DESKGO’s facility manager, Jo, is the friendly face you meet when you first arrive at DESKGO and she is well-loved by our members. They also love our emphasis on community.
Who can use and benefit from your DESKGO coworking space?
DESKGO is ideal for freelancers, remote workers, start-ups and established businesses. We believe almost anyone can benefit from a coworking space.
Our members come from a wide range of backgrounds including small business owners, self-employed and, of course, homeworkers. We see all types of people walk through our doors and that’s the great thing about coworking. Whether you need a desk for a couple of hours or space to hold a professional meeting, we have the solution for you.
Establishing in a residential area is perfect for the current times. How have you integrated with the local community?
We have been considerate about employing contractors that are local so that they are really in tune with it as a business and its purpose. It’s not just an office. Since the easing of the lockdown, we have also had an influx of visitors using our printing facilities and meeting rooms, including parents printing off school activities for their kids.
What are the most important aspects of a productive coworking space?
Flexibility – We don’t believe in longterm contracts which is why our space is available to book by the hour, day or month.
Amenities – We have phone charging points built into the desks, filtered still and sparkling water, phone booths, and a tea and coffee bar.
Privacy – We have desk screens on our resident desks for added privacy.
Security – We have a secure key system for members and free lockers.
How do you see our work styles change as we ease out of lockdown and try to adapt to Coronavirus?
Our usual ways of working have been turned on their head over the last few months and we believe many employees will be given the option to work from home and with this, the demand for coworking will grow.
We think more people will be open to the idea of using a coworking desk instead of working from a spare room, or a formal meeting space instead of going to the local coffee shop.
Video conferencing has been a vital part of working during lockdown but ultimately, video calls will never replace a face-to-face meeting. Coworking meeting spaces are great for closing deals and having the undivided attention of your colleagues.
Spaces like DESKGO will provide an invaluable resource to those people who have to have the occasional meeting or need office services such as printing, scanning and copying. Add to this, our super-fast Wifi may relieve the burden for those at home battling with gamers for broadband width!
How does a coworking space help with breaking up the routine of work-from-home life?
People often think that working from home is the ultimate dream, but this is not always the case. Homeworkers often find themselves working overtime and lacking communication with colleagues. Coworking spaces like DESKGO provide a break from the sometimes chaotic home-life to offer a change of scenery and a better work-life balance.
Benefits of coworking
There is the freedom to come and go, to use the space for as little or as long as you like. Whether you need a couple of hours to catch up with work en route somewhere or while waiting for something, or whether you need to book a weekly slot or a room for several hours, there are plenty of options.Coworking is the perfect complement to homeworking. It gives you the freedom to work out of home for a few days or hours a week.
• Cost effectiveness:
There are no costly overheads or longterm contracts. You don’t need to commit to an expensive membership if it’s not what you’re after. You can pay by the day or just by the hour if that’s all you need.
• Reduces loneliness
Remote working can sometimes be very lonely, and coworking spaces can provide a great opportunity for social interaction and networking. This is hugely beneficial for your mental health as well.
With a variety of options from private meeting rooms to small shared office spaces or booths to communal desks, you can work in a way that suits you and allows you to be as productive as possible.
If you’re distracted by people or life at home, a coworking space can help you to focus on what you need to accomplish.
They also have plenty of resources and tech that you might not always have available at home.
We also find that coworking really boosts our members’ creativity because you have the ability to connect and share ideas with people you wouldn’t normally meet.
Often, a change of environment can be a good way to enhance your creativity by offering a different perspective and a fresh energy.
Coworking spaces are filled with a mix of people from all different backgrounds, so they are a great place to share ideas and potentially collaborate. You have the opportunity to meet people from different industries and professions as well and increase the diversity of your own network.
You become part of a community when you join a coworking space. You’ll be able to share ideas and thoughts with likeminded people, and those whose experiences are similar to your own.
You’ll also be able to forge new relationships, and tap into this community with mutually beneficial collaborations or support.
How to make the most of using a coworking space
• Socialise and attend networking events, or just get to know your fellow coworkers over a cup of coffee.
• Stay productive. Go with set goals in mind. Make a to-do list and cross off each item as you complete each task.
• Get to know the management. Jo is always on hand to help with any queries or local recommendations.
Find DESKGO at Hampton, Peterborough