Co-working spaces are here to stay. And that’s a very good thing.
You’ve probably noticed them popping up everywhere over the last few years, offering businesses large and small the chance to break the shackles of long leases, high overheads and inflexible contracts.
WeWork has put co-working on the map, changing the face of the standard office as huge corporations and small start-ups alike take advantage of custom spaces and greater flexibility.
And now companies like Huckletree are bursting onto the scene, turning these spaces into something more.
Vibrant places where teams can share ideas and inspiration, and meet people who share a passion for the work they do.
The difference is a focus on creating a real community. Supporting tenants with everything from fitness classes to marketing initiatives, and ambassadors who can make relevant introductions.
This is not just about a nice desk and a good cup of coffee.
We recently decided to move out of our private office and into the brand new Huckletree Ancoats, swapping subtle bare-brick walls for the bright and the bold.
We were literally the first team through the door, so we were properly spoiled by the entire Huckletree family, and now the place is buzzing with a whole host of interesting people.
We love it, and here’s why...
Huckletree makes possible the things that would otherwise be somewhat difficult for a small but busy agency. They’ve opened the door to podcasting, with a purpose-built studio that we’ve made full use of (check out our channel here). Seriously, you can’t get Liane out of there.
It’s also the perfect space for photoshoots - light and bright, you’ll be able to find the perfect backdrop for whatever you’re snapping–Insta or professional, the interior decor is a melee of colour, with a shit-tonne of plants dotted around for perfect hues of greenery.
There’s even an event space, including a bar, fully equipped kitchen AND dedicated events/members manager – hey Abi! All the extra effort that usually goes into organising an event is eliminated, leaving you with the headspace to focus on what you’re really trying to achieve.
2. A real community
Huckletree attracts a certain calibre of company. Quick-moving industry disruptors.
Put a bunch of them in the same place and suddenly skill-sharing explodes. You’re seeing your own work through the eyes of someone else - someone who has a fresh take or a creative way to solve the problem.
And it’s not just the traditional water cooler chat either - we go to their events, they come to ours, and everyone gets to go outside their industry bubble for a new perspective.
P.S. Huckletree have upped the water cooler game, I’m talking full ‘hydration stations’. Coffee, fancy fruit tea, builders brew–whatever you want, they’ve got it.
3. Bin the paperwork
Huckletree is huge. Occupying 3 floors in Manchester’s much loved Daily Express Building. So they deal with all the admin, forget about electricity, telephone, internet and water bills. It’s all covered - you just pay for the space you use, with one flat rate per desk.
Wiping out that ballache is almost worth it on its own.
4. Perks of the space
There’s something about being in a bright, warm, colourful, quirky space that just makes you feel good. And when you feel good, your work is better.
As for that event space we mentioned? There’s an absolute deluge of things happening for members. Smoothie making, meditation, HIIT classes, seasonal gatherings - you name it.
And when there’s an external event going on, there are usually some free tickets set aside for members. MD Liane was recently lured into the limelight to offer her expertise at a recent Found & Flourish event (there was no luring involved–she loves it.)
5. You’re never alone
If you’ve worked in a small team, you’ve probably noticed how it only takes a few people to be on holiday or working from home before you’re faced with a day of solitude *violins*.
Not so at Huckletree.
There’s always someone around, from other residents (both human and canine) to the energetic Front of House staff and Community Managers.
Not just there to welcome you in, but also to provide support in the truest sense of the word and were the real difference makers as we made the move. Making it as smooth as possible.
Ultimately, these spaces are what you make them. Embrace the sense of community they provide and you’ll reap the benefits both personally and professionally.
Whatever the future holds for co-working and for us, one thing is for sure - we won’t be going back to a private office anytime soon.