For the past three years I’ve worked primarily from my home, making outings to client offices for meetings. When I explain to people that I work this way, they almost universally say one or both of the following:
- Wow, that must be nice.
- Wow, you must be really disciplined.
Most of the time, I smile and nod, then turn and bite my knuckle, praying they don’t realize that working from home is not a utopia, and I’m not always that disciplined.
Truth be told, working from home is a mixed blessing in which often you find yourself distracted by the very little things in your own life, and sometimes losing touch with the human interactions that we need to stay sane, not to mention create great software.
The gang there describes it best:
WorkSpace is a shared work environment in downtown Vancouver. Our Gastown loft has meeting rooms, a lounge & a cafÃ© surrounding a beautiful open concept work environment. We provide memberships (not leases) to independent professionals and small firms looking for a better place to work.
Dane gave me a tour while the site was still concrete and drywall dust, with paint just starting to go on the walls. As we talked, I could see that the Working Space vision was the kind of thing I was hoping for. Now that I’ve seen the finished product, I’m convinced that Bill (WorkSpace’s founder) and Dane are going to succeed.
Why? Here’s the biggest clue: the cafe bar. When you walk in, you’re likely to see one of the WorkSpace staff behind a bar where they not only do their own administration work, but also serve up some very nice coffee drinks. Bill pulled a fine espresso shot that made my afternoon, and I always feel more at home with good coffee.
They also positioned an iMac for use by people visiting without a computer to check email, burn some idle time, that sort of thing. But here’s the key – they also put some bar stools there for members to sit down and chat a little. This is the genius touch, as it uses architecture to bring their clients to them in a natural, comfortable way where they can hear back what works and what doesn’t in simple conversation.
No comment cards, no management office to find – feedback is a natural part of the environment at WorkSpace.
And so this week, after an unveiling party in which the rolling chairs got a little wild, I understand, WorkSpace is open and I’ll be in there afternoons and evenings.
That’s right, I’m here right now, and here are a few pictures to give you an idea of what’s going on.
Some of the simple desk/tables, roomy for one and comfortable for two.
More tables, this time with people.
Just a small part of the awesome North Shore view
Who’s the happy camper? Yours truly flashes a smile.