What is Coworking? Learn From a Community Manager!

Did you know that 87% of people are currently working remotely and once people can return to their offices they want the flexibility of remote working?

Remote working has become synonymous with working from home, but this isn’t the reality. We had a chat with Talent Garden Dublin’s Community Manager Nicole to discuss the role that coworking spaces play in the world of remote working. Coworking spaces provide a crucial ‘in between’ or hybrid for those who want the freedom of remote working but also want to be surrounded by a community and a support system!

 

As a Community Manager of a vibrant community, why would someone as a remote worker choose a coworking space?

At the moment so many jobs are remote. However, a lot of people perceive remote working as working from home and that is not necessarily the case. Talent Garden is home to a community and our space is specifically designed to encourage focus, we have natural lighting, there’s no cubicles to be stuck in to work from as everything is open plan, and most importantly all of our desks are socially distanced. When working from home, it is difficult to detach working and home life. When you’re doing both in the same space the lines between work and home can get blurred. We’re here to separate the two when you need to and give you back that control and flexibility.

 

 

Who is the ideal coworker? I think there are a lot of misconceptions about who the ideal coworker is.

I think a lot of people have the idea that coworking is just for startups but that’s not the case at all.  Here we have such a variety of companies from freelancers to startups and scaling companies. We also have a huge variety of industries here too. We recently have had a lot of students here as a place to study along with game developers, medtech companies and a youth organisation too.

The whole concept of being part of an ecosystem and in a community is that you have different areas of expertise and industries so that they can come together and support each other and it’s not all the same people in one industry.

 

What type of benefits do you get from a coworking space? Is it the same as working in an office space or taking out a lease on a building in Dublin City Centre?

Well, for starters our coworking space is completely managed. We provide WiFi, printing services, cleaning, security, bike and car parking, mail handling at no extra costs.

Apart from the management aspect we have an ecosystem. We have a community from a range of industries not only in Dublin but throughout our 21 campuses around Europe that allows us to provide our members an expansive network for their business. We’ve had so many companies collaborate with each other on work. We’ve had people collaborate with accountants, digital marketers and we’ve even had people get parenting advice from our ecosystem networking. 

We also like to think we make work easier for you. When you rent an office you need to get set up which could take weeks, but in our space you can take your seat and get working straight away with no fuss. We have a reception, thorough cleaning services, high speed internet, a kitchenette on every floor, 24/7 security, bathroom and shower facilities, and having these included in your membership eliminates the overhead costs that you would face in your own office space.

We also don’t just focus on getting our community to work. We like to help our companies improve and expand. We host a wide variety of events monthly to keep our members expanding and learning their knowledge and we’re also big fans of social casual networking events. These were a huge success pre-covid. Every last Friday of the month we like to get our members together for a slice of pizza in a relaxed setting and to be honest this is where some of our best networking would happen.

So, I suppose having these different companies around and the management really separates us from an office space.

 

I think that’s a really interesting point and I’d like to know how do you as a Community Manager facilitate networking and make sure members are meeting each other and are aware of each other in the space?

We have a few different ways. When I say we have a community here, I’m not just saying that- we really do have a close relationship with our community. Our whole team- Machaela, Kevin, Lauren and myself- know our members really well. We know what their needs are. They come to us and tell us what they need, not only in Dublin but in our other campuses and we can connect them in. We also have Give&Take initiative which is a dedicated space for our global community to give skills and expertise while also taking  support that they need for continued progress. Members have asked us how they can support other members the best way possible and if there is a way to share their experiences with others, so we started this initiative! 

 

 

Sounds like you have a lot of it covered! If I was looking to join a coworking space with 2-3 employees and suddenly I needed to grow and expand or maybe some of my team wanted to work from another one of our campuses. Is this something that is possible with Talent Garden?

Yes, absolutely. We really support growth at Talent Garden. If you’re currently a small company here on flexible desks you can work your way up, we love to offer flexibility to fast growing companies so you can eventually get more desks or a private office one day. We’ll be able to get you whatever you need.

Our main 3 memberships you have access to all of our 21 campuses all over Europe. If you’re on vacation in Italy and you need to work you can come to our campuses in Milan so you can travel all over Talent Garden with our Memberships.

 

So you mentioned 3 main memberships. Can you differentiate between them and who they are suited to?

  • Flexible Desk – You get to work from our shared flexible desks with 20 hours access to our campus per week, along with 2 hours free access to our meeting rooms. 
  • Full Desk – You have a full dedicated desk and 24/7 access to our campus and 3 hours of free meeting rooms per month. 
  • Private Office – This is a private and lockable office with fit for 3-18 people. Move-in ready with 24/7 access to our campus, 3 hours of free meeting rooms per person monthly, and 20 hours free access to our campuses all over Europe±

The suitability to each membership varies. We have a lot of freelancers and students that avail of the flexible desks that they can use for up to 20 hours a week but sometime they’ll go for full desks if they need overtime. We also have bigger teams on flexible desks too- sometimes people think once there’s over 2 employees they go straight into a private office which is not necessarily the case. We have big teams of 15 in full desks. 

 

It sounds like everyone has a home in a coworking space. At this time, no one really knows where they’re going to be working due to the restrictions in Ireland and everyone is trying to be as compliant as possible. What happens if you know you want to join a coworking space but you don’t know when you want to start?

This happens more often than you think. If you know you need a space in a few months down the line, you can come in and take a tour of the space and tell us about yourself and what you need and then we wont charge you until you begin working here and we will keep it ready for you whenever you want to join us.

We have a lot of people that enquire for memberships now or later. A lot of people find out about Talent Garden through community events, advertise online, all social media, and also have a strategic partnership with DCU. 

 

As a Community Manager, do you have a favourite moment on the coworking campus to highlight the different types of opportunities and activities that happen on site?

I think the recent story of getting parenting advice was really nice and out of the blue. A member in a different campus just had twins and was lost on where to start juggling work and parenting so we connected him in with a member in our campus who runs his own company and had twins himself a year and a half ago to discuss the balance between being a parent to newborns and running your own company. It’s little things like that sometimes that is just so nice to see. 

We’ve also seen companies that joined Talent Garden when they had 2 people grow to 15 people seeing members working together. For example, our youth organisation at Localise had to move their business online during the pandemic so they connected with a digital marketing marketing agency Big Dog Digital to help them create a website and record video lessons from our event spaces

It is the true value of being in a community. I suppose sometimes people look solely for business supports and there’s absolutely a time and place for them but it’s really nice to know that there are coworking spaces where it’s not just about the professional connections and you can make some social and personal connections.

Thanks for taking the time to speak to us Nicole!

No problem at all, if anyone wants to get in contact about our coworking space make sure to get in touch!

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