It Takes More Than a Ping-Pong Table
In my opinion, people are co-working spaces’ biggest important asset. Foosball tables don’t count.
Space is just space until it’s filled with living, breathing humans. According to legend, the co-working space I work at (Awesome HQ) was once occupied by only 4 people and it housed a mattress for those late night startup moments. Today, it’s host to 20 permanent tenants and 4–8 casual hot-deskers depending on the day. That all happened in less than a year. Scaling at that rate may not be impressive to some massive coworking spaces like WeWork but for us, that’s mega awesome!
The real win is that all the people in the space get along pretty damn well. Sure, we’re not best friends but we can be found collaborating on pretty cool projects. With architects, designers, developers, geo-tech engineers, HR consultants, video producers, cafe owners, baristas, and uber cool taxi apps (hint hint!), it’s a small miracle we get any work done at all.
The foosball table in the back, by the beanbags, doesn’t get used much. I don’t know yet if that’s a good or a bad thing. But we do go on “strolls for the soul” and group outings for coffee. Tomorrow, we’re planning on going to the Canterbury Museum to see the Whole House Reuse exhibit. It’s a last minute event, randomly spurred on by the guy across the desk from me (go D!).
We could definitely do a better job of communicating. Not everyone uses the same tools to talk: Slack here and there, emails mostly, and a few random other apps like Basecamp, Asana, and Outlook are floating around. Our bikes litter the stairwell and we share highlighters. And at the end of the day, I’d have each and everyone of them over to my house for dinner.
What that says to me is that we are real people, not just foosball figures. We have real lives and we engage. The space is built in such a way that we can walk up to one another and interrupt without feeling like a prick. Sometimes, we have to talk to get stuff done. It takes a strong, awesome group of people to make it really all work.
Recently, we collectively voted on this mural as our new HQ wall design. Go team us!