Hackerspace Architect: Co-Working Space
I’ve been given a new perspective on co-working this week by being able to meet and chat with Dee Millar, the founder of Minor Oak Co-Working Space in Nottingham. It is to my knowledge the only such space, with hotdesking in the city.
When Nottingham Hackspace was founded, co-working was a bit of a buzz word and I included it in the blurb for the space and on it’s flyers. To my knowledge, other than the occasional meeting and Wednesday Freelancer days, the space rarely gets used for co-working. Dee, the founder at Minor Oak and I did something of a cultural exchange. She showed me around Minor Oak and let me quiz her about it, and I showed her around the Nottingham Hackspace. Dee is a geek at heart and she got pretty excited about some of the older obsolete tech at the space, especially the HP plotter, which to my knowledge as only been run a hand full of times successfully, in the textiles room at the space.
Over a coffee, I challenged Dee to tell me why someone should go to a co-working space over, say, a pleasant coffee shop. A co-working space is not a coffee shop. she rebutted, “t’s a shared office space, it’s not the same, There are thousands of freelance and home workers in Nottingham. Minor Oak provides a professional office with spaces for social working, meetings, telephone cubicles and a quiet office. Dee who has training as an engineer and in architecture, is rightly proud of the stratification of the co-working space by noise level and engagement.
“People want their colleagues back!” She said. I can relate to this. As a line manager I recall that the most common reason people would stay at their job or the thing they said they’d miss the most, is their colleagues. We form strong, life long friendships with our colleagues. Like school, you are sometimes thrust into a situation of which you and your new friend have little to no control. The camaraderie stemming from shared experience is strong. Besides, she continued, it can be unhealthy to work alone at home. Yes, I thought. The fridge is ever present and I don’t get that much of a morning walk to work, just from the bed to the desk.
You can find out more about Minor Oak here https://www.minoroak.com/, check out Dee’s blog posts about co-working. You can also try it for free the first Monday of any month.
Today’s thumbnail is the quiet working area at Minor Oak.