Freedom and flexibility are some of the biggest drawcards for people who start their own businesses or leave nine-to-five jobs in favour of a freelance working life.
And for most of these vocational nomads, the collaborative energy of working with others and being able to share ideas, networks and spaces is the pull factor.
Work & Co, which opened its doors in Cape Town this week, is the newest kid on the co-working space block – ready to connect like-minded professionals and help them to grow their businesses.
But the brainchild of Julien Verspieren, who left his native France in 2014 and moved to Cape Town, is more than a space to set up your laptop and get some tasks done; it’s a whole new way to work.
“I experienced the way that co-working spaces have taken off, not just in South Africa, but globally,” says Verspieren of his latest venture.
It is a space that caters for all the amenities and infrastructure of a traditional office, but one that is flexible enough to be tailored to specific business needs.
Located in Touchstone House on Cape Town’s Bree Street, the space offers a panoramic 360° view of the city bowl. Verspieren’s vision of creating a space that allows all who use it to feel at home and enhance their creativity was brought to life by Cape Town-based designer Andrea Graff.
“The space we have created reflects my belief that a work environment should be comfortable and congenial, enriching the user experience,” says Graff.
Verspieren adds: “In Work & Co I wanted to create a unique space that people could draw inspiration from. It combines the buzz of a coffee shop with the comforts of the most beautiful home, bringing a community of passionate entrepreneurs and creatives together under one roof.”
The Work & Co offering is diverse and caters for a range of entrepreneurial and freelance needs.
Whether you work on your own and simply require a “hot” desk that can be rented for a day, a shared office space or a private meeting area that can accommodate up to 15 people, Work & Co offers both drop-in rates for nonmembers and membership packages tailored to specific business needs.
By joining Work & Co, members gain access to all the infrastructure of a traditional office with the flexibility of a collaborative workspace.
In the spirit of co-working spaces that have gained popularity in South Africa and around the world, Work & Co is built on the foundation of shared values and business goals. But with the advantage of diversity: the kind that allows a constant exchange of ideas across fields, industries and specialities and fosters new business opportunities and growth.
The advantage and appeal of spaces like Work & Co are that they give freelancers and writers who may be used to working from their home offices, or with earphones to block out the noise of a coffee shop, a break away from the isolation and a chance to collaborate and tap into new networks.
It is an active community that embraces the energy of entrepreneurship and channels it into strengthening all the businesses that occupy the space.