The last few months have been busy ones at West Glamorgan House as the top floor was transformed into a sparkling new not-for-profit coworking space.
For those new to it, coworking is a business model that involves individuals working independently or collaboratively in shared office space. The owner of the space provides a work environment and all the usual office equipment and amenities you’d find in a typical office.
Coworking is an increasingly popular phenomenon with spaces cropping up in cities across the UK. There are many reasons why coworking is so popular, particularly for those working from home with all the distractions that brings. Keeping work separate from home by using a coworking space allows you to keep structure in your life and increases productivity.
Other advantages of basing your small business or startup in a coworking space can be reducing your running costs and the increased flexibility that comes with rolling a lease. Setup costs are also minimal as most coworking spaces are fully equipped so you can just plug your laptop in and start working. Networking is another advantage frequently mentioned, with multiple businesses working together you won’t just pick up lots of good practice, you’ll also have the chance to do business together.
Bhupinder Sidhu is the man behind Swansea’s newest coworking space and explains his thinking.
“I’ve been running my financial services business from the top floor for a couple of years, it’s a great space with stunning views but we just didn’t need all of the space, so I’ve moved my team to one end and transformed the rest into a pod style coworking space.”
“I’m a keen networker and love doing business locally, so giving small businesses the chance to work alongside us should create advantages for everyone. We aren’t looking to profit from this so are just charging the desk space at cost price.”
The Connect Swansea Bay office is certainly impressive with panoramic views from all sides, large breakout area with kitchen and pool table and two meeting rooms to hire. Local solicitor Paula Tanner was one of the first tenants to move in.
“It’s a great space to work in and it’s nice to be able to share ideas or just have a quick chat with the other businesses there. Everyone is really friendly, and the views are amazing! I run my Divorce & Separation business from here and my clients find it ideal – easy to access and to park. It’s also very easy to book meetings rooms whenever I need them.”