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Beating the buzzwords: what is a collaborative workspace?

5 Apr 2017

collaborative working

The OED definition of collaboration is “The action of working with someone to produce something”. Therefore, the definition of a collaborative workspace is simple – it’s a place of work in which people work together to produce something, be it goods or services.

Of course, this could describe any place of work but in this case a collaborative workspace is office space designed for freelancers, sole traders and small businesses to operate from. And although their companies may be small, with so many working in the same space, collaboration is almost guaranteed to happen.

The 2016 Global Co-working Survey found collaborative workspaces actively encourage small business owners to work together. In fact, 71% of members collaborated with other users, mostly on small tasks, but a quarter were contracted to work on a specific project, and 11% of users went on to form a new businesses together.

Elliot Jacobs is the founder of the UOE Hub, a collaborative workspace in Hertford. He hopes that the Hub will encourage entrepreneurs to work together so everyone thrives. “The UOE Hub was set up with the express intention of helping small businesses ‘GET WORK DONE’. As a collaborative workspace, it is designed to encourage members to network with each other on a daily basis. Small businesses are not in competition with each other – quite the opposite in fact. We all need each other if we want to prosper, so having a space that encourages collaboration is vital for the good of the town.”

Renting office space with the intention of collaborating

Even national and multi-national companies realise the potential of collaborative workspaces. Not only do they save money on their own office space, they can also be a great way to start long-term relationships with clients. For instance, one international consultancy firm has placed a small team in a collaborative working space that’s popular with high-tech start-ups, with the intention of fostering long-term relationships from the very beginning. A lot of their advice is given freely to start-ups and entrepreneurs – in the future, their goodwill often leads to more formal business relationships after their own businesses have taken off.

If you are looking for collaborative workspace in Hertford, contact us to organise a tour of the UOE Hub and to try it out with a one-day FREE pass.

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