Last night we unveiled Phase 2 of Origin Workspace with a festive celebration. After many months of hard work and dedication, it was fantastic to reveal the new space to our members as well as our partners and friends and to let our hair down and enjoy time with the community we’ve created.

To me, this was the party of the year – not just because we are celebrating the completion of Origin Workspace but also because it gave me a chance to take a step back and reflect on what has already been achieved.

Throughout the evening I made it my mission to talk to the people who work in businesses based in the building, who use our coworking desks, who are part of Origin Startup and of course the guests who come and see us throughout the year to use the meeting facilities or attend events.

So, with a slightly fuzzy head, here are the five things I took away from all these conversations:

1. Seeing businesses at Origin Workspace grow

It was great to talk to businesses working inside Origin Workspace who are growing with us! Cook Corporate, EA Change Group and Qoda have taken on more office space in our Phase 2 building to accommodate their growing teams. We’re proud that within our 42,000 sq. ft of workspace we can offer this kind of flexibility so that businesses can develop comfortably and commit to new space as and when they need it.

Heather Frankham with Ed Schofield and Richard Anthony from Cook Corporate

2. Hearing startup success stories

We’ve now supported two cohorts on our Origin Startup package, and it’s inspiring to hear about their successes so far.

The package is open to anyone who wants to develop a new business – whether you just have an idea or you’ve already got the wheels in motion. This means that the journey is different for everyone. So, I’m always keen to hear about how the different elements of the package – including dedicated mentoring, office space, training and networking opportunities – have helped our entrepreneurs in different ways.

One startup that really stands out to me is tour operator Where The Wild Is. A year ago, founder Emma came to us with just an idea on a piece of paper. She has now marked her first anniversary and has a fully operational travel company, offering unique experiences in Scandinavia. Not only has she developed her products, branding and website but she’s also learnt about legalities and operations and has expansion plans to offer trips to more destinations.

It’s this kind of story that sums up Origin Startup for me. Starting your own business is hard – and without the right support and encouragement it can also be painfully slow. Knowing that the package is helping new, local businesses to accelerate like this proves there’s a need for it! We’re excited to start recruiting for our third cohort, with applications now open to start in early 2020.

3. The benefits of community

When I walk around Origin Workspace on a day-to-day basis, I always get a feeling that there’s a strong community developing here. I see conversations taking place over desks, people chatting in the kitchen and informal meetings in the lounge and break-out areas – and it’s satisfying to know that our space is nurturing collaboration.

EA Change Group team at the Origin Workspace Christmas party

What also struck me at last night’s party was how many friendships have formed within our four walls – and not just within teams who work together, but between people working in entirely different parts of the building. This is especially positive for the many freelancers, consultants and remote workers who come here independently, and for smaller teams who can really benefit from a wider community.

I like to think that our regular events, such as morning workouts and community gatherings, and our online members’ network all help to get people connecting – as well as the many communal spaces such as our lounge, rooftop and gym.

But ultimately, it’s about the people themselves. Whether you’re a young entrepreneur just starting out or a seasoned professional, people are attracted to Origin Workspace because they want to learn, share and collaborate. And that creates the best working environment.

4. How Origin Workspace members are collaborating

In addition to the friendships and network developing at Origin Workspace, I’m so pleased to see official collaborations taking shape as Origin members hire one another to work on projects together.

With so many different skills in the building (and many more still to come as we fill up phase 2), our coworking environment is a hotspot for talent. It’s great to see that many companies are taking advantage of this and sourcing skills that they need from within the building.

In fact, Cook Corporate wrote about the opportunities for business development in the building in this recent blog post

5. Making time to celebrate is important!

Most of all though last night was all about taking time to celebrate – we wanted to mark the occasion of opening Phase 2 and what better way than with a big Christmas party?

Here at Origin we genuinely believe in work/life balance – and part of that balance is about taking time out to enjoy yourself. If you have experienced one of our events this year or worked from one of our spaces we would love to her your feedback, as we will be looking at how we further enhance our community in the New Year!

I hope everyone else enjoyed the company, the food and drinks and of course the space, as much as I did. Here’s to many more opportunities to get together and celebrate our successes in our new, expanded workspace in 2020…

If you would like to join our growing community, speak to our Business Manager, Caroline – Caroline.Hamilton@originworkspace.co.uk.

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