One Stop Social has come a long way from the spark of inspiration Director & Social Worker Matt Hughes had, and in true social work nature, we do like to take time to reflect on our progress and evaluate the process. Part of that reflection led us to realise how basing ourselves out of a coworking space has helped us to grow in an organic and efficient manner. For about 18 months we’ve been coworking at “The Hub” in Village Point, an events and coworking venue in Heaton Moor, and the alternative office style has suited us perfectly. Marketing Director Liam Dillon explains “One of our goals for The Hub was to enable local businesses to collaborate and grow” and One Stop Social are living proof that so far, it’s working!
A New Way to Think About “The Office”
When One Stop Social started about 2 years ago, it was a team of 1: a social worker with a vision but a desire to approach social work “business” in a different way. So, when it came time to find somewhere to work, “different” was the core theme. It’s important to have a place to work, but the space should reflect the values of the company, providing an efficient but people-oriented environment for the workday. For One Stop Social, these values are driven by social worker training, meaning the importance of a comfortable and inviting workspace for the people within the team is incredibly important. Utilising the coworking space at The Hub has given us the platform to launch our business with strength, while staying true to our work-ethos.
Coworking at The Hub involves more than affordable desk space and comfortable chairs, as the in-house award-winning chef Shelley Jones provides the option for a catered lunch every Friday for everyone – it’s a perk that represents the bigger picture of office life at The Hub. The staff are always available to help, the office is spacious and modern, but best of all, the food is fit for kings!
Coworking for a Startup that’s Started Up
The coworking setup has suited One Stop Social’s growth perfectly, as the policy of “pay for what you use” allows us to expand and reduce the number of desks available for our use as our Internship Development Programme with the University of Salford has been implemented. The flexible nature of the office space has helped us bring in multiple interns at once, without restrictions; which in turn allowed us to take on more ambitious and high-profile projects for the company. During quieter periods though, there’s the ability to cut down and save costs – a priority for every young business! While we’re no longer your typical startup – as our team, workload and commitments increase – we’re not exactly a multinational corporation either; so, The Hub has helped us maintain a level of professionalism and “office life” to our company without being too corporate that One Stop Social feels out-of-place. We’ve also been able to utilise the space to film a promotional video, something which other shared office spaces would not have been so accommodating about.
Finding a Varied Support System
Sharing an office with several other businesses and freelancers has helped One Stop Social in more ways than one. At The Hub, we’ve been able to gain advice on loans, web development and event management; tips which have been invaluable as we are gaining our footing in business. It’s allowed us to bounce ideas off knowledgeable people who can help us think outside the box for new projects or ground us when our imagination gets too carried away!
Having more than just the One Stop Social team in an office also makes us a more interesting employer for our Internship Development Programme, as we can offer students guidance from multiple sources with a range of specialities. We saw this first-hand with our financial intern who was taken under the wing of The Hub’s resident mortgage broker, to the degree he connected her with recruiters at the end of her internship with us.
Working at The Hub has been a great experience for One Stop Social, so we’ve definitely become fans of the coworking style! It’s a new take on a traditional environment, and we’re not the only ones to notice! Harvard Business Review commented that “people who use coworking spaces see their work as meaningful”, due to the culture of helping each other out and community created in the offices. Liam at Village Point has said “it’s been great to see how small businesses can benefit from the coworking environment” and hopes to see more freelancers and SMEs choosing to cowork once Village Point undergoes an exciting expansion plan to become a vibrant, modern and first-class business community.
It looks like the future is collaborative, and the team at One Stop Social are so ready for it.