10:00AM, Sunday 21 July 2019
The new MyWorkSpot offices in central Maidenhead are an engaging and colourful place for small businesses and freelancers to set up shop. Reporter George Roberts sat down with directors David Johnston and Will Ballantyne to talk about the move, their ambitions and coffee on tap.
Complete with massive wall murals of monkey’s sipping coffee and hummingbirds in flight, it is easy to imagine yourself sitting down to work at the new MyWorkSpot offices in Clyde House, Reform Road.
The new office, much bigger than the old King Street site that was surrendered to the town centre redevelopment, boasts three floors of colourful and flexible office spaces, meeting rooms and a ground floor cafe.
MyWorkSpot is a place where small businesses and freelancers can pay to use flexible office space, meeting rooms and other corporate facilities. The new offices officially opened on June 13.
After months unsuccessfully hunting down a new home, directors David Johnston and Will Ballantyne sat down with the council.
It had initially planned to knock down Clyde House but agreed instead to rent it to the business, so that it could offer a home for small enterprises in the borough.
“In terms of facility, we’ve tried to make it as flexible as possible so people can start small and just hotdesk with us for a day or two,” said David.
“Then as they grow as a business, maybe they bring on a staff member or two, they become more permanent here, maybe they move up to an office space.
“In our last building we had one company come in with five or six people, they ended up with 20 people and they had to move out to their own office, and that’s fine, that’s the natural growth progression. We are helping companies move from the bedroom to eventually their own office. We are the big gap in between.”
With more and more people now working from home or freelancing on flexible hours, Maidenhead’s coffee shops have become some of the town’s busiest offices, and both David and Will acknowledge its usefulness as a workspace, but they think MyWorkSpot provides a more professional and valuable space for businesspeople.
Will said: “At a coffee shop you go there, sit down and make your own space there. You buy a coffee and feel obliged to keep buying coffees.
“Here the coffee is on tap, and you get the professional environment that comes with it.”
David added that the ultra-fast 500mbps Wi-Fi also helps
“Fast Wi-Fi that’s not going to cut off is important to people, and it’s the environment as well,” he said.
“If people want to have meetings with other real companies, big companies, they can bring them here with the knowledge that it’ll make them look good.”
The open plan work areas are bright and colourful, with plants and huge wall murals on every floor, all hand painted by a graffiti artist, and the wooden-pallet furniture in the ground floor cafe feels more silicon valley start-up than Maidenhead office space.
The office also hosts regular free talks given by business experts from everything from branding to cybersecurity.
Most of MyWorkSpot’s members moved with it when it travelled across town, but now it has a bigger space, the building is only about 40 per cent full and the family business (its four staff members are David, Will and their wives Kellie and Sarah) is hoping to expand. David said: “We are ambitious as well, we want to be successful here and there are other areas we feel that need facilities like this, like Windsor or anywhere else, we get people from Windsor all the time asking us to come that way. In the future, we’d love to. First, let’s fill this, make it a success.”
To view membership options visit myworkspot.uk.com/membership/
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