The coworking movement can be traced back to San Francisco in 2005. Since then, studies have shown that the number of shared working spaces has roughly doubled year over year—especially in places where space is limited, like Hong Kong, London and New York City. Thanks to the rise in entrepreneurship and a need for creative collaboration on our small island, the movement is expanding here in Bermuda resulting in the recent opening of The House.
Located on the first floor of Wessex House on Reid Street in Hamilton, The House was conceived by entrepreneur Natasha Tucker along with her brother, Oliver, who acts as the media manager. The 1800-square-foot space is a flexible model that can accommodate up to 20 hotdesk users. They also feature 16 dedicated desks and four private offices available at monthly rates as well as a boardroom and smaller meeting rooms that can be rented by the hour.
“The idea was driven by myself after seeing the proliferation in the number of co-working spaces that have opened in other cities around the world and the success of these in terms of creating and fostering a collaborative business environment,” said Natasha. “They also answer some of the questions that relate to a shift in business culture in general and a desire for people to work more flexibly. From a real estate perspective we thought it was also important to innovate here in Bermuda.”
Designed by CTX Interiors, the space is bright, airy and contemporary in feel with a palette of neutral cream, grey and soft navy. Amenities include high speed internet, tech support, printing and scanning facilities, communal areas, private phone booths and 24-hour access to all members. There is also a fun and functional kitchen with complimentary tea, coffee and soft drinks.
“We wanted something that was contemporary, open-planned of course, industrial and different, but something that also reflected the values of the business,” said Natasha. Those values include the creation of a space that is more than just a functional office environment for nomadic workers.
“We wanted to build a coworking space for individuals as well as companies, but I think what makes us ultimately different is that this is about building a brand and a community,” Natasha explained. “We really want to foster the idea of collaboration through holding events and eventually hosting panel discussions and providing interesting content for businesses, founders and anyone who wants to come along in general.”
Perfect for starting entrepreneurs not ready to invest in a permanent office space, freelancers who prefer a collaborative space over the isolation of a home office, visiting consultants who need a semi-permanent spot to meet with clients, small businesses in need of a boardroom and anyone who wants a flexible work environment without long term commitment (although long term rates can be negotiated, says Natasha).
Studies show that millennials have driven the atmospheric growth of coworking environments with an estimated 1.7 million of them choosing these kinds of spaces around the globe. With many of them struggling to find a place in the traditional job market and instead choosing to create their own start ups or taking the freelancing route, shared spaces like The House fulfill their need for a office base in the heart of Hamilton without the stress of being locked into a long term commercial lease.
“[The House] provides people with a sense of community and camaraderie that they might not otherwise have during their work day,” she added. “It also provides people with a network of like-minded individuals working in similar areas to socialize with and talk to about their own businesses and professional needs.”
Expanding on their collaborative mindset, The House’s website hosts a blog entitled “The House Presents” which features locally-based businesses founders and entrepreneurs including photographer Nicola Muirhead, social media influencer Rachel Sawden, local business Limestone + Cedar, creative agency Uber Super Duper, among others. “We hope to grow this into a platform where people can find inspiration, advice, interesting stories—and our hope is it will also be a good way of promoting and showcasing what is happening here on the island from a business perspective,” Natasha concluded.