This is part two of a blog I wrote one month ago about my coworking vacation experience, which allowed for an opportunity to put work/life in the right balance. I worked for 6 days of an approximately 10-day vacation by utilizing different coworking locations around Scotland. On one of those days … Day 5, I worked from a Regus location.
Shared office space IS coworking space, and Regus is in the business of shared space, so I decided to give their offerings a try. Unlike the other spaces, I actually had some difficulty with my pre-trip planning to get information on where to go and how they might assist me. I sent ‘Contact Us’ emails while state-side inquiring about a day pass in Edinburgh. Each time I got template responses about the myriad of space options available to me in the United States.
In Scotland, I inquired online, but the contact form didn’t appear to like my U.S. phone number so I gave up. There are at least 3 centers in the immediate downtown area, so I dropped into one, an upscale location on George Street. After a bit of private conferring amongst the staff with what to do with me (apparently the Princes Street location would have been a better option), I was told they had a coworking space to accommodate me for the day. It was, surprisingly, a very well-priced office solution so I accepted their offer and paid. I was shown to an upstairs office, which I believe is actually what they call a ‘campus office.’ This is a private space of about 220 square feet with 4 desks and tall dividers between. Of the 4 desks, 3 were clearly permanently committed. One was occupied by a man with spectacular speed-typing abilities. He would be my only coworker for the day.
This space, while quite out of the way from the happenings of the center, also proved to be a very efficient and productive space to work. But, I’ll be honest, I found not having the hubbub typical of other coworking spaces made the day kind of long and boring. I just had nobody to talk to, which among other things, is a reason for me to get up every day and go to work; I like to chat. I was never checked in on by the Regus staff, as I was at the Kingsford Business Club and Collabor8te, but, then again, I was one flight up, down the hall, and in a closed office. And, in fairness, I never needed further assistance. One thing that did surprise me was the importance I place on kitchen amenities – beverage options, supplies, etc. Regus’ lounge was so inferior from any of their shared space cousins, offering only one tin of freeze-dried coffee grounds, one tin of tea bags, a hot water brewer, and no branded mugs. All options appeared to belong to others. I was uncomfortable taking a cup emblazoned ‘Computer People’ but had no other options.
All in all, this was a solid space to add to the repertoire of options for creating a coworkcation. Regus gets credit for a good price in a great location and a quiet efficient place to work. What I did lose, was a feeling of connection to my adopted community; my destination of travel. I felt like I made connections, albeit transient ones, at each of the other locations I visited, and that, for me, it turns out, is a necessity of a ‘coworkcation’.