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What is co-working and what can you expect at Greenhouse?
11 June 2021 | All locations
There’s no way around: co-working is more popular than ever. No less than 3.3% of Belgian offices are co-working spaces – and in 2018, the co-working sector took a fifth of the entire Brussels office market. A percentage that continues to grow systematically: the popularity of the concept is also rising in other parts of Belgium, Europe and the rest of the world. Time to take a look at the how, what – and above all: why – of co-working!
The history of co-working
The term ‘co-working’ originated in America just before the turn of the century. Bernie DeKoven, writer and game designer, came up with it in 1999. According to him, co-working was the answer to the new work environments that were created due to developments in technology. In America especially, workers were increasingly expressing their dissatisfaction with the traditional office environments – and the lonely, enclosed spaces that often accompanied them.
Yet it was only six years later that the term really gained ground, when Brad Neuberg founded his own co-working location in San Francisco, called ‘Hat Factory‘. Brad saw co-working as the answer to the antisocial, purely professional offices and the unproductiveness of working from home. The very first co-working space was a loft for three employees, but other interested parties were also welcome.
Brad later founded Citizen Space, the first public co-working space in San Francisco. After the booming of co-working spaces in different shapes, types and sizes in America, initiatives quickly followed all over the world.
In Europe, progressive Berlin was the first place where co-working was embraced. The owners of the café ‘St. Oberholz‘ offered free internet since 2005, which led to more and more professionals working there. Today, some 15 years later, we can still find this trend, in the form of ‘hipsters’ taking their laptops to coffee bars.
St. Oberholz, by the way, is still a fixture in co-working land: the café was mentioned in ‘We Call it Work‘, a book about ‘digital nomads’ and the need for more flexible work. Thanks to the book, both St. Oberholz and co-working became known all over Europe, and in 2015 the café opened a second official co-working location in Berlin.
Apart from Berlin, our little country also follows the trend and co-working spaces are popping up all over Belgium: Brussels, Mechelen, Antwerp,… Nevertheless, San Francisco remains the epicentre of the co-working community.
What is co-working?
But what exactly is co-working? Well, look at it as a way of working where professionals from different companies, businesses and sectors share an office space. Thanks to this shared office space – the co-working space – coworkers save costs through the use of common infrastructures. Think of: the space itself, utilities, meeting rooms, but also any reception services.
This is why it is such a popular form of working for freelancers, the self-employed and small businesses such as start-ups. For young entrepreneurs, a co-working space is the perfect solution, both in terms of financial resources and building their professional network – but of course, larger companies can also start within a co-working hub – and later scale up to a serviced office or regular office.Which type of office matches me?
Co-working is the answer to the demand for more flexibility in a digital age
Nowadays, a co-working space is much more than just a workplace. Today, this concept is more and more synonymously with sociability, networking and, above all, the experience. Which means you can expect every co-working hub to offer original activities beyond the workspace. From workshops to webinars, from having breakfast together to afterwork drinks: you can’t think of anything more fun. In a co-working hub, the idea is to feel at ease – and to be able to combine pleasure with professionalism. And that’s something we at Greenhouse know better than anyone, which is why you can always enjoy a wide variety of community activities with us.
The advantages of co-working at Greenhouse in a nutshell
By now, you already know everything about co-working: its history and what the concept entails. But what does it look like in reality, and what are the benefits for you as an organisation? We list the advantages of the co-working spaces at Greenhouse, so you know exactly what to expect.
Networking has never been easier
As a (starting or experienced) entrepreneur you know it better than anyone: networking is extremely important to let your organisation grow.
By sitting at your computer every day, you meet few new people – and you may not run into any unexpected opportunities.
Yet, especially in today’s society, networking events are not always easy to find.
And that’s exactly why Greenhouse is such an interesting place for you. When you join our co-working community, you meet interesting people every day. You may be sitting next to them at your desk, but you can also have a casual chat with them in the lunchroom or the restaurant, which makes networking more organic and easier. And best of all? You don’t even have to go far away from your computer to find an interesting opportunity… everyone is gathered here within the same four walls!
“Through the co-working system we have met many interesting profiles, consultants and self-employed people. Even more: a number of these contacts have become our customers! In addition, we also find it interesting to get in touch with different people, in the afternoon in the lunchroom for example, who approach their business in a completely different way or work through a different vision. That is very instructive and inspiring!“ – Jonathan, Four Eyes
You have all facilities within reach
Greenhouse knows what you need to be able to function optimally. After all, our goal is to ensure that you can focus 100% on your job – we will take care of the rest. That is why we keep thinking about the facilities you might need. We look at the current places and ask around about things that could be improved or needed.
Our co-working space is more than just a desk to sit at. We have, for example, installed useful phonebooths: small enclosed spaces where you can phone in peace, without being disturbed – or disturbing others.
We also think about the little things: extra screens for presentations, flipcharts to let creativity flow, different types of meeting rooms, a ‘chill room’ to relax, and so on.
In addition, you can also enjoy nice extras such as a reception, Bringme boxes, showers, a fitness room, catering possibilities, the option to use Greenhouse as a registered office, and so on.
And are you still missing a certain facility and are you convinced that it will increase your focus? Be sure to let us know!
“The location is very convenient, and the building exudes luxury and professionalism. You really have everything here: bubbles, meeting rooms, mood boards, … Especially those mood boards are the hottest thing for me: I use them almost daily to write down my creative processes and get new concepts out of them.” – Sarah, Narcisse
Make use of meeting rooms
And speaking of those facilities… at Greenhouse you can also find many different meeting rooms. After all, separate rooms for brainstorming, or for presenting matters to your client, are indispensable for a well-functioning company – and we know that all too well.
That’s why you’ll find some meeting rooms of various capacities in all the hubs.
All you have to do? Book them in time for your meeting. We will do the rest! Oh , important to mention: you can use these meeting rooms for free for two hours a day. That is simply included in your monthly abonnement. Great, right?
“The multiple meeting rooms with different capacities is a real plus and ensures comfort and good organisation of our meetings.” – Walter, 2AspireComfortable meeting rooms have never been more important
Enjoy the necessary peace and quietness in the focus rooms
“But, Greenhouse, I’m so easily distracted”. No problem! If you are someone who is easily distracted by conversations in your immediate surroundings, our focus rooms or phonebooths are the perfect solution.
Thanks to the clever acoustic design of these areas, you will immediately feel as if you are in an oasis of peace.
In this way, we help you to maintain your focus, without having to go into complete isolation: when you step out of your focus room, you immediately find yourself back in the vibrant energy of our co-working spaces. The best of both worlds, some will say.
“The bubbles in Greenhouse are individual spaces designed acoustically so that you can work there in complete privacy. You won’t be distracted by conversations in the background – but your fellow co-workers won’t hear you talking on the phone either. That’s how we minimise frustration and distractions – but optimise the opportunities to go for full focus on the shop floor.” – GreenhouseThe top 3 functionalities in the Greenhouse co-working spaces
Work where, when and how you want to
The biggest advantage of co-working? It is, unanimously, being able to do what you feel like doing. After all, with your co-working membership, you decide how, where and when you work. You have access to our three hubs 24/24, so don’t take us into account.
This way, you work at the rhythm you need and in the environment that suits your tasks at that moment. Early bird or night owl? A week without and then every day again? All right, Greenhouse welcomes you exactly when you need us. And… your membership gives you access to all our locations, so you don’t have to choose between Antwerp, Mechelen or Brussels!
“On the one hand, we wanted the opportunity to work in a professional – and safe – setting: we noticed the need to maintain the necessary contacts. On the other hand, co-working is a perfect solution for the experts who have to be ‘at the desk’ for a certain period of time while waiting for a new project. The placed consultants are with the client, and those between 2 projects can still go to an office environment.” – Kiefer, Mind.Shift
Feel free to organise an event
We were unable to organise any events last year, but that does not mean that the possibilities are not there. Are you organising a small talk, a team day, an extensive conference or something in between? Greenhouse will be happy to support you.
We do not only offer the location (we have spaces from 2 to 250 people available), but if necessary we also help you with the organisation of the event.
So don’t forget us when events come around again, because we can’t wait to contribute to your unforgettable day!
Benefit from the complete infrastructure
When we say we’ll take care of everything, we mean it. Because when you choose co-working instead of your own office, you also relinquish all responsibilities related to managing an office. Think about: buying coffee, receiving people, providing toilet paper, arranging fast internet, and so on. All these side tasks are necessary to function well at the office – but not everyone has the time or inclination for them.
When you choose for co-working at Greenhouse, you can rest easy: we take care of all these, and more. And the only thing you have to do? Start your working day!
“For us, there were several decisive factors for choosing Greenhouse Mechelen. To start with: the office. The environment is trendy, pleasant and equipped with every comfort. All the necessary infrastructure resources are there: fast internet, adjustable desks, extra screens, … all fantastic for an IT profile!” – Mind.Shift
Your body will thank you
In the Greenhouse co-working hubs, the physical health of each member is paramount. We not only want to make sure that you can work comfortably and undisturbed, but we also take it upon ourselves to keep your body in optimal health. That is why we only offer high quality and ergonomic office furniture.
From standing desks to ergonomic office chairs – and everything in between: we have it. So you can put that brain to work in a healthy body – a priceless combination that will deliver better results.
“I personally prefer to work at the various desks that you can easily adjust in height: so you can alternate between sitting and standing whenever you like. Healthy for the body and good for the brain!” – Charlotte, Solventure
Opportunities in Greenhouse
The doors of Greenhouse are open to anyone looking for a new workplace. Our hubs in Antwerp, Brussels and Mechelen offer interesting and spacious co-working spaces, but that’s not all. As a company, you can also grow into (or start right away in) a serviced office or a classic, regular office of your own. Depending on the budgets and needs of your organisation, we can offer you the perfect office solution.
Curious about our co-working spaces?
Don’t hesitate to contact us: we are happy to tell you more about our co-working spaces in Antwerp, Mechelen and Brussels. See you soon?