Who owns the WorkLab, and what was the reasoning for setting it up?
The WorkLab was created by the team at Bentley Investments, one of Gibraltar’s leading property developers. We jumped on the co-working bandwagon having taken a look at what was happening across the commercial market – advances in technology have completely disrupted the traditional office model – most employees nowadays just want flexibility and a good WiFi connection in order to be productive. We decided that since the market was moving towards co-working, we’d like to take the opportunity to open a space of our own, that would blend together all the elements we believed a good co-working space should have. Somewhere professional with world class facilities, but that simultaneously has an atmosphere that clients would find cosy and welcoming, and where they could be part of a community. Best of both worlds.
Is Gibraltar the only Worklab owned by the company?
Yes, so far it’s our only location, however we’re hopeful to potentially expand with the completion of EuroCity, our new residential-commercial development.
How do small businesses benefit from the WorkLab?
The benefits are twofold:
- We provide a plug and play solution. We take care of absolutely everything so that businesses can have the office of their dreams at a fraction of the cost, and minus the headache. For a set price a month you get a totally furnished workstation, ultra fast wifi, a fully stocked kitchen, business class printers, a receptionist and access to world class conference rooms. And the business doesn’t have to worry about a thing – nor the rates, utilities, connections. If anything happens they simply call the receptionist and we solve everything for you. Before services like this could only be afforded by massive corporations for thousands a month – The WorkLab gives small business, freelancers and entrepreneurs the same perks minus the costs. It’s honestly a win-win.
- No matter what your profession, working from home can not only get lonely, but it can also be unmotivating because the distinction between professional and personal gets blurred. The WorkLab helps promote the most critical aspects of human life – interaction and growth! Co-working spaces create dynamic workplace environments, promoting creativity, inspiration and collaboration between members. They allow employees to feel like they’re part of a community. And knowing that you have a support network as a small business is an invaluable asset.
What has the response been locally?
Honestly we’ve been blown away by the positive feedback. The main compliment we’ve heard again and again when people walk through the door is “Wow, I feel like I’m back in London/Madrid/New York”, which is amazing because we really we’re trying to bring the big city buzz to Gibraltar. When designing the space we wanted to make it stand out –make it the kind of space where people would feel simultaneously cosy and at home, yet energised and productive. I hope we’ve been able to find that perfect balance.
What are your aims and ambitions for the WorkLab in the future?
Developing our community, both within the WorkLab and with local businesses. We’d like to get to the point where we’re holding regular events in partnership with local businesses: skill share evenings, cocktail making classes, art workshops, you name it. Something that would help promote the local entrepreneurs whilst at the same time developing this feeling of camaraderie within the WorkLab, as members get to know each-other in a more relaxed setting outside of work hours.
Haven’t you won an award for WorkLab?
We were voted Gibraltar’s No.1 Coworking Space in the Coworker Members Choice Awards 2019 (Coworker is one of the worlds largest platforms for finding co-working spaces around the world, used by over 3 million people annually, including Fortune 500 companies such as Google, Uber, Tesla and Spotify). Established in 2018, the CMCAs are the highest honour Coworker can bestow.
You must be pleased?
We’re very chuffed. We absolutely love the space we’ve created and we try and go the extra mile with everything we do to make sure our clients feel loved, appreciated and supported. To be honest we see the space as this nurturing mother for the entrepreneurs within, so we value their success and happiness of each company as though it were our own. So to have this recognised is very heart warming.