Workshop17’s latest state-of-the-art collaborative facility in Cape Town’s City Bowl has 30 modifiable private offices. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN – Workshop17’s latest state-of-the-art collaborative facility in Cape Town’s City Bowl has 30 modifiable private offices, hot-desking, café co-working, meeting rooms, boardrooms and a top floor café area.

The five-floor building offers human-centric working spaces for everyone – ranging from an individual freelancer to enterprises seeking bespoke office solutions.

Workshop17 chief executive and o-founder, Paul Keursten, attributes the brand’s success to passion and a vibrant vision of a flourishing Africa. He elaborated that the newly opened site highlights the company’s commitment to boosting the local economy.

"The success of our brand has been driven by our passion to help build an inclusive ecosystem of exciting businesses and entrepreneurs that are working to shape a powerful, prosperous Africa," said Keursten.

He describes the Kloof Street site as an embodiment of the company’s dedication to quality service. Highly skilled and dedicated on-site community managers are at the forefront of customer service. The office space boasts excellent connectivity and modern technology with all the office nitty-gritties for a plug-and-play environment that provides full functionality for optimal productivity.

According to Keursten, Workshop17 takes care of all customers’ daily needs, so they can focus on what really matters – growing their business.

He said, "We are driven to create a working environment and community that is inspiring and helps members to become the best they can be in their work. Each of our locations has its own personality and set up, attuned to the area and the building we are in. In this way we attract a variety of members and companies who can tap into a diverse community for networking, sharing and creating opportunities".

The company’s in-house design team worked with talented local suppliers to produce a beautiful, contemporary setting that balances well-being and productivity.

"It is purpose-built to cater for affordable best-in-class hot-desking, café co-working, meeting rooms, boardrooms and a top floor café area with enchanting views of Cape Town and Table Mountain," said Keursten.

He added, "In addition, members have access to brainstorming areas, pause areas, informal meeting booths, and lounges to encourage individuals to network and do business together. All members can enjoy the features on offer, regardless of which membership option they go for". 

The site, on number 32 Kloof Street, comprised of 2 388m², opened its door in September 2019.

The lower ground floor and large sheltered terrace house a café which is open to the public. Here non-members and members alike can meet and relax; enjoying great food, great coffee and great service.

Open and collaborative workspaces are uniquely positioned to foster a thriving business ecosystem that encourages productivity, creativity, innovation, ideas and collaborative working. Workshop17 sites also connect members by holding regular public events supporting entrepreneurship, learning and networking in various fields.

Workshop17's first co-working space opened in 2012 in Maboneng, Johannesburg. With a majority-female staff complement of 49, the company’s seven sites host over 1 300 members and 400 companies and SMEs.

Workshop17 aims to double the number of sites in the coming 3 years and is also looking into expanding into other African countries. Their next two sites will open in Rosebank, a crucial node for Workshop17. 144 Oxford will open in May 2020 and The Bank in July 2020. 

The increasing migration of flexible office space and coworking locations to areas outside of major metropolitan cities globally is creating a "flex economy" that could contribute more than R3.8 trillion to global local economies in the next decade, according to the first comprehensive socio-economic study commissioned by Regus of second-city and suburban workspaces.

It also revealed that in South Africa, on average 265 new jobs are created in communities that contain a flexible workspace, with an extra R30.8 million per workspace going directly into the local economy.

This rise in local working is being largely driven by big companies adopting flexible working policies; moving away from relying on a single, central HQ and increasingly basing employees outside of the major metropolitan hubs in flex spaces. Most are doing so to improve employee wellbeing by allowing their people to work closer to home, and also to save money and boost productivity.

BUSINESS REPORT