Cecilia Tham, Founder of Makers of Barcelona

Cecilia Tham is the founder of Makers of Barcelona, one of Barcelona’s first and largest coworking and maker spaces, hosting over 200 creative professionals and 35 companies. Housed in a former textile factory in the center of Barcelona’s bustling city center, Makers of Barcelona (MOB) claims to be “the platform for change”, both in and around the community.

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Known as the Mastermind behind the space, we reached out to Cecilia to learn more about MOB and her story. “Growing up as a Chinese American, I have always been the underdog, or the black sheep,” Cecilia shared, which she said happened all over again when she moved to Barcelona twelve years ago.

“I didn’t know the language. I felt like I didn’t have anywhere to go, and I was desperate to be connected.”

She decided to focus her energy and passion on opening MOB, the first maker space and one of the first large scale coworking spaces in Barcelona. “I wanted to be plugged into the the professional world, and be social as well”, Cecilia says.  Almost three years later, Cecilia can confidently say that she achieved this. She even refers to the space as ‘Monica’s House’ from the tv-show ‘Friends’, “a space with no boundaries or labels”.

When we asked Cecilia what her favourite part of running a coworking space was, she said the people. “I get to meet new people all the time and be introduced to new initiatives; it’s very fluid, like a river.”

Cecilia envision’s the future of work to be one of transforming thinkers into makers. She defines a maker as “a person that is self sufficient, passionately driven, fully capable and highly motivated.” Cecilia believes that for the first time in human history, we have the capability to do anything we want.

“I believe we are towards the end of the digital revolution, and we are now in the process of turning all of this information into something real. And we will do this through maker movement.”

Makers of Barcelona have been a part of the ShareDesk community since 2012. Here is what Cecila had to say when we asked her about her experience with ShareDesk.

“We have been a ShareDesk Venue Partner for the past two years. ShareDesk has been a great source for generating quality leads and building our community.”

Interested in collaborating with the creative professionals at Makers of Barcelona? Book a work or meeting space at MOB now!

 

About the ShareDesk Blog Series ‘The Future of Work With…’

‘The Future of Work With…’ is a blog series profiling members of the ShareDesk community. We are speaking with our diverse network of entrepreneurs, business travellers, industry thought leaders, freelancers, and flexible workplace operators, and sharing their stories and experiences on how they dream up a more flexible future for work.

Are you part of the ShareDesk community and have an interesting story to share? Contact us.

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A blog series profiling members of the ShareDesk community

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We are excited to announce the launch of our new blog series, ‘The Future of Work With…’. Over the coming months we will be speaking with our diverse network of entrepreneurs, business travellers, industry thought leaders, freelancers, and flexible workplace operators to share their stories and experiences on how they dream up a more flexible future for work.

Throughout this blog series, we will be highlighting different venues and companies, providing them with a platform for their thoughts, experiences, and ideas on flexible work and changes taking place in their workplace.

Keep an eye out for our first blog, featuring Cecilia Tham of Makers of Barcelona!

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Know Your Space

Rebecca K —  July 21, 2014

We already know the benefits of working in a flexible workspace over a home office, but what about working from a coffee shop or a library? Are they good alternatives to working from home? We are here to outline a few reasons why a flexible workspace is better for you and your business.

Photo Credit: Gravity Coworking - ShareDesk.net

A Comparison of the Coffee Shop, Library and Flexible Workspace

When thinking about the reasons why we like working in a coffee shop, a few things come to mind such as the coffee (or tea, for the health conscious goers), the constant hum of chatter and noise, and overall, a nice change of scenery. When it comes to libraries, they are quite and free, and usually there is a corner or two that you can make feel your own. So, why chose a flexible workspace?

The People Running a successful business comes down to the people. Flexible workspaces attract a range of different people: freelancers, entrepreneurs, and mobile professionals, that are all investing in their productivity by joining a shared or serviced office environment. This allows for serendipitous moments and newly sparked opportunities. While you are grabbing coffee, you may just run into your next potential client or collaborator. You will be surrounded by not only your team, but your community, your mentors, and friends.

The Space Flexible workspaces provide you with, well… a productive environment, on flexible terms. If you are someone who can’t stay in one desk for more than a week, many coworking spaces provide you with the option to switch it up when you need to. Switch desks, book a meeting room for the day, go to a partner space. If you are looking for silence, you can book a meeting room or find a desk in your own quite corner.

The Value The value you can get from working at a service office space or coworking space, compared to what you pay, is well worth it. Instead of investing in an alternative that won’t provide you with exposure to a new potential network or any flexibility of how or where you work, consider a flexible workspace. If you still aren’t sold, think about it this way. You want a professional environment in which you can conduct your day to day, grow your business, and be surrounded by great people, right? Can you really do that in a coffee shop? Or a library?

Give it a try, and let us know what you think. Find your next space on ShareDesk

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From a single collaborative workspace in San Francisco in 2005, coworking as a concept has ballooned into a popular movement, with over an estimated 3000 spaces around the world.

Coworking offers obvious benefits to freelancers and individuals, but as Tim Butcher and Julian Waters-Lynch explain, the principles of coworking have great potential for big businesses also.

We reached out to Julian Waters-Lynch to ask him why he thinks coworking has seen such remarkable growth? Here was his response:

“The technological story is straight forward. Ubiquitous wifi, cheap mobile devices, software’s great migration from the server to the cloud. All this adds up to a world where many people can work from anywhere, at least technically. No longer bound to the phone and computer on the desk, or the files on the server (let alone the paper in the filing cabinet), for many work has become more a case of something one does rather than somewhere one goes. Then there is the story of outsourcing and downsizing, the victory of the temporary contract and short term project over the increasingly elusive general employment agreement. Finally there are the work-life aspirations of the millennials – over half of which claim to be planning to work as freelancers or start their own businesses. The choices here appear different to the past, privileging freedom of mobility over fixed security. Working anywhere, anytime on projects of passion. From push to pull, this is the world the coworker inhabits and, arguably, the world of work that will become more and more widespread.”

Julian Waters-Lynch
Julian is a PhD Candidate at RMIT University. His research on the future of work explores the disruptive rifts in technology and social trends that are shaping the new economy. His thesis focusses on emerging skills and environments individuals and organizations require to support sustained collaboration and innovation in a rapidly world.

Learn more about Julian: Website | Twitter

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Wondering what it takes to make your venue profile stand out? We’ve done our research and found that there are 3 key differentiators that successful ShareDesk partner venues all have in common.

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Photo credit: ClubRooms Euston - ShareDesk.net

01. Beautiful Pictures

Take the time to capture beautiful, high-resolution photos of your space, including the individual workspaces that you’ve listed on ShareDesk. Low quality photos reflect poorly and usually turn potential customers away. A quick, simple update to your pictures could make all the difference.

02. Tell a Story

Written descriptions that really tell a unique story about your space allows for potential customers to get a better idea of what to expect. Make sure you include your opening hours and up-to-date contact information.

03. Clear and Simple

Clearly showcase what you are offering, and for what price. Members are three times more likely to book your space when your pricing is simple.

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ShareDesk is excited to announce the launch of its workplace management software and application, Optix. As the leading global platform for flexible workplaces, with a network of over 1,800 locations in 70 countries, ShareDesk is taking the next step towards providing seamless workplace mobility.

ShareDesk has designed an elegant, easy-to-use solution that addresses challenges faced by many serviced office spaces in a unique way, improving the flexible working experience for both space managers and mobile professionals.

Integrated Approach

Here at ShareDesk, we’ve spent considerable time running and working in shared offices and coworking facilities. Although we have fully-experienced the benefits of flexible work and managing flexible workplaces, we have also experienced some of the areas where specialized tools and utilities are long overdue.

As a space manager, the administrative burden of booking meeting rooms, tracking members’ usage or coordinating member sharing with another workplace can take away from running a business effectively and efficiently. As users of shared workspaces, time spent away from your work trying to track down a space manager as your just found out your meeting room has been double booked, can lead to a missed opportunity or worse.

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Solutions

Smart Meeting Rooms and Workspaces

Manage workspaces more effectively by allowing users to easily book, edit, or cancel reservations instantly online or through the Optix application on their mobile device.

✓ View real-time availability and meetings calendar

✓ Eliminate double bookings and un-attended meeting rooms

 

Secure and Private Office Networks

Are you currently sharing or interested in sharing your workspace with other shared office members nearby? Set up custom access to workspaces for internal or external use.

✓ Grant and revoke permission to users with a simple click

✓ Fully customize your office by categorizing shared and member-only workspaces

 

Want to learn more about ShareDesk Optix?  Check out our website

 

 

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Two topics have each earned a lot of attention this year – working remotely, and company culture. However, there has not been enough attention paid to how these topics are so closely related.

Culture is the unity of beliefs, values and customs. We all want this dream team. But what do the best employees do? They leave. Why? They’re unhappy. However, too many articles point the finger in the wrong direction. They say it’s due to a lack of challenge. They say it’s because of bad management. They say it’s a lack of purpose.

Is it? For the average person, the truth is much less complicated.

No job is perfect. Most great employees may likely accept a lack of challenge, or having to answer to a bad manager, in exchange for a secure position, the right career trajectory and steady, decent compensation. People aren’t as daring and audacious as these articles would have us believe.

Most workers don’t feel entitled to perfection or the chance to change the world. However, we do feel entitled to logic. We need things to make sense.

It’s likely that many great employees quit because they’re literally sick and tired. It’s not the job – it’s travelling for hours, not getting enough sleep and not eating right. It’s missing their friends and family.

It’s anger. And we’re driven to quit by emotion.

Why do we finally quit? What pushes us over the edge? It’s that extra hour of sleep we can never get. It’s another stressed out traffic jam. It’s the awful weather. We quit when things no longer makes sense.

Great employees finally leave when the sacrifice is no longer worth it. At the same time, by offering the option to work remotely, businesses will decrease their turnover rate, retain more of their best and brightest employees and ultimately improve their company culture.

According to a recent World At Work survey, 64% of respondents said that remote working flexibility has had a positive or extremely positive impact on employee engagement, while 30% were neutral and only 6% said that it has a negative effect. At the same time, 77% of the “positive or extremely positive” respondents fall into the very low category of employee turnover (0-5%).

There’s a clear correlation between remote working, employee engagement and retention. Again, an exceptional company culture is not the result of interesting things. It’s the result of a team of outstanding employees. They stay because the sacrifice is now worth it. The balance now makes sense.

That’s why, at ShareDesk, we are such strong advocates for sharing flexible office space. Everybody wins. What do you think? Does working remotely improve company culture? Let us know your thoughts.

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It’s a pretty safe bet that no one misses fixed offices. Rapid advances in mobile technologies has led to flexible work schedules, resulting in an entire generation of mobile workers. In this transition to a mobile way of work, the productivity tools found in traditional offices are being transformed into apps, platforms and software that will allow mobile professionals to conduct business effectively while on the road.

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Here are six useful productivity tools that will help mobile professional be more productive.

1. Creating documents on the run

When getting access to a laptop is not an option, CloudOn gives mobile professionals the power to generate Word, Excel and Powerpoint files right on their phones with direct integration using a range of cloud storage sites.

2. Taking notes on your cell phone

Mobile devices and keyboards don’t mix. Phones are made for voice to be the central interface that moves words between a brain and the screen. The classic Dragon Dictation is one of the original speech recognition softwares on the market that converts the user’s voice into words on the screen.

3. Finding a place to work 

There are times when everyone needs a productive place to get work done or touchdown for a meeting with clients and business partners. ShareDesk is the best way to find a productive workspace virtually anywhere. Mobile professionals can use ShareDesk to discover and book flexible workplaces in over 400 cities around the world.

4. Tracking travel expenses

Mobile means expenses. Concur allows mobile workers to book reservations in the app and record the expenses that can then be exported to accounting.

5. Remembering passwords

The central experience of being a mobile worker is not knowing where they will log in next. That means remembering countless passwords or using the same one everywhere, which is the exact opposite of security. LastPass stores and generates safe log ins that can go anywhere, even on mobile devices thanks to the cloud.

6. Coordinating projects

It’s hard to work on a project with someone who is based in another city, unless that person uses software like Nozbe. This organizational app syncs up teams and projects with relevant updates, goals and emails all in one place.

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We’ve spent quite a bit of time thinking about the implications of mobile workplace solutions on people, businesses, and the commercial real estate industry. We have met with many stakeholders- including enterprise companies, employees, freelancers and telecommuters, and commercial real estate firms- all offering their insights and experiences that related to trends in workplace mobility which helped us solidify our vision for the future of work. With ShareDesk Optix we aim to deliver an integrated approach to delivering workplace solutions to enterprise companies. In the previous blog we briefly talked about these high-level trends (excerpt below). In this post we’d like to define some of these stakeholders along with high-level implications- we’ll explore them in more detail in future posts.

“Over the last decade, technological advancements have minimized the need for employees to be as physically present in a traditional, fixed, office setting. At the heart of this change is the ubiquity of high-speed Internet access, mobile technologies and cloud-based collaboration tools. This is changing the nature of employee relationships and requires better technologies to create effective collaborations.”

Let’s take a look at how companies are managing their commercial offices today.  Keep in mind that the typical workplace utilization rate of a corporate desk or workspace is less than 50%, and to this day many employees sit in an office surrounded by empty cubicles, and experience the limitations of a fixed workplace. We should ask a simple question; isn’t real estate supposed to be an asset, an enabler of the business? Why has commercial office space, typically the 2nd highest operational expense on most companies’ balance sheets, become such a liability? Adding to the dilemma of underutilized space is the growing contingent of mobile workers, more companies leveraging project-based talent, and the globalization of business. This means that employees spend less time in fixed office cubicles, and more time with clients, and business partners in the field. They are connecting and collaborating with their colleagues where it is most suitable.

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Enterprise employees and mobile professionals have been tapping the benefits of mobile work most notably over the past decade- and today, almost 80% of US employees indicate a preference more flexible workplace options. Corporate executives have been measuring the implications of this shift and gained better understanding of the benefits of workplace mobility. What they’re seeing is that adopting a mobile workplace strategy benefits employees first, providing them with more control and flexibility and allowing them to be more productive with their time. They are seeing how employee satisfaction correlates with increased output and cost savings for the business.

Regardless of where an employee is located, the work they produce is what is most important not the office they work in; they are knowledge-based workers, not location-specific workers. So how are executives and managers thinking about facilitating environments that will enable their professionals to produce their best work? By providing the tools and resources required to allow the employees work where they need to, and where they are most productive. The best workplace is then one that revolves around the employee, and one that allows the employee to be agile and connected.

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Approximately 62% of companies have already adopted workplace mobility solutions with the bulk of the investment to come in the next twelve to twenty four months. This provides more flexibility for employees, around their schedules- whether it is scheduling a meeting with colleagues in their own company’s office facility or booking a conference room for a client meeting at a meeting facility, business center, or a coworking space nearby. Having the ability to connect and collaborate with colleagues flexibly and work-life balance. 

Corporate executives have seen that allowing employees the flexibility to work where they want does just that and allows businesses to realize significant savings as well. Companies like IBM, Best Buy, British Telecom, and Dow Chemical have seen teleworking and flexible workplace solutions leading to their employees being 35-40% more productive. Telus, a national Canadian telecommunications company is providing flexible workplace options to 30% of its 40,000 plus employees. IBM realized real estate costs of $50 million through implementing a mobile workplace strategy for over 100,000 employees.

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With ShareDesk Optix, enterprise companies will now have an integrated approach to tapping into the benefits of flexible work solutions. They are able to design and implement flexible work solutions and access over 1,500 locations around the world, and also access the tools to manage a mobile workplace strategy. Meaning more flexibility and productivity, and  more efficient utilization of companies’ commercial offices.

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We’re excited to announce a new milestone. With a network of over 1,500 locations in 65 countries; ShareDesk is now the leading global platform for flexible workplaces. We want to thank you for your continued support!

Over the past year, we’ve focused on building a trusted platform for people to discover and share workplaces around the world. Looking ahead, we will continue building key tools to facilitate the productivity of both people and workplaces.

A new model of work has emerged, and we’re excited to be a part of it. Over the last decade, technological advancements have minimized the need for employees to be as physically present in a traditional, fixed, office setting. At the heart of this change is the ubiquity of high-speed Internet access, mobile technologies and cloud-based collaboration tools. This is changing the nature of employee relationships and requires better technologies to create effective collaborations.

At the heart of this shift is the nature of the workplace itself, from four office walls and cubicles, to the emergence of new flexible workplace models that allows employees to work from anywhere, anytime. The future of work and workplaces will be designed around the individual to allow more flexibility and productivity.

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We’re excited about the opportunity to help large organizations better access mobile workplace solutions. These solutions will help enterprise companies and millions of professionals gain more flexibility in how they access work and meeting spaces around the world. This brings us a step closer towards our vision of building a more flexible future for mobile workers!

ShareDesk launches out of Beta

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