The coworking hub in Nottingham’s historic Lace Market was named “Start up of the Year” by sponsors Breedon Electrical at a long awaited ceremony at the East Midlands Conference Centre on 14th October 2021.
Back in 2018, a team of local entrepreneurs spent more than 12 months transforming a former Lace Works into a home for their coworking vision to thrive. Works Social, situated in a completely refurbished four-storey, Grade II listed building in Commerce Square, opened its doors in May 2019 as a contemporary coworking, communal office and event concept aimed at independent workers and micro businesses.
Only 12 months in, its membership had grown to near capacity, the community was flourishing and the events schedule was in full swing. Then the world changed, Government mandated home working and a national lockdown prevent travelling to work, attending events and any contact with anyone from outside their household bubble.
However, the team worked hard to keep the community spirit going, giving those who were not able to work from home a safe space and sense of stability.
Co-founder and freelancer, Han van Oudheusden said: “Community spirit underpins Works Social’s core ethos, so did whatever we could to try and maintain that sense of “we’re all in it together” through virtual events, regular newsletters with updates on how to get support or what the latest guidelines were.
“It’s been difficult time for everyone, but when we look back on what we have achieved in such a short space of time, it’s pretty incredible. We’ve transformed an old Lace Works into a welcoming, inspiring and flexible space. We’ve run film nights, networking events, community lunches, designers clubs and can’t wait to roll out plans for the future.”
The judging panel were impressed with Works Social’s stand out entry. A spokesperson for the judges said: “Works Social were the clear winner in the Start Up of the Year category. Their vision, passion and hard work was evident from their submission. They have a great business which has potential to capitalise on the change in working patterns and the shift to remote working. Deserving winners of this category.”
Han van Oudheusden adds: “As flexible working becomes more of the norm rather than the exception, Works Social offers a place for independent workers, micro business and home workers to call their work home. It can also be an ideal way to bridge the gap for expanding teams waiting to move into their own premises. We have loved curating a collective of freelancers and micro businesses, forging connections and opening up opportunities for mutual and meaningful collaborations. We’re excited about doing even more of that in the coming year.”
With three floors dedicated to communal desk space, personal lockers and shared facilities, the ground floor offers a bookable meeting room and licensed event space, breakout areas and a garden terrace. Memberships include a meeting room and event space allowance and discounts on bookings. The team have also recently launched ‘Flexible Fridays’ where people can book a day pass to try out the space and join in the “After Works Social” Friday drinks to build connections and network with likeminded businesses.
A range of membership options are available from annual virtual office arrangements to monthly membership packages for independent workers, teams and pairs of freelancers.
For more information about Works Social or to book a tour visit: https://www.workssocial.co.
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