Since March 2019, I’ve had Business Club membership of The Townhouse, a beautiful modern work space just minutes from our home in Hertford.
This gives me a hot desk to work from, good WiFi, use of fantastic meeting rooms, good coffee and, quite often, office dog affection.
More importantly, it’s a work environment away from home, with colleagues, support and networking opportunities.
The Townhouse is home to numerous small serviced offices as well as the Business Club area, with a (Covid-secure) pod of desks. All sorts of local entrepreneurs, freelancers and remote working employees from different business backgrounds have worked here; from racking inspections to wealth management, ecommerce, insurance, recruitment, property, marketing and even a strength training start up.
For the first nine months I was a remote working employee struggling with the demands of a job I no longer enjoyed. Hot desk colleagues noticed. I got support, even if just a sympathetic smile or quick chat.
It was a hot desk colleague who caught me at a low point and talking to them gave me reassurance I’d be OK if I quit and set out on my own again. That kindness gave me the push I needed, the confidence to resign and the weight lifted from my shoulders.
Within days I had an offer of freelance work, had reconnected with former contacts and made new ones. Colleagues noticed how much happier I looked. It was invaluable having that feedback and support.
At Christmas drinks a chat over a few festive pints led to me working with another hot desker, revamping their websites and managing email marketing campaigns.
Then COVID, and working from home. I saw on Facebook that a Townhouse business owner had created a community response to Coronavirus to help people get their essentials during lockdown. I volunteered to answer the phone and run their social media. It really helped me get through that strange period and led to virtually connecting with more community-minded people from home.
It was a relief to be able to return to the Townhouse in August. Interacting with others (at a distance, with added sanitiser) reduces the isolation and anxiety that’s really easy to run into when you freelance or work remotely, particularly in a pandemic. Covid breaking news is easier to take when you’ve got people to discuss it with.
Tenants of The Townhouse change but being part of its community extends beyond the building, to lasting relationships, local connections and mutual support. And occasional access to this adorable dog:
The Townhouse is at 114-116 Fore Street, Hertford, SG14 1AJ and offers serviced offices to rent, hot desking membership, meeting room hire and virtual office services.