Since March 2019, I’ve had Business Club membership of The Townhouse, a beautiful modern work space just minutes from our home in Hertford.
I have a socially distanced hot desk to work from, good WiFi (tons better than home), use of fantastic meeting rooms, good coffee on demand and regular office dog affection.
But it’s more than just a hot desk for me, 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. 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.
When I first went to the Townhouse, I was a full time part of a fully remote working team – before this was the norm – and I was struggling with the demands of a job I no longer enjoyed. Other hot deskers 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 articulating out loud how stressed I was really helped. I already knew it was time to quit but talking to them gave me that added reassurance that I’d be OK if I set out on my own again. It 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. I started helping out a hot desk colleague, following a chat over Christmas drinks. People noticed how much happier I looked and told me. It was so good having that feedback and support.
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. 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. 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.