Coworking – the phenomena of working alongside professionals from various businesses in a shared office space was on the rise before 2020, most popular among creatives, freelancers and small businesses for its many membership perks and elevated office standards.
With the end of lockdown and the return to the office in sight, we spent the day working from Projects, one of Brighton’s top-rated workspaces.
Conveniently located on Ship Street in the heart of The Lanes, the four-storey, grade II listed building is easy to get to from anywhere in Brighton and a 10-minute walk from the train station. Despite being surrounded by the nicest boutique cafés and shops, Projects stands out on the street and in the two minutes we spend at reception, every passer-by looks into the building with intrigue.
Sam Allen, Projects’ Community and Membership Manager walks us through the space and it’s immediately clear that the staff are dedicated to excellent service, their members and the wider Brighton community. Sam shows us the beautifully designed games room and the idyllic roof terrace whilst telling us about their ethos of balanced living.
We walk into a large, open office furnished with cosy booths and spacious desks bathed in natural light. A socially distant, buzzing space with everyone swapping ideas from over their laptops and through the safety partitions, discussing their projects and helping each other out.
On the floor above, a silent coworking space, for when you really need to crack down and focus. From the back windows you’ll catch glimpses of a new building being constructed, which Sam tells us is going to open this summer as a second Projects’ space with two 30-person offices and a members’ gym – the first coworking space in Brighton to offer such a thing.
People’s priorities have shifted in the past year, with more of us focusing on our mental health and considering how to create a healthy work-life balance. We learn that Projects has been a work-life balance activist since its inception in 2018 and the team do all they can to make balanced living easy for members to achieve, from the varied events programme, impressive member perks and concierge services, to the carefully curated spaces.
As we walk through the unexpectedly large building filled with private offices and meeting rooms, we admire the interesting selection of art on the walls, created by local artists and all available to buy. Brining Brighton art to its members is just one of the ways Projects creates bridges within the community. On their blog, The Insider, Projects supports crowdfunding campaigns, local charities and community projects.
Sam takes us back to the ground floor, where Projects’ soon to be responsibly sourced café resides. It’s difficult not to get caught up in the energy of the room; everyone is stimulated by chic decor and good conversation, with genuine excitement for what the future holds. A breath of fresh air from lockdown and all of the uncertainties that came with it. Despite all the setbacks of the past year (screw you, 2020), Projects shows that it’s an exciting time to be a small business in Brighton.