'The Hub' - Coworking space on the rise
The work environment is changing all over the world. Jamaica is no different. A flexible work location is often more important than an impressive, personalised office. That is why more workers and small companies are turning to co-working spaces, where individuals or small teams rent desks or offices in a shared workplace.
Located at the corner of Lady Musgrave and Trafalgar roads, near the business district of New Kingston, The Hub is Jamaica's premier co-working and business-support centre providing consultants, freelancers, and start-up entrepreneurs with a modern, professional space to work and collaborate.
The Hub provides meeting rooms, 'hot desks' and offices at affordable hourly, daily, and monthly rates. There is also wireless printing, unlimited Internet, and free premium coffee available. According to Joelle Smith, The Hub's co-founder and managing director, many modern-day workers no longer wish to spend eight hours per day in tiny office cubicles. Working from home can be isolating and coffee shops can be distracting. That's where The Hub comes in.
"Jamaican people have an office culture. However, when you co-work, you are surrounded by passionate people going for a dream. Not only are you around other inspiring independent business owners, but you could be sharing the space with your next investor, your future partner or your board of advisers," Smith said.
According to Smith, time is precious - especially for entrepreneurs - so saving time wherever possible is essential. Co-working, she said, can also introduce you to people who have the answers that you may be looking for.
"There was a time when consultants and freelancers were stuck alone in their home offices or fighting for space at the local coffee shop. Thanks to co-working, all that has changed and it's definitely for the better," she said.
Since opening its doors in October 2016, The Hub has had to expand operations to accommodate the number of persons who are interested in the space. "The feedback has been excellent and persons say they feel as if they are in a different country. The office spaces are in high demand and there is heavy traffic in the meeting rooms," Smith said.
"We started with three private spaces and since then, we have had to extend to six additional private spaces upstairs, and we will include another meeting room," Smith added.
For those who need a professional business presence without the overhead costs, The Hub also provides a virtual address and receptionist facilities supported by a range of affiliate services. Most business owners, Smith said, who use co-working spaces have praised the economic benefits they experience by being in an environment with other like-minded people.
Kangwa Sambo, software engineer and developer, said he finds The Hub experience comfortable. "I don't necessarily want to work from home. It is a comfortable space for me. Some people use coffee shops, but sometimes that is less convenient," Sambo said.