Coworking: Peaceful escapism with purpose
One of the first visitors to Islandworks to become a regular coworker is Maria Wilson, of Saxon HR Consultancy. We asked her about her experience of Islandworks.
Maria said, “I really enjoy going there, it’s a lovely place, a really good place to get work done. I don’t get any interruptions. It’s a very peaceful, tranquil place. I get my best work done there.”
Maria lives five miles from Islandworks. For her, to find the right headspace in which to work and to do business, that travel is well worthwhile. She says, “I started my business in 2022, and I was getting busy, working from home where I have a teenage son and a younger daughter. I was growing our client base, spending a lot of time out and about in meetings, and networking with the Kent Invicta Chamber Of Commerce [link to www.kentinvictachamber.co.uk] and in BNI Canterbury [link to https://bnikent.co.uk/kent-canterbury-bni], but I needed time away from my home environment, especially in the summer holidays. I needed some headspace to be able to concentrate. The kind of interruptions I got at home made working somewhere else essential, there were all sorts of things that came up. In the end, I got to a point where I was always in an on-alert state with my eyes and ears on the look-out for where the next disturbance was coming from. I needed something different.
“As a solo business owner, at first it can be quite lonely and isolating. You want to meet people, and I signed up as a coworking member of Islandworks right away when I visited in early July this year. George, the Community Manager, showed me around. The atmosphere of what is a former church helps me to naturally feel at peace here, and the two bookable meeting rooms mean I have confidentiality when I need it. It’s good value for money as well. The café can provide lunches, and they look and taste really nice. The chicken and pesto sandwich is really good, but the hot chocolate is the best I have ever had! It’s just gorgeous. And the banana and honey toastie is naughty, but very, very nice!
“I picked a coworking package to be able to use Islandworks for 3 days a week. I pay £75 a week, I get a 10% discount in the café, and a 50% discount on meeting room hire, meaning I can use them for only £50 all day. I come in, usually, from 9am to 5pm, for three days a week, and I can sit where I want. I come and go freely, meaning I am in on three ‘occasions’ a week rather than three standard days. It’s such a large space there’s lots of seating to choose from, and there are the snug meeting spaces, too.
“An added bonus is that Islandworks has some really friendly staff. I really feel part of the team, especially because I signed up so early after Islandworks opened. Since I’ve had my own business, I’ve made really good friends along the way.
“There’s not a care in the world when I go to Islandworks. I see it as peaceful escapism. It’s not an exaggeration. It is an escape for me.”
If you’d like to know more about Maria and her business, visit her website www.saxonhrconsultancy.co.uk, or connect with her on LinkedIn [link to www.linkedin.com/in/maria-wilson-assoc-cipd-aminstlm – please check the link works].
If you haven’t been to Islandworks, don’t hesitate: book a tour! [link to tour offer – https://calendly.com/islandworks/coworking-tour]