An article in The Mercury newspaper (18 May 2018) stated that worldwide there were 14 411 co-working spaces. Several of those 14-odd thousand are right here in Durban North and Umhlanga it would seem. One such example is ‘The Meeting Place’, situated in Kensington Boulevard, Durban North.
The Meeting Place offers a mix of office space on a range of bases. Three of the offices are permanently let, whereas a number of individual work stations can be hired on a per-hour rate. The latter can be hired for a period of three hours or less or daily, weekly or monthly. Sharon Emmerich, who has been in business in Durban North for 21 years, currently rents one of the permanent offices.
‘I needed to take my practice to the next level as it has grown exponentially,’ said Sharon, who had until then run her Fiduciary Practice from home. Sharon, like others in The Meeting Place, whether permanent or temporary, has access to the communal kitchen and fast WiFi.
Sharon likes the vibrancy of the space and where it’s situated too. ‘The other permanent tenant, an accountant, serves as a good sounding board for my fiduciary practice, and I like having coffee shops, a spa, a gym and other shops close by.’
Lorraine Curry who started The Meeting Place said that the workstations are aimed at people who need a
workspace on a temporary basis and don’t want to work in a coffee shop. These can include people who: are travelling, have family at home and need privacy to finish a thesis, or look after children in the morning and need an office environment in the afternoon. One client was a lady who taught English online and needed a quiet office space with a blank wall!
The Meeting Place also has two boardrooms that seat four people and 24 people respectively, equipped with smart TVs, whiteboards, and access to tea and coffee. These rooms have been used for church meetings, NPO meetings, a modelling school, interviewing for new staff, psychology consulting, homeschooling children writing exams, personal development workshops, networking and more.
Compared to being at home Sharon likes the separation of work and home space. Co-working spaces, The Mercury article states, are known for offering environments that are conducive to innovation, collaboration and productivity. The Meeting Place certainly seems to fit the bill.