This is the second part of our series on the growing Coworking movement and some of the spaces that have embraced the philosophy, both locally and abroad. The aim of the movement is to create a community of cafe-like collaboration spaces for developers, writers and independents.
In 2008, Patrick Tanguay and Daniel Mireault noticed the lack of spaces that catered to its independent workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs. “We first started toying with the idea as we were both freelancing and were either working from home, at our clients’ or in cafes. We wanted our own place – a professional yet cozy place where we could work and be surrounded by like-minded individuals without feeling guilty of sipping our latte for 3 hours just to be able to use the local cafe’s WIFI network.” So, just as the Coworking movement was emerging, they introduced Montreal to its first coworking facility and named it Station C.
Station C is situated in an area known for arts, an indie music scene and rich cultural heritage, giving their space a cool, relaxed vibe and to pull in a mixture of entrepreneurs.
Aside from the apparent practical benefits of being in a space designated for work, members of a coworking space soon discover the unexpected benefits of being part of the community.“The key contributing factor that makes coworking appealing is the people. [They] make most of what interaction and opportunities possible [because] collaboration is a big part of the coworking movement,” says Daniel. Their space has enabled freelancers and entrepreneurs to have focus, gain resources and create connections. “Some have said they work better, have better concentration, have more motivation. Some made new friends.” Besides coworking, Station C holds various events at their space such as BarCamps, meet ups and the occasional informal cocktail evenings.
The environment that Station C has created supports an open community that encourages collaboration and gives entrepreneurs opportunities and projects they wouldn’t normally have come across. There is a constant energy at the space that sparks creativity among the designers and web developers. Getting a number of smart, passionate, like-minded individuals in the space creates a buzz around the office as they bounce ideas off one another. “Having access to a bunch of talented and smart individuals on a daily basis is also a bonus when you’re looking to fix a bug in your script or trying to figure out which page layout is more intuitive,” says Daniel.
“Where we differ from most coworking space though is the amount of effort and money we put in selecting and designing the space.” Being designers themselves, Patrick and Daniel had custom tables made for their space and furnished it to their standards. “Pat and I wanted to make sure people feel comfortable and enjoy their work environment enough to want to stay for several hours a day,” explains Daniel.