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The Alternative Workspace Experiment: Day Three

The Alternative Workspace Experiment: Day Three

Joanna Disney

On the third day of my exile from HQ ΓÇô thanks to a small fire and lots of smoke that has rendered our normal Marketing office unusable for the week ΓÇô I am spending the day working from MWB’s superb serviced office building in central Birmingham on Temple Row.

With our normal office currently sitting under a thick layer of soot and out-of-bounds until next week, PR Executive Simon Jones and I decided to seize the opportunity and conduct an experiment to see which method of remote working is the most productive.

On Tuesday, the day after the fire, I worked from the Sales floor at which was generally untouched by the smoke, save for the odd bit of dust which was soon hoovered up by our eagle-eyed cleaners.

Due to a lack of desk-space, Wednesday was home day, and it was not quite the fairy-tale I thought home-working could be. However, following a disastrous morning which involved a dodgy internet connection and some frantic calls for help to IT, I managed to settle down and plough through my work in the peace and quiet of an empty house.

On Thursday, Simon and I worked from Orega’s lovely building in Birmingham at Colmore Plaza. We shared a serviced office which would normally seat up to 16 people, offering instant connectivity to a solid wireless internet network. Despite working from personal laptops with none of the usual applications, we benefitted from sharing a work laptop which meant we could log into the network whenever necessary.

On Day Three of the workplace experiment, Simon is working from an office at UBC’s centre in Stafford, and I am located at MWB’s building on Temple Row in central Birmingham.

Just five minutes’ walk from Snowhill station, the property is incredibly easy to find. I found this reassuring, as I usually have to battle with motorways and clogged A-roads on my normal commute to HQ.

I arrived at the building at 8.30, and following a quick tour by Angela ΓÇô MWB’s friendly and super-efficient receptionist at Temple Row ΓÇô I was settled in, fully connected and ready to start work by 8.45.

Compared to the disruption of Wednesday morning (my home day), this made a huge difference. Combined with being on my own in a private office, I found this an instant bonus as it meant I could work solidly without any interruptions.

Being in a beautiful corner office on the 6th floor with great views across the city (see picture) admittedly caused a few moments of distraction, but once I had soaked up the views I soon got back to work.

Needless to say, today has been highly productive. This is partly because of the great facilities and instant connection, thanks to Angela who had prepared the room for my arrival with internet and a phoneline. It is possibly also because, three days into the experiment, I am getting used to the strange feeling of being exiled.

The main issue today is that I donΓÇÖt have access to the network. With spare laptops in short supply, Simon and I are currently sharing an laptop ΓÇô and since I had it on Wednesday, we agreed that Simon would use it today. However, I have been able to email Simon whenever I need to access information from the network, and he has retrieved it for me. While this works well for me, it will undoubtedly be disrupting SimonΓÇÖs workflow.

As only my second experience of working from a serviced office, MWBΓÇÖs business centre is spot-on. Everything is at my fingertips, and the team are superb ΓÇô taking time to show me around and make sure I have everything I need.

It goes without saying that the service and facilities at both OregaΓÇÖs Colmore Plaza and MWBΓÇÖs Temple Row have enabled me to carry on working despite the disruption caused by the fire. Following my experiences this week, if I was a small business owner, I wouldnΓÇÖt hesitate to look into serviced office space ΓÇô and Orega and MWB would certainly be at the top of my list.

You can also follow our adventure into working away from the office via Twitter at

Author: | November 19, 2010 | 0 Comments

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