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All You Need To Know About Co-working at Union St

We often get asked "how does it work" so co-working member Nick from Big Bang Copy wrote this short guide...

Union St is split into four floors. The ground floor is home to our cafe, and the top three floors are reserved for co-workers.

  • The ground floor is a cafe open to the public from Tuesday to Thursday every week. We have different pop-up traders serving luvvleh street food every week, along with award-winning coffee from Smith St. Roasters. Co-workers get a discount on food and drink from the cafe.

  • Floor one is the One Space and is the best place for making calls, so if people need to make a lot of calls for your work, we’d suggest working from this floor rather than hopping in and out of phone booths all day. But it’s up to you.

  • Floor two is the biggest floor with space for the most co-workers. It’s kinda the ‘hub’ of our co-working space - mainly because it’s where the coffee machine is. It’s also where we hold a lot of our regular events, such as lunchtime discussions and coffee chats.

  • Floor three is reserved for our fixed desk, five-days-a-week folk. It has space for around 15 co-workers, but it’s normally close to capacity, so it’s worth checking in advance if you’re looking for a fixed desk.

The space is pretty flexible, with a mix of individual desks and longer shared desks along with five standing desks. There’s plenty of space at each workstation, so if you have a second screen you can use it and also store it at Union St (we have a shelving unit full of ‘em).

Need to make a call? We have six phone booths across floors one and two that don’t need booking in advance. We only ask that you try and limit your calls in these booths to 30 minutes or less. 

If you need more time then there are also two meeting rooms; one on the ground floor and one on the third floor. These are free for Union St members to book for the first two hours per day.

If you want to hire a meeting room for EVEN LONGER than that, it’s £15 per hour. You can book some time via the nifty link on our website.

Opening Hours

Union St is open from 8am - 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.

However, we have co-workers on site from as early as 7.30am, so you could come in even earlier if you’d like.

We’re also occasionally open at weekends or evenings for special events. Check the events section of our website to stay updated.

Who Works at Union St?

So who actually (co)works at Union St?

According to our last Social Impact Report, 51% of our members are self-employed/sole traders. The rest mostly work remotely for small startups and SMEs, with a few who work remotely for larger organisations. Basically, there’s a bit of everything and everyone here.

However, since the big shift to remote working in 2020 we reckon the balance has shifted a little, with fewer freelancers and more contracted employees working here. But there’s still a pretty healthy mix of people from all walks of life.

How Membership Works

Right, let’s take a look at how membership actually works. First off, the prices:

  • 1 day a week: £65 + VAT per month

  • 2 days a week: £150 + VAT per month

  • 3 days a week: £200 + VAT per month

  • 4 days or more: £275+ VAT per month

Plenty of our members get a 50% discount on these prices thanks to our Get Involved scheme. We’ll talk more about that in the next section, because it’s quite a big part of what Union St is all about.

There’s no restriction on which days you can come in, so you could come in on Tuesday one week and then Thursday the next. It’s up to you. You also get your own fob to come and go as you please, so there’s no checking in or checking out.

The Get Involved Scheme

We introduced the Get Involved scheme (an imaginative name, we know) for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because we’re a co-op, it’s a way for people to help out at Union St and, well, make it a co-op. But it’s also a way of making membership more accessible for people who aren’t able to pay full price. So how does it work?

It’s not a huge commitment - to be eligible for the discount, we just ask that you get involved for around 15 minutes per day of your membership. So if you have a one-day-a-week membership, that’s around 60 minutes of helping out every month. Here are some examples of how our members get involved:

  • Ella and Rosie host Baked Potato Monday every week. We’ll let your imagination run wild as to what that involves.

  • Sam hosts a weekly lunchtime chat on Wednesdays called Have I Got Views For You 

  • Billy arranges tea and cake every Thursday at 3pm

  • Antonia is the fridge monitor. She cleans it out every Friday and generally makes sure it doesn’t stink the place out.

  • We have allocated fire wardens on site every day, who have to do a little bit of training and basically just be present at Union St on their allocated day.

  • I, Nick, am getting involved by writing this very article.

As you can see, getting involved doesn’t necessarily mean cooking a big meal for everyone or hosting a big event. You can do things behind-the-scenes too. Everyone involved in the scheme is doing their bit to keep Union St ticking over - and getting a 50% discount on their membership as a thank you.

Boring Business Stuff

We’ll be quick with this, because we know it’s a little dull.

When you join you’ll get a monthly invoice from us. If you’re employed, you can submit these to your employer to claim for expenses. If you’re self-employed you can also submit it as an expense for your own company.

In terms of payment, when you join we’ll set up a monthly direct debit. You’ll always pay a month in advance, so you’ll never be in debt or owe money for multiple months at the same time. It also means that if you do decide to leave us, you’ll have a month in lieu so you don’t have to leave straight away. But we assume you will be a member of Union St forever, so let’s not talk about that.

Fun Social Stuff

Now for the fun stuff. We have all sorts of socials and groups running outside of work, such as:

  • George’s climbing group, who go to the Climbing Works every Thursday after work

  • Helen’s Book Club, who meet monthly on Thursday lunchtime

  • Ben’s LAN Group, who met yesterday for a night of gaming

  • Occasional afterwork drinks, normally at Triple Point but sometimes elsewhere

  • One-off events, such as our recent visit to the Megatron and the imaginatively-titled ‘Cans in the Park’ summer social (we’re good at co-working, not so good at naming things).

The Signing Up Process

Interested in joining? Great. Here’s how the sign-up process works.

  1. Book a tour via our website. You’ll get a free drink on arrival, and then either our founder (and glorious leader) Matt or one of our members will show you around. You can stay and work for the rest of the day if you’d like, but there’s no pressure.

  2. If you like what you see, you can then get a free two-week trial. Again, there’s no pressure to sign-up at the end of it. It’s just a chance to get a feel for Union St, meet some of our members and attend some of our regular events.

  3. At the end of your trial, if you’ve decided you want to join then just let us know when you’d like to start your membership, and how many days a week you’d like. We’ll set up your monthly direct debit, and you can get started straight away.

Hopefully that covers everything - for now. Because it’s worth mentioning that Union St is a long way from being finished. We’re always looking for ways to improve, and always welcome suggestions from our members. For example, we recently installed three new phone booths on the first floor after our members kept moaning about suggested it. So there’s that. 

Hope to see you here soon!

Nick (Big Bang Copy) at Union St

and photographer Callum

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