Hayley Willers at work in the new collaborative space in Raglan, The HQ, which is located above Bizworx on Wallis Street.

A collaborative approach to work

You may have heard the term ‘coworking’ thrown about over the past few years as a way to describe situations where individuals (whether working for themselves or a company) will come together in a shared space to work on their own projects.

Hayley Willers, co-chair of the Raglan Chamber of Commerce and full-time property lawyer, has recently set up The HQ in Raglan, a coworking space especially for Raglan residents.

The Chronicle caught up with Hayley, also a mother of two young girls, to chat about what the new space is all about.

What is the HQ – Raglan Co Lab about? What services does it offer?

How we work today is changing. Advances in technology allow us to communicate, share files, hold meetings, make transactions, market ourselves and perform countless other tasks instantly and seamlessly. It also means we can work from almost anywhere as long as we have a good internet connection. Employers are beginning to identify this trend and see it as an opportunity to hire the best talent around; talent not always available locally. The term ‘remote working’ has been coined to describe this new approach as it allows the co-worker the opportunity to live in a more attractive, more convenient or more affordable place.

So more and more of us are choosing to go it alone and run our business or do our work from our preferred location. But often we end up working from bedrooms, kitchens or cafes. Working like this presents its own set of problems. Distractions, isolation, a lack of structure or lack of accountability are just some and they can make our new remote working life hard.

The HQ will allow us to get the most out of our working day and be motivated by others in a similar position. It will give us the ultimate work-life balance and more time during the day by cutting out the daily commute.

The HQ is a place for professional, creative and social entrepreneurs in Raglan. It offers a collaborative and social environment that shares resources and ideas. It enables the creative environment to meet the professional environment and collaborate together to the benefit of all involved.

What benefits does coworking offer in terms of creativity, productivity etc?

1)Expand your personal and business networks with fun and ease
2) Work more productively by surrounding yourself with others hard at work
3) Decrease your feeling of isolation as a freelancer/small business owner
4) Increased sense of community and trust amongst peers
5) Reduce the amount of common office overheads like broadband and printer costs
6) Create new opportunities to collaborate on projects too large for your own business
7) Work at a high quality office or location otherwise beyond your budget
8) More mobility and not having to be chained to long leases
9) Absorb new ideas from other industries not usually within your network

Top three reasons why you are  enjoying having the HQ

1. It’s local…I have the potential to save myself two hours every day and either give that time to myself, my girls or my work.
2. With the increasing cost of petrol I am saving money and helping the environment. The cost of membership is less than the cost of my commute and we all know it’s better to have less cars on the road!
3. It’s social and is great networking! It has giving me the opportunity to meet and work with new people.

Was there a particular existing space that you were inspired by?

There are so many amazing co-working spaces around New Zealand, but one that inspired me was the Meraki Workspace in Cambridge.

Why did you decide to set this space up in Raglan?

After having numerous conversations with people about a shared working space in Raglan I realized that there was an opportunity in Raglan for a space and then following my visit to the Meraki Workspace in Cambridge I realized how amazing it would be to have something similar in Raglan. The concept of co-working being centered around shared values, community, openness, collaboration, accessibility and sustainability I think has a nice fit with Raglan.