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Working from home in a new country

Living in a new country is always a bit of a shock to the system. When I first came to New Zealand I was still in the very early stages of running my own business. It soon dawned on me that working from home just wasn’t working for me. I was lonely, distracted and unproductive. This is when I decided to give a co-working space a try.

My first co-working experience

I found a space in town called community101, which to my surprise was completely FREE.

How does that work?

What do they gain?

Well, the team at BNZ made it clear that there were no catches. They are the first bank in New Zealand to create a co-working space within a retail store. They have re-purposed an area of the store floor with modern furniture, greenery and assorted desks which make for an inspiring space to work in. It is a space for productivity, socialising and support.

The staff are extremely helpful as they know that running a business has many hurdles. If the space manager, Preet, doesn’t know the answer she will find the expert on the subject for you to have a meeting with. Not only do they go out of their way to help, they also run free workshops and lectures on a regular basis with experts in marketing and business industries.

bnz community 101 desk area

The community a co-working space creates

Being surrounded by other entrepreneurs and freelancers from a wide range of fields is very inspiring. At community101,  there is a community wall where everyone gets their place to share a bit about what they do. It’s like the space’s yellow pages which I have used many times to find someone with the expertise I need.

coworking space community wall

I have collaborated with a fantastic graphic designer who is now my logo queen! How did that come about? We just sat next to each other and had a chat. There is always someone in here who can help when I have a quick question. In the same sense I am always happy to help people out with their websites and SEO. It has become a space where I see my friends everyday and can expand on my knowledge. There are so many professions out there and I love hearing about what people do. I met a lady recently who does marketing for super yachts. So cool!

Special mention for the space manager

I also have to give a special mention to Preet, the co-working space manager. Everyday my mood is lightened by her fun and friendly presence and she is on a mission to make sure everyone’s businesses run smoothly. She is great at connecting the right people and has even gained me a few clients since I’ve been here.

For someone who was new to Christchurch this has been one of the biggest factors in helping me settle in. I have made so many friends, been invited to social events within and outside the space and learnt so much about running a business. I am a co-working space advocate now and I definitely want to see more of these popping up around New Zealand!

Preet and Lucy at community101