Indie Oxford Interview: Quarters Collective
This week we catch up with the fab folks at Quarters Collective – the amazing co-working space just off the Cowley Road! We talk business support, cinema bunkers and community, as well as finding out their favourite indie hotspots around town!
Tell us about Quarters Collective and how it started.
We are a brand new co-working space located just off of the ever-vibrant Cowley Road. Businesses of all types can work in professional yet comfortable surroundings, all on a flexible term. It all started after we spent years working from home, coffee shops and on the road. Not having a base to call our office was taking its toll and so the dream began of creating the perfect environment to allow entrepreneurs, small businesses, freelancers and start-ups to work in a new collaborative way!
What are the benefits of co-working?
Oh, there are so many! Firstly, a work life balance is so important, and by becoming a co-worker you are making that essential separation between work and home. OfficeVibe conducted a study where they found that 60% of co-workers are more relaxed at home now, and without the distractions that come from working at home, 68% of the co-workers interviewed were able to focus better now that they worked in a separate space. Additionally, being surrounded by like-minded people enables coworkers to avoid the isolation that working from home can bring, therefore improving their mental health, which in turn improves their attitude towards work and their productivity levels. It also enables them to network with like-minded individuals, where social interaction can happen as well as bouncing fresh ideas off each other.
What makes the space unique?
If I was to give you one word it would be ‘flexibility’. QC used to be a book bindery, so we have a huge space to work and socialise in. We have split it into multiple sections so members have a variety of choice when it comes to what works best for them as a desk space; I can guarantee it’s unlike any co-working space you’ve seen before in Oxford. The front of the space holds a games room with a foosball and table tennis table in – work hard, play hard right? Then we have the main hotdesking area full of different pockets where you can work. We have two private rooms that are available to hire; our cinema bunker and our boardroom, and then a large space at the back for our fixed desk members. We pride ourselves on fully accommodating your needs and being as flexible as we can. We really don’t think you can get that kind of service elsewhere.
Tell me about your co-working bundles and what’s included in them.
We offer three primary plans. For £30 + VAT a day you can just drop in whenever you need us and set up in our hot-desking space. If you want to do this a lot (we reckon you will!) then you can pay £149 + VAT a month and hot desk as much as you can handle. However if you’d prefer a space that’s all yours, we also offer fixed, dedicated desks. At the moment these are currently available for a discounted £250 + VAT a month – what a steal! All of our plans include access to our cinema bunker and boardroom, our games room, super-fast WiFi, all utility bills, kitchens, printing and scanning, a shower and towels, fruit, tea, coffee from The Missing Bean, cake from Barefoot Bakery and beer from Tap Social Movement. We can also store your bike in the office! We also hire out the boardroom and the cinema bunker separately for £40 + VAT an hour. This includes tea, coffee and cake.
As well as co-working, the space can also be used for events, tell us how people can use the space.
We’re so lucky to have such a large and versatile space here at QC. It is perfect for networking events and workshops due to all the different seating areas for breakouts and cosier chats. You could also hire us for launch parties, product showcases, talks or club meetups. But whatever it is, we can definitely make it happen. Our boardroom and cinema bunker can be hired as well, and these rooms are perfect for small presentations, interviews or film screenings.
What support do you offer businesses?
We support businesses by offering a professional yet comfortable space when they can truly grow and thrive. Our Community & People Manager, Ellie, is on hand to help in whatever way she can, whether that’s making you a coffee or making a trip to the post office – she likes to describe herself as each QC member’s personal assistant. Essentially, we’re on hand to make things easier by taking care of the smaller, mundane bits so you can get on and ensure your business is the best it can be!
What types of businesses use the co-working space?
We welcome all types of business to use our space. At the moment, we have remote workers and entrepreneurs working in a variety of industries as our members. Whether you’re one person or a team of ten or more, we can accommodate your business and ensure that we meet your needs.
What kind of community events do you hold in the space?
Most recently we worked with Enterprising Oxford to host an Oxford Startups Meetup. This gave local startups (including us!) the chance to network with people at a similar stage of the business life cycle. We are a family-run business hailing from Oxford and so supporting our community by giving independents a space to make contact with other businesses that could help them is really important to us.
What would be your advice for anyone wanting to try co-working?
Give it a go! There is nothing to lose. We offer a free day trial (all amenities included) to anyone who wants to give co-working a try. You wouldn’t buy a car without seeing how it felt to drive first, right? We believe the exact same goes for co-working, so we welcome anyone who wants to transform their working life and we promise that it will be the most productive day you’ve had in a while!
Lastly, tell us about your favourite indie businesses in Oxford.
Tricky question – there are so many! But our friends at The Missing Bean, Barefoot Oxford and Tap Social Movement really are the cherry on top of our cake. Respectively, their coffee, cake and beer is gorgeously crafted with so much real care and passion that you can actually taste it. We’re so proud that we can offer their products to our members as it definitely brightens up the day. It’s been really important to us to support the local community and collaborating with social enterprises has been a key part of this. As well as Tap Social Movement, we have worked with RAW Workshop who are a brilliant social enterprise based in Blackbird Leys and have created the beautiful wooden furniture that you see throughout Quarters Collective.
We’re really excited to be working with, and supporting Quarters Collective. It’s an awesome space and we can’t wait to hold our September Indie Oxford Meet Up there. Keep your eye out for more information and dates soon!
Love, Rosie xxx