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Network Hub (rent by the hour or day)

This is not my office. This is the co-working space, The Network Hub, in Vancouver that I rented during my working-holiday in October. More on it later.

My actual office in Yellowknife is grey. Grey walls, grey carpet and no windows.

It’s a funny thing about offices. When I lived and did business in Vancouver, I rented from Workspace and I was In.Love.With.It. Most interesting thing about it? It wasn’t an office. We all rented… well.. space! There were simple tables we could use, and four small rooms if we needed to meet for an hour, and a coffee bar. But mostly, we rented space. You can get a bit of a sense of it here:
Good Ideas in Media
or here:
Workspace Photo Shoot
or on a busy day (Barcamp. Go look it up if you don’t know what that is. It’s worth knowing!)
BarCamp Vancouver 2007 - 51 - PhotoCamp

Having an office per se soon became meaningless to me. It was far outweighed by the sense of zen and spaciousness and the way in which the open-ness invited collaboration. Offices were a thing of the past to me.

So when I moved up to my new job in Yellowknife and there wasn’t office space available at the time, I didn’t blink an eye. I attempted to continue with my paper-free lifestyle and a clutter-free desk. Except – People.Kept.Asking if Didn’t I have any work? and over time I began to re-associate an office with status. And worry that folks would perceive me as low on the totem pole (a silly construct I’d happily let go of just months earlier!) since I was sans bureau.

Now I have an office. And I hate to admit it, but I think my nose would be out of joint if for any reason I had to give it up. Or move to a cubicle (a fate worse than hell). Even if it is an office, it’s *my* office, grey walls and all.
Do I do better work than I would in a cubicle? I imagine not. But I would feel less a valued part of the team and more a drone without it. And that could well lead to a lower quality of work.

My point is this: our work-spaces inform so very much more than you’d think, don’t they?
Readers – care to share what your work space is like? Do you like it? Does it contribute to working effectively? Does it lead to collaboration or isolation? To what extent is it a status symbol?

And if you are traveling to Vancouver and want a place to try out co-working, I recommend The Network Hub pictured at the top of this post. Lovely, is it not? Oodles of character. The rates are crazy-reasonable and the service is friendly. And if you see my pal Raul, please give him a Hi from Nancy.

About the Author

Imagine if Canadians were known for being all over their money. Engaged. Proactive. Getting out of debt. Savvy. Saving. Generous. Nancy wants to help. Nancy started her own journey with money over 15 years ago, and formed her company “Your Money by Design” in 2004 to help others along the same path. It’s not the usual financial advising/investment stuff. It’s about taking control of day-to-day finances –managing monthly cashflow effectively, spending appropriately, getting out of debt, saving. If you're ready to take control over your finances, pop by her business site, YourMoneybyDesign.com


  1. brad

    The ideal workspace depends heavily on the kind of work you do. I’ve been working at home since 1994, and while I do manage a bunch of projects and quite a few staff (all of whom work in another country), much of my work involves writing and editing. I used to work as a journalist and was in a cubicle in a room full of other journalists, all talking on the phone and doing interviews, so I learned to block out most of the office environment around me and focus on my work. That’s a useful skill to have, because I can be productive no matter where I work because I can tune out distractions from the environment around me. So I haven’t spent much time designing a nice office environment for myself at home: it’s functional but not especialy spacious. I do try to keep it as uncluttered as possible, because it’s a small room and clutter puts me on edge, but other than that it’s just a room with a desk, a bookshelf, a computer table, a file cabinet, a window, and a closet.


    nancyzimmerman Reply:

    Brad – I wish I had your ability to block out sound. I increasingly require total *silence* (I no longer even play music, most of the time) to really get absorbed in my work. Just guess how often that happens (ie. I get total silence)! I also share your abhorrence of clutter.


    Oct 27, 2010
  2. I mostly love our office. It has chartreuse walls and a shocking pink bathroom, and is generally speaking best described as busily disorganized. My desk is probably the opposite of yours, and yet I find that small reminders help me to stay motivated and move along in my own circuitous way. I share my immediate “office” (everyone can hear everything) with my business partner, which affords us the opportunity to have sporadic semi-conversations throughout the day that would be unintelligible to most people. While the shared space can be distracting, it also brings a sense of community, and eliminates the need for extra emails to keep everyone in the loop 😉 A point of pride is that we own it, which, with all due respect to the “virtual” virtues of the Network Hubs of this world, brings a powerful sense of permanence to our venture. Thanks for bringing up this topic – I don’t usually think about it, but clearly it has hit a chord!


    nancyzimmerman Reply:

    Madeleine, I can almost “feel” the office from your description. It seems happily busy and warm and engaging. And I can well imagine the sense of rootedness that owning it would have, and how that would play out into your business. Oh man – I miss being in business SO MUCH sometimes (it will happen again).


    Oct 27, 2010
  3. places like the network hub are great. and just just LOVED workspace. too bad they are not there anymore.

    i am lucky – i have two offices, both lovely. one in my home for my private practice – crazy ochre, red and black colours, looks like a little womb. and i think i have the nicest office at my other place of work, the mennonite central committee. very sunny. it does invite collaboration because people walk past all the time and drop in, and i really like that. we are also just a tad cramped for space so we often have to move around. i like the democratic feel of that.
    isabella mori (@moritherapy)´s last [type] ..st john of the cross


    nancyzimmerman Reply:

    Isabella we are legendary, LEGENDARY, for moving around and I never once thought of it as having a democratic feel — but from now on, I’ll bring that into the experience. And you’re right. It’s kinda saying “we’re all just visiting here so no-one get too set in your positions” (in a nice kinda way)


    Oct 27, 2010

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