October 1, 2018

Where a Kayak to the Office is a Thing


Residents at Level One HQ above the ticket office on the Devonport wharf could be forgiven for spending their days staring out the window. They occupy one of the best work spaces in the whole of Auckland, with its sweeping north-facing views of the harbour and the gentle nudge of the ferry against the wharf piles to remind them when it’s time to take the 30-second trip from desk to boat to make the short journey across to the city.

Level One is a collaborative workspace for companies focused on innovation, but it’s by no means exclusive. It’s currently home to around a dozen different and quite disparate businesses, from busi-ness process providers (Vinsight, SecuritEase) to bespoke bike tours (Ride Holidays), and from legal services (Potter IP) to the promotion of green growth (Pure Advantage). It also has a strong community focus, hosting events for local businesses, schools and networks with the aim of supporting both current and future innovators. Simon Lampen, founder and CEO of Vinsight, and Cameron Beattie (founder of Conversant) were the founding tenants two years ago when they heard the Auckland Transport-owned space — previously a restaurant and bar — had come up for rent. Both Simon and Cameron had outgrown their existing work spaces, but were keen to keep a presence in Devonport, and saw Level One HQ as an organic space that could expand to accommodate like-minded but complementary businesses.

Everyone has their own work area (accommodating both standing and sitting desks) and there are break-out spaces and meeting rooms with AV facilities. There’s a sunny kitchen with full facilities, including a coffee machine, and a shower which is well used by one of the residents who regularly kayaks to work. The open deck is the perfect spot for client entertaining or after-work drinks — or just a great place to work during the summer. It has even hosted a wedding!

With the global trend towards co-working spaces as an alternative to corporate offices, Level One HQ has capitalised on the growing interest in co-working in New Zealand and is one of more than 30 spaces throughout the country. It recently participated in the second annual National Co-working Day, staged as part of Tech Week, where spaces threw open their doors to the public to encourage as many potential, new or existing coworkers to try out New Zealand’s co-working spac-es. Visitors commented that it was refreshing to get out of the house and be around other peo-ple. Many said that co-working was good for interaction and hearing about what others were do-ing, and of Level One HQ, said, “it’s a beautiful space, well laid out and very professional.”

Simon Lampen says, “Level One provides a unique working environment that would be the envy of anyone in the world. It’s a great social environment for businesses who don’t want the commit-ment of taking on a large office space, or for sole operators who find working from home too isolat-ing. It’s a great interactive space for people who have similar goals and aspirations and many part-nerships and associations have developed as a result of our friendly, relaxed and supportive co-working environment.”


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