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InHub reinvents the home office

August 5, 2011

Cat videos were Andy Moore's downfall.

Working from home was packed with the perils of online distractions, laundry and visitors, none of which are conducive to a productive work day. The independent game developer needed a different space.

InHub was the answer to his working woes. Designed as a co-working space for freelancers, entrepreneurs and travelling business people without a dedicated office in Victoria, InHub is the first space of its kind in the capital city thanks to Evan Willms, a Royal Roads 2010 Bachelor of Commerce alumnus and his partner Kristin Quayle, a 2007 BA in Professional Communications alumnus and current student in the Royal Roads MA in Conflict Analysis and Management. It joins the list of more than 30 co-working spaces in Canada, and many more internationally.

"It's really about having a community of like minded people around. When you are staring at your laundry, work neither feels professional or productive," says Willms, a space catalyst in co-working lingo. "(InHub aims to) make sure we have what you need to do what you do."

Officially open this week, InHub offers a variety of work stations at 833 Fisgard St. There is a brainstorming room with whiteboards and a fully enclosed meeting room for when work prompts dialogue. Solo hours can be clocked in at a desk, lounged on a couch or throughout a soon to be completed shared work room.

The space is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and membership rates are offered in three packages ranging from $30 for one day to $300 for the month. "It's a gym membership instead of an office rental," Willms says. For full members, the space is a 24/7 work haven with unlimited access. Included in the fees are services such as access to Internet, extra computer monitors, a printer/scanner and hot coffee in the kitchen.

Willms aims for InHub to offer an affordable alternative to coffee shops and executive office rentals, while providing all of the services people need. The work stations are classified as "hot desks" meaning they are first come first serve. That keeps the space clear of clutter and promotes a more social community atmosphere, Willms says, who also works for his business Alteria Consulting from InHub.

InHub offers far more than a desk to sit at for Moore who says the space brings legitimacy to his business. Large gaming companies often refuse to work with people at residential addresses, he says, so having a commercial address he can call his own strengthens Radial Games. It is also a space to conduct interviews, have packages delivered, and test products.

"It's nice to have that block of several hours where you can get work done," Moore says, adding he works from about 5 to 11 p.m. at InHub several days a week. "I've done more work in the last month that I have in the last four months."

There is a lot to be said about the social aspects of co-working too. For Caleb Del Begio working at home was not an option and coffee shops lacked professional social interaction. Also a Royal Roads BCom alumnus, Del Begio co-founded Glass Guys Window and Gutter Cleaning. InHub seems to have a knack for bringing together likeminded creative professionals where everybody is a resource you can tap into, he says.

There is also a "self-imposed peer pressure to work," Moore says noting he is inspired to get to business when other people are working around him.

"It's not collaborative on your work, it's socially collaborative," he adds. "Once you (experience) it it will be hard to go back home."