the village

The Village open their co-working space doors

A co-working, community and event space, The Village open their first location in a cosy villa in Herne Bay, Auckland.

Interviewed by Adam Bryce

Photographed by Evie Mackay

Tell me about the concept of The Village?

The Village is a co-working and event space with its first location in a villa, in Herne Bay. The Village believe in striking a balance between work, life and wellbeing, which is our motivation for offering flexible memberships that allow members to come eight days a month, five days a month or the equivalent. It flexes to suit those that wish to come in for a few hours each day, for example.

It was important to us that no ‘one’ person had ownership of any part of the space and that it could fit into members’ varied lifestyles in a practical way. Whether that be popping in for a shower after a run, having a meeting, feeding your baby, catching up for a coffee or sitting down to pump out a day of focused work.

We really want our members to feel like they’re at home and that all kinds of people are welcome here, which is why we’ve placed so much attention on the cosy, welcoming feel to the space, while still being design-focused and functional.

Co-working spaces have soared in popularity over the past 10 years or so. What makes them so popular?

People don’t all work best the same way and the old model is exactly that, outdated for many. Co-working reflects the fact that there are many options when it comes to the way to structure a productive work day and, combined with flexibility, it accommodates people driven by cost and convenience, community or just beautiful spaces. 

There have been some high-profile drama with large, co-working companies such as WeWork. Obviously, The Village is a very different proposition but will the concept work in New Zealand?

We’re not trying to shift paradigms and move mountains — we’re not taking billions of dollars of investment on. We’re trying to bridge the gap between the way people are living and the way they are working. We want to be community-led rather than VC-led. It feels more straightforward and overdue.  

There was talk during lockdown that co-working spaces might lose their momentum. New Zealand has managed Covid-19 incredibly well but have you made changes due to the recent safety issues?

We actually haven’t. People are giving us credit for coming up with a business idea that responded to Covid-19 so quickly but we’re having to correct them, in the interests of transparency. We’ve been trying to secure a lease and open The Village for a year now.

Your space is more than co-working — it’s about building a community. Tell me about the events side of the business and how you plan to build that community? 

We don’t want The Village to speak to one particular type of person. We want it to be open and inclusive and to facilitate conversation, creativity and connection, however that manifests. Our events are a big part of the business and fall under our three categories: work, life and well-being, every month. For example, in the first month we have a cooking class (life), a talk about how to invest (work) and a talk on the power of intuition (well-being). We’d love for people to attend an event they might not usually be drawn to and, through this, be introduced to a new set of people and ideas.

What are your plans for the future of The Village?

We’d love to open another location across town in the next year so that our members can pop in to whichever location is closest during any given time and suits them best.

THEVILLAGENZ.COM

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