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Space To Work adds a dose of wellbeing to its desk hire facilities at Cambridge RUFC

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Flexible working providers Space To Work has reopened, with founders Umar Sheikh and Damian Mears incorporating their wellbeing expertise into the communal environment at their Cambridge University Rugby Union Football Club premises on Grange Road.

The facility – originally known as CambridgeSpace – started in 2016 based in Chesterton but moved to the Rugby Club in October 2018.

The company won the 2019 ‘Coworker Members Choice Award’ for its welcoming environment and services. It rebranded in June 2020 and now has 24 workdesks and a meeting room with kitchen facilities on Grange Road.

“There are a variety of options to join as it’s a member-driven organisation so we get feedback from members and people who want to join,” says Umar. “It could be five days a week – we open from Monday to Friday – or it could be one day a week, which could be two half-days. It’s 9am to 5.30pm, with free wifi, tea and coffee.

“We have a very heavy focus on wellbeing, both physical and mental, so we use ergonomic furniture which is better for posture, and large screens to plug into. Sometimes there are sports massages available, along with mindfulness sessions and yoga.

“We like to make sure members are like-minded people, maybe more like freelancers or remote workers, or people who don’t want to work in isolation.”

“It’s not just about a desk,” adds Damian. “It’s about values. With Space To Work you can replicate office banter, get help with your tweet, and chat. It’s an open office. We’ve had social events in the past, which we’re due to revitalise.”

Damian Mears, left, and Umar Sheikh at Space To Work. Picture: Keith Heppell
Damian Mears, left, and Umar Sheikh at Space To Work. Picture: Keith Heppell

The founding duo originally met because they were neighbours. “Our wives were friends so they set up a play date for us,” is how Umar puts it.

Damian adds: “I went freelance just before we met; my background is in co-working, as a consultant in the workplace devising strategies for culture change in corporations.”

Umar says: “I’ve been in Cambridge for 15 years, six years ago I left the company I’d been working for eight years – in international food and drink – and started to focus on wellbeing and training for RTT, rapid transformational therapy.”

RTT uses hypnotherapy, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), psychotherapy and CBT (cognitive behavioural therapies) to resolve pain and suffering. For this side of their work, the duo run a wellbeing retreats service called Azora Wellbeing – “we connect with employers specifically,” notes Damian.

Umar adds: “It was a completely new direction and I have Damian to thank for nudging me in this direction.”

The Grange Road location benefits from having views of fields, and being 10 minutes from the centre of town. Access to Selwyn College (where lunch is £6) is available. A dog-friendly policy is in place. Parking is available.

Details via hello@spacetowork.co. If you sign up for three months, you get one month free – terms and conditions on application.

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