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Bank of Ireland Workbench an innovation toward coworking spaces

Starting a business in the back bedroom or the garage may be attractive during the first weeks. However, isolation and distraction are major drivers to push workers looking for workspaces outside the home. Coworking spaces are emerging as a strong way to leverage entrepreneurial initiatives. Indeed, coworking promotes commitment, collaboration and openness, networking and creativity within a professional environment. Each local ecosystem has promoted their coworking spaces with access to an office environment, Internet, meeting rooms and, in some cases, free coffee. Most of the coworking are private initiatives that offer the service in exchange for a monthly fee that ranges between 50 to 300 euros.

Coworking is not only an active way to reduce running costs but also a way to maintain a work/life balance.

Workbench is an initiative from Bank of Ireland, offering free workspace within their own branches, creating a real office environment for all the coworkers. Of course, funding is important, but workspace is vital for startups. This is why Bank of Ireland offers to startups, remote employees and freelancers, not only free work space but also meeting rooms, conference areas and event space for all. “Thanks to Fin-Tech revolution and self-service banking, the work charge on the bank employees was reduced and having building and space make it easy for us to create the workbench idea” said Laura Mellett the Innovation Community Manager @cork Workbench. “Actually, there are 8 coworking spaces over the Irish territory, eighth in Dublin, one in Galway and this one in Cork. Now we are planning to open similar coworking in other cities.”

Real office environment for all the coworkers

Along with the complimentary WiFi and free coffee, startups can get full banking services, professional financial advice and mentoring from startup community manager. Coworking is also an active space for networking, be hired and hiring and get in touch with innovation ecosystem.