Occasionally random events coincide to form the perfect storm which allows a good idea to gain traction more quickly.
Such was the case when local businessman David Courtney bought the old Callan’s building in Narrow West Street and began converting it into coworking space including private offices and hot desks for remote workers that could rent by the day, week, month – or set up a long term lease. He called the new business Brú Digital Hub.
This was back in May, for two years the world of work had been turned upside down by the global pandemic but gradually we were looking out from wherever we were taking shelter and wondering where to go from here.
Not surprisingly, the thoughts of going back to the days of the daily commute to offices in Dublin or elsewhere was not particularly attractive. People had got used to working at home and their work life balance had reached a new levels of equilibrium.
Instead of downing tools at whatever time and then facing an uncomfortable two hour commute to arrive home knackered and just in time to kiss their children goodnight, Drogheda workers could finish at five and be kicking ball on the beach or out cycling with their children in under 30 minutes.
For a time it was lovely but then people realized that there is much more to the workplace than work. They began to miss the social side of working in an office. It was lovely being at home with your loved ones but you’d miss the craic in the office.
Courtney and his Brú crew came on stream with their offering at precisely the right time. It was almost as if the government were waiting for Brú to make the first move because, almost simultaneously, they introduced a Connected Hubs voucher scheme under which members could take advantage of a hot desk free of charge within the Brú Digital Hub.
Following an article on Drogheda Life in June there was a flurry of interest in the Brú Digital Hub idea and that interest has been sustained ever since.
Brú’s David Courtney told Drogheda Life this week that the voucher scheme certainly gave them a good start, but enquiries are coming in all the time from both SMEs and large organizations for both short and longer term tenancies.
“We have quite a few tenants already committed to a long term tenancy and every day we are receiving calls from companies looking to rent space for employees who are either working from home or hybrid working.
“The feedback from workers themselves is also really good” says David. “They’re saying that working locally but not necessarily at home, is putting them in a much happier frame of mind and giving them an improved work life balance.”
It’s not all ‘heads down and get your work done’ at Brú Digital Hub though. The very act of bringing people from different industries together in one space opens up all sorts of possibilities for new business relationships to develop.
A conversation over coffee in the downstairs coffee box at Brú has sparked new ideas and solutions to problems that needed different surroundings. “It gives people the chance to brainstorm in a more informal environment,” said David.
All of this activity is taking place in Drogheda’s West End, an area where levels of vacancy and dereliction have been at epic levels. The Drogheda Vision project is set to focus on the rejuvenation of these areas of the town but the Brú crew is ploughing on regardless with their own building redevelopment plans.
The Hub is spearheading the revival of the Westgate area of the town, along with bringing the focal point of the DRAWDA Mural Project to the area earlier in the summer they are also bringing people back down to a once vibrant area of the town with a planned café in the basement of the Hub building which will also compliment the already popular Brú Box outdoor coffee area and garden terrace which backs onto The Old Abbey Lane.
Brú Digital Hub can offer a range of different packages such as meeting rooms, hot desks and private office by the day, week, month, and long term. Or maybe you are on the move and just need a business address – see their website for details of services and rates https://www.bruhub.ie/