If 2020 was the year we all got comfortable working with our pants off, 2021 is the year to put them back on according to the team behind Here Collective in central Napier.

Hawke’s Bay’s newest coworking space has just opened on Hastings Street, above what was once the Windsock. Established by marketing agency Connect and Conquer, with the set-up done my dynamic sister duo Chloe Knapp and Jessica Knapp, Here Collective has hot desks, day passes, dedicated desks and private offices on offer. And there’s lots of plants!

One or two days a week I step out of my natural environment of Tennyson Gallery and work on admin or other projects from home or from my regular café, Ajuna. But today, I’m giving the ‘hot desk’ a whirl.

At home I am easily distracted by my cat Dolly Parton, the weeds in the garden, the kitchen and the idea of baking, or by visitors who assume ‘working from home’ is a day off. And at the café I end up OD-ing on iced long blacks and slipping into long and surreal chats with the staff and other regulars.

A coworking space is a place to go to work. To get fully dressed, out of the house, and actually work. 

Through the freshly painted blue door and up the stairs, I’m into the space, and it feels fresh and light and free of the distractions, without being sterile. There are sweet touches, like Real World hand sanitiser on the entry table, stylish wares in the communal kitchen, and did I mention – plants! Into the main space and you’ve got a long table (the hot desk station) with a line of plants through the middle, and four ‘dedicated desks’ on the opposite side of the room. Off here is a sweet, comfy sitting area, and a more formal board room (for hire too). Beyond this shared open space there’s four private offices, ideally for teams of two or three to six.

The others at Here are cool and friendly – and all wearing pants – and Chloe’s putting up the last of the on-loan artworks from down at Boyd-Dunlop Gallery while we tap away on laptops and tablets. The internet’s quick and there’s good coffee, and the drifting sounds from Hastings Street mean you know you’re not working in a vacuum.

I did three hours up at Here, and can honestly say I actually did more than two and a half hours’ worth of work. That’s huge.

If you’re thinking it might be time to leave the confines and comforts of home for a little more structure, get in touch with Here Collective.

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