DeskLodger Of The Month

Jo Richards from Blu Wireless

Meet Jo the Office Manager at  Blu Wireless, one of DeskLodge Bristol's long-standing residents. Jo likes Pilates, badminton and has just started playing netball. 

What do Blu Wireless do?
Well, the techie explanation is: Blu Wireless is an industry leading system IP provider for high bandwidth communication systems for 5G, mobile edge computing and other emerging mmWave applications. But when people ask me, I always say: “Next generation, Ultra Fast Wifi”. I quite like this explanation too: “Enabling a new era of gigabit wireless connectivity for all.”

How long have you been at
Thanh originally agreed for us to stay for 3 months but we’ve been here 2 and a half years now!! We enjoyed watching the
5th floor hotdesking area being built and then Desklodge eventually built us our own home downstairs on the 4th floor. We have doubled in size since being here!

What's your favourite thing about your job?
The variety, the people and generally experiencing a small start-up grow.

What's your favourite thing about
The colourful fun environment, the people and the Desklodge team!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Exercise, socialise and hang out with my 5
year old! I have also just started to learn Silks ( a circus skill) at The Island in Bristol.

Do you like the snow? 
I love it! (Although two days was enough thanks!)


Thanks Jo, good luck with the circus skills!

Introducing DeskLodgers - Deathio "Don't settle for a boring funeral"

What made you come up with the idea for Death.io?

Funerals are sad by their DNA so why do we purposefully make them sadder? Wear grey, stand straight, sob into a tissue, sing a hymn no one knows a word to, have a plate of sausage rolls at the wake and head home. #sendoff

I know that sounds like I’m trivialising a difficult time but have you ever met someone who has wanted a standard, sad funeral? Probably not, so why is it the norm?

We came up with the idea for DEATH.io because we believe funerals are celebrations of life. They should be a great hurrah that reflects the person who has died and are woven with those unique specks of brilliance that will have everyone remembering it for years. 

That’s where DEATH.io comes in as we’re not about the off the shelf funeral ideas. We’re about everything else. 

Planning a funeral can be a taboo subject, do you think everyone should be more open about it and plan their funeral when they are younger rather than waiting until they are older or terminally ill?

Absolutely, we should all be more open about our funeral planning. The problem is we have a tendency to think that death is a thing for old people (it isn’t) and the irony is, we never truly feel old so we don’t always tackle this mortality matter when we’re in the best position to.

Death’s rarely fun but we’ve all got to face it sometime so it makes sense to get things in order sooner rather than later to help take the burden off loved ones in case something unexpected happens. What's more, it's easy to do and it takes just 3 minutes. Honestly. 

I know that because we created our Farewell Wishes tool to do exactly this. Just go to www.myfarewellwishes.com, answer ten multi-choice questions and we’ll email you a neat doc with your preferences to then store or share with a loved one. 

Oh and It’s 100% free so why wouldn’t you?

What are the ages of your clients?

We’ve only been live a few months but it’s starting to look like people who use death.io are more likely to sit around the 50-65 year mark but saying that, we get the full gamut of death positive customers. In fact, the oldest person so far to have recorded their funeral wishes on our Farewell Wishes app was 80 years old.

When did you start Death.io?

We moved in to Desklodge in September 2017, our website went live in October and since then things have moved pretty, pretty fast. It seems people can’t get enough of death… In that time we’ve launched our Farewell Wishes web-app, we’ve expanded our team and we’re about to launch a new service at the end of March. Xmas occurred somewhere in the middle but things moved too quickly to tell when. 

What made you choose a co-working space to expand your company?

In a start-up with a small team you’ve got an awful lot to know and deal with which can feel pretty overwhelming. In a co-working space, everyone around you is in the same situation albeit at different points on the jungle run so when you’re facing those pitfalls more often than not you can find someone nearby who can point you towards the best way of getting around it. Honestly, this is invaluable and has saved me a lot of time and money in problem solving. Big shout out to the guys at Huggg, Shiptheory and MySociety for all the help and support.

How does DeskLodge work for you?

Desklodge is just damn cool. It gives me a Google-esque space to inspire and grow a team (not to mention impressing a client or two) without the hefty overheads. Believe me, when you’re dealing in something like death, the BEST place to have a serious conversation is in a booth themed on Lego with the words ‘Everything is awesome’ emblazoned on the wall. 
Not having to deal with those disparate costs of running an office ourselves is lovely too. Plus, the coffee is pretty damn decent and had it not been for Desklodge I would never have discovered a love for Yoga. Awesome place. 


Basingstoke hits the top ten in Tech

Basingstoke has been recognised as one of the top ten up and coming cities that will dominate the tech industry in the near future.

Based on an article originally written by globenewswire.com with analytics from Joblift

London, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham have dominated the tech industry for years but there is a new crop of cities that are giving them a run for their money due to the growth in the dominating industries being rather slow and the competition has increased at a rate of knots. The ten top cities with a population of under 200,000 people are predicted to dominate the tech scene over the next few years this includes Basingstoke, where we have recently opened our latest DeskLodge( which makes DeskLodge very happy!) All the other cities on the Top Ten list, get ready DeskLodge are coming!  

The Big Top Ten











Here are a few interesting facts to do with the next top ten tech cities!

-          Most of the top ten cities are based in the South of England with only York and Warwick currently representing the North

-          70% are the homes to top Engineering and Technology universities, including Oxford, Cambridge and Guildford, home to University of Surrey (which is not that far from DeskLodge Basingstoke whose residents include SETSquared who support high start-up companies and are in partnership with Surrey University) and Warwick with up to 37% of jobs in the cities job vacancies were Tech based!

-          Innovation hubs Peterborough, Gloucester and Basingstoke are a major influence in tech despite not having top universities in the tech list, each having 25% of their job vacancies are tech-based.

In conclusion, the next top ten cities are certainly ones to watch out for tech in the near future, which is brilliant for the economy and really represents cities that have been previously overlooked where tech is concerned. Tech is a huge part of DeskLodge with well over 70% of our residents currently coming from the tech industry and that’s not even including our (over 1000) hot deskers who will be up there in tech majority. It’s exciting stuff!

Valentine’s Day at DeskLodge doesn’t need to be boring

Team huggg have decided to spice things up this year...

We love spending our days at DeskLodge.

From the friendly team who are always on hand to help us out and the large windows letting in all of the light to the creative individuals hiding around every corner and free fruit Wednesdays, we can’t think of anywhere else we’d rather build huggg.

Except maybe from a beach. Or a yurt.

But anyway.

As there are so many amazing humans hidden within these walls, and our app is about sharing all of the feels, we’re offering Bristol DeskLodgers the chance to pluck up the courage to send someone they like a little more than the average hot desker a cup of something warm.

You know, to let them know they’re awesome.

So, whether they’re your work-wife, lunchtime yoga partner, someone who’s got you out of a pickle lately or a full blown office crush, stop hiding behind your laptop or waiting for a DeskLodge social to roll around and tell them how you feel this February 14th with anonymous huggging instead.

Cool. So how does it work?

💘  Using the form below, provide us with the details of someone in Bristol you'd like to send a Friska hot drink huggg to.

💘  Let us know whether you'd like your Love Day huggg to be sent anonymously or if you'd like us to send it from your mobile number.

💘  On the morning of 14th February, we'll fire a Friska hot drink huggg, along with your message to their phone. No strings attached.

Sounds ace, right?

Let's go, Cupid.

Send a Love Day huggg

Alternatively, if you’d like your message to remain strictly confidential (ahem), download huggg and send your love note and huggg of choice directly via the app.

We don’t look at messages. Ever.

Download huggg to get started

DeskLodger of the Month - February 2018

Peter Helgosson from Prodtex

Meet Peter the Director of Prodtex Ltd who have recently created a robot that can build aircrafts, rumour has it that this technology is also being picked up by Shipyards too, Which is pretty cool!  Peter likes to play softball and build robots. 
Find out more in this case study

What does Prodtex do?
Prodtex design and build robots that build aircrafts. We work with aerospace companies to research and develop ideas, helping to improve their manufacturing processes. 

How long have you worked with Prodtex?
It started 4 years ago

What's your favourite thing about your job?
Innovation every day, doing something no one else has done before

What's your favourite thing about DeskLodge?
The fact that there are so many different companies and people

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Mountain biking and I play softball for the Jets here in Bristol

Who is your favorite robot from film or TV? 

Thanks Peter, good luck in the next Jets game!

  Ps we like the matching shirt with our Surf Shack table ;)

Ps we like the matching shirt with our Surf Shack table ;)

PhD students joining coworking spaces

DESKLODGE CASE STUDY  - PhD students at DeskLodge

Coworking spaces are not just for freelancers, start-ups and registered businesses, they can work for anyone who is tired of working alone from home and in cafes or just need a break from the office. This includes writers, techies and creatives, in fact anyone who uses a laptop! DeskLodge has recently noticed a rise in PhD students using our spaces, we spoke to Anna Weston about why she chose to give coworking at DeskLodge a try and how it has improved productivity in her studies.

Anna Weston PHD student.jpg

Anna Weston

I’m a PhD student investigating why people disengage from digital behaviour change interventions when using health-based applications. Basically that means I’m interested in why people stop using apps and websites that are designed to help them change a health-related behaviour, e.g. weight loss or fitness. It is an interdisciplinary PhD which combines research in Psychology and Computer Science. I’m in my final year and so needed somewhere that I could focus and write.

It is very easy to become demotivated whilst working on a PhD. It can be lonely; your day lacks routine; and when you work from home you can go days without having a proper conversation with another human being. My brother recommended that I look for a co-working space – as he worked in one in London – as he thought it might help me stay motivated. Thankfully it has!

Why did you choose DeskLodge?

I tried out a number of other coworking spaces but Desklodge was the friendliest and seemed to fit my needs the best. The Desklodge staff are absolutely lovely and I can Skype my supervisors from the phone booths. The coffee is included, which is a big selling point for me! I’ve also just started going to Yoga on a Wednesday lunchtime which is a great way to relax and get some headspace.

Would you recommend DeskLodge to others including students?

If you are also struggling with a PhD or any studies, I would highly recommend Desklodge. It is great to have a space to go which you psychologically associate with work, and it has definitely increased my productivity. I come to Desklodge and work a normal 9-5 day; then when I head home I can relax and take a break from the PhD. I just wish I had done this sooner!

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/aw3g10

Email: aw3g10@soton.ac.uk

Thanks Anna, you're an awesome DeskLodger and all the best with the PHD - You will smash it!

DeskLodge does Yoga

Here at DeskLodge Bristol, we run weekly Yoga classes for our DeskLodgers. Every member from residents to hotdeskers are welcome to attend, tune in and relax.

The DeskLodge yoga classes take place every Wednesday lunchtime in our multi-functional Oak Tree space, with the lights dimmed and the atmospheric waterfall imagery, it’s the perfect ambience to chill and relax.

The classes aim to address the aches, pains, stresses and strains of busy life.

We spoke to DeskLodger and our Yoga teacher Jasmine de Savigny, about how yoga benefits a coworking space and how it can increase productivity. Jasmine is also the who is the Founder of Yogi-hub.com

yoga desklodgers.PNG

How does the Oak tree space work for the Yoga classes at DeskLodge?

 “It’s great. Loads of space and the mood changing lights really help to create a calm atmosphere”.

What do you think of coworking spaces?

 “I love it. There is a buzz in the air and I always feel a bounce in my step!”

Yoga helps you to keep fit and de-stress but can you tell us how yoga helps increase productivity?

“Yoga is a proven immune system booster, and in general physically healthy people are less likely to be easily “run down” by common colds and flu. Yoga is also known to reduce stress. Happy and healthy staff with fewer physical or emotional stresses are more likely to be highly motivated and driven to achieve, and with reduced stress levels comes the ability to focus and maintain a clear and productive mindset”.

How have the classes gone with our DeskLodgers?

“They have been a great success. I have welcomed a lot of students that were brand new to Yoga which is always great to see”.

yogi hub logo.PNG

Coworking newbie?

You’ve done your research, you kind of understand how coworking works and think it might be for you. But is it? Maybe you have suddenly had to consider a coworking space because of an unexpected reason? Will you have to commit to a contract? Do you have to book your seat in advance? What about wifi, is that extra?

These are the type of questions that run through a potential hot desker's mind before giving it a try.

DeskLodge takes all the fuss and worries out of hotdesking and coworking. Our laid-back approach and home from home spaces make you feel part of the family as soon as you arrive.

  "I joined Desk Lodge around 6 weeks ago due to my organisation working remotely and feeling I needed to spend some time during the week in a more professional environment than home. The team here are great, they will go out of their way to assist you. The facilities and meeting rooms are fab and I have taken a great liking to the massage chair in the quiet space. I'd highly recommend Desk Lodge to anybody looking for a fixed desk space  or even somewhere to chill out and get creative one day a week." - Adam

"I joined Desk Lodge around 6 weeks ago due to my organisation working remotely and feeling I needed to spend some time during the week in a more professional environment than home. The team here are great, they will go out of their way to assist you. The facilities and meeting rooms are fab and I have taken a great liking to the massage chair in the quiet space. I'd highly recommend Desk Lodge to anybody looking for a fixed desk space  or even somewhere to chill out and get creative one day a week." - Adam

You will be amazed by our quirky spaces and places, that you are free to roam and explore until you find your perfect working spot for the day, the only trouble you will have is deciding which amazing bit you want to call home for the day, no worries though, you can try out another fun spot on your next visit!

If you are unsure if DeskLodge is for you, no worries! We offer a two-day free trial to try us with no obligation to stay or sign up to any contract. If you are happy with our spaces (which we are sure you will be) you can then add payment details and use us pay as you go, it’s as simple as booking an Uber.

If you find you are using our spaces more regularly then you can sign up to one of our hot desking packages where you can save money and know you will always have a productive space available to you on a daily basis should you need it – unlike that coffee shop you’ve been working in, we also don’t have any of those distractions and you can just keep drinking our free coffee!

  "Desklodge is a great place for me to work, I love the flexible commitment and it gets me in   an friendly   office environment which has seen my productivity increase! Added bonus is the great coffee!!' Liz

"Desklodge is a great place for me to work, I love the flexible commitment and it gets me in an friendly office environment which has seen my productivity increase! Added bonus is the great coffee!!' Liz

So that’s no contract, free wifi, a warm welcome, coffee and a relaxed and friendly vibe. What are you waiting for? We’ll see you very soon!

Check Out DeskLodge Basingstoke  & Bristol

Combating loneliness in the workplace

Coworking is a great way to get you out of the home office or the cafes and into an environment where you can network and socialise with other coworkers. However just because you have made it to the coworking space many people still find it hard to socialise or even just start up a conversation with other people.

At DeskLodge Bristol we have considered how lonely working alone can be and have tried to add many open spaces where you can work alongside coworkers, prepare and eat food together with a chance to network and socialise. We also hold The DeskLodge Social on the last Thursday of every month, where DeskLodgers can let their hair down and have a well-deserved drink, a good laugh and meet different people that they don’t necessarily have in their own peer groups out of work and make strong bonds with them.

DeskLodge Bristol - 150 - 2318 mikekear.com.jpg

We want to make our spaces a home from home, we want you to feel comfortable and at ease and most importantly welcome. As we said earlier many people still find it hard to start up conversations and perhaps feel like an outsider when in fact everyone, especially people who are not working in a team, feel the same way too, at first.

Here at DeskLodge we are very proud of how many of our DeskLodgers successfully interact, network and socialise with each other and how welcoming they are to DeskLodge newbies. Our hosts chat with people, introduce them to new people and make them feel at happy from the day they start. Some people do prefer to keep themselves to themselves and we respect everyone’s privacy, however, don’t presume they are doing this as they want to be left alone. It could be as easy as saying good morning or asking them how they are doing.

Simple gestures can make people feel less lonely in the workplace and at coworking spaces, it can also increase productivity, inspire you and give you a lovely warm feeling inside.


Read this inspiring article from one of our favourite coworking bloggers Cat Johnson



January DeskLodge Of The Month

Siobhan Knight from DeskLodge


Meet Siobhan, who has recently joined the DeskLodge team as the Assistant Centre Manager! Siobhan enjoys country walks and is a Pilates lover!

What do you do at DeskLodge?
Assistant Centre Manager for DeskLodge Bristol

What’s the favourite thing about your job so far?
The welcoming community and getting to know Desklodgers from all the different companies.

Where’s your favourite space at DeskLodge?
Grandma's House - definitely the cosiest meeting room ever seen!

What do you like to do in your spare time?
Going for walks in the countryside.

What was the best Christmas present you ever got?
Skiing lessons

Have you made a new years resolutions for

To learn to play the Cello again.

Thanks Siobhan, Happy New Year and good luck with
the cello practice xx

A Review Of 2017 At DeskLodge - We Can't Wait For More Fun In 2018

January saw the DeskLodge builders starting work on our very popular, one-person pods which are now full with a mix of people using them! We had many successful and busy events including Enterprise Nations Start Up 2017 event and celebrated Chinese New Year with Make it China who moved into our newly built China Town which is now home to our resident's Performance In.


In February we introduced Members Perks for our DeskLodgers with deals and discounts in collaboration with local independent companies local to us from cafes, bike shops to the gym. We also introduced DeskLodger of The Month into our newsletter and social media platforms to celebrate all the great people who join us each week at DeskLodge. Our first ever DeskLodger of the Month was hotdesker Jade Wicks from Doeth Marketing.

DeskLodge Bristol Feb 2017 Perks.jpg

March was a busy month and saw the launch of the DeskLodge Instagram profile where you can step into DeskLodge Bristol’s world! We had plenty of events including Festival of Female Entrepreneurs,  we also launched the DeskLodge blog featuring the latest DeskLodge adventures and promotes positive vibes for amazing coworking spaces and community.

DeskLodge instagram pics March.jpg

By April we had a beautiful balloon mural decorating our walls in the Indoor Garden on Floor 5, created by local artist Damien. We celebrated Easter with a fun-filled Easter Egg Hunt with the DeskLodgers and our one-person pods were finally ready to hire!

April 2017 at DeskLodge Bristol.jpg

In May we held the very successful Meet The Journalist event with Enterprise Nation and DeskLodge residents Pure Planet launched their renewable energy app. To add to the excitement Camden Beer arrived and gave all of our thirsty DeskLodgers some free beer which was very well received! The Entrepreneurs Godmother and DeskLodge regular Alison Edgar also joined us with her Easy Peasy Sales workshop, which is always very much enjoyed by the attendees.

May DeskLodge.jpg

In June DeskLodge resident Sarah-Jane Freni held a scrumptious charity cake sale in The Oak Tree promoting Loneliness Awareness Week alongside Marmalade Trust. To keep things healthy, we introduced the weekly Office Pantry Fruit box for all our DeskLodgers to share (which is usually empty within the hour!). The DeskLodge Socials were also starting to become a big event with more and more DeskLodgers networking and socialising each month & had seen many new friendships, collaborations and even relationships grow.

Desklodge Bristol june 2017.jpg

In July UCD BRS joined us with their first monthly meet up and have joined every month for their meetups, ever since and DeskLodge residents Slide celebrated their first birthday! Our VR Greenroom pod was also ready to hire and has been used by YouTubers and DeskLodge residents Performance.IN as a promotional tool The DeskLodge Social found itself in knots at DeskLodger Chris Lock’s alternative games night, a lot of laughter and fun was had by all!

JUly DeskLodge Bristol.jpg

By August the lovely Constance from Women's Tech Hub joined us as our Lodge Host temp and has been recognised as a big personality and colourful lady who lights up the office with her bright clothes and dry wit! DeskLodge were also pleased to be named as one of the Top 10 coworking spaces changing business in the UK by Company Check which was awesome! There was also a very popular quiz night as part of the DeskLodge Social with lucky winners from Blu Wireless coming out on top (which only seems fair as they have attended every DeskLodge social since they joined us two years ago!).

In September we introduced Yoga to our weekly agenda which has been very popular with our DeskLodgers and a great way to take time out, unwind and keep fit. To celebrate the end of the summer we held the DeskLodge End Of Summer Extravaganza where DeskLodgers were encouraged to dress up in Hawaiian shirts and floral garlands and join us for the first ever DeskLodge pub crawl which was a huge success!

DeskLodge Bristol Sept.jpg

By October Pure Planet celebrated a year at DeskLodge and we celebrated Halloween with the Fright Night DeskLodge Halloween Party in The Oak Tree with a guest make-up artist and lots of spooky fun! A very sociable month!

October DeskLodge Bristol.jpg

In November we Launched a new DeskLodge in Basingstoke with New York themes and a grand atrium, following the quirky and fun DeskLodge style.

DEskLodge Basingstoke Nov.jpg

This December DeskLodge Host Sam created a large advent calendar in the DeskLodge reception, each day a lucky DeskLodger got to open a door for festive and fun treats. DeskLodge are also very excited to introduce and welcome our new Host and Assistant Office Manager Siobhan Knight to our growing team! We will end this successful and productive year (and all those Christmas parties) with a mince pies and mulled wine get-together wearing our Christmas jumpers and exchanging Secret Santa gifts to celebrate a year well spent and raise a glass to a brilliant year in 2018!

Thanks DeskLodgers, you have been amazing.

Here's to a productive 2018

 Love the DL Bristol Team :)

Look at all of our lovely DeskLodgers of the month from 2017!

We realise there are only 11 Photos but we didn’t start DeskLodger of the Month until Feb!

 A big thanks to Jade, Greg, Joe, Thanh, Dave, Andrew, Adil, Beth, Alice, Andy and Laura for being our faces of 2017.

Who will it be next year?? It could be you!

Merry Christmas

DOM Greg, Joe, Beth.jpg

A short chat with Adam Babajee-Pycroft - From UCD

How did you hear about DeskLodge?

In December 2015 Natural Interaction were between offices and I needed a short-term hotdesk to fill the gap. A quick bit of Google-Fu and the lure of working in a Tardis led me to Desklodge.


Why did you decide to use DeskLodge as your meeting space for UCD BRS?

The price, central location and the flexibility of The Oak Tree as a space.

How have you found it?

It’s been perfect so far. Emma has been exceptionally helpful, the tech always works and new members always remark on the tree in the middle. It makes for great photos! One thing which is really helpful is the option to have it set up in Theatre or Workshop layout. Saves the team of organisers some time.

Would you recommend Desklodge to a friend?

Hell yeah!

How is everything going with UCD Bristol?

We’re growing slowly but surely. Having organised another meetup in the past I know these things take a while to build momentum. Feedback so far from attendees has been really positive and our speakers have been exceptional. We’ve had a run of workshops which you only normally get at conferences like UX Bristol.

So what does UCD stand for?

UCD stands for User Centred Design. It’s about putting the user of a website, service or software at the heart of the design process. By researching and understanding user needs,  we can design better things, which help businesses and their customers achieve their goals.

The reason I care about UX (User Experience) is because I want to save people time. Time and attention are some of the most valuable resources people have, and it’s our job to make sure they can spend as much time as possible on living life, not completing transactions. When you book a holiday, you don’t remember the booking process unless it was particularly stressful or difficult – you just remember the holiday, and that’s how it should be.

Do you think coworking spaces help new businesses/  startups?

Half of UK Startups will fail in the first 5 years ( Reference: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/businessclub/11174584/Half-of-UK-start-ups-fail-within-five-years.html). Your major overheads are likely to be rent and salaries. Coworking spaces help you scale up gradually rather than renting an inflexible space and quickly outgrowing it, or renting somewhere which is too large and never filling it because it consumes so much of your cash. Places like Desklodge give you much nicer offices than you can afford in a brand new business, as well as the opportunity to network with like-minded people.

Our Next Meetup

Designing the user research participant experience


Check Out

Natural Interaction: https://www.naturalinteraction.com/

UCD Bristol: https://www.meetup.com/UCD-Bristol/

Christmas is coming to DeskLodge!

We are getting excited about Christmas already here at DeskLodge and cannot believe that we are nearly at the end of an amazing 2017! We cannot wait for some festive fun in December, where we will celebrate a Merry Christmas and a happy new year with all of our DeskLodgers!

We have lots planned including the Secret Santa Club, Christmas jumper week (yes week), the mulled wine and mince pies DeskLodge social and a surprise we are saving to tell you!

We shall be inviting along local creatives and makers to join us on the run up to Christmas to sell handmade Christmas goodies and raise money for Cancer Research. DeskLodge Bristol are also involved in the Bristol Christmas Shoebox appeal where we are asking DeskLodgers to pack up a sweet box of goodies for the Bristol homeless, vulnerable people and refugees in the local area and South Wales.

So pull out your Christmas jumper and get ready to have a great month and to enjoy the fun.

Learn more about DeskLodge with this interview with the founder - Tom Ball

Following an inspiring blog post from Cat Johnson (https://catjohnson.co/) that focused on how storytelling can help to humanize your brand. Here at DeskLodge we are really good at telling you how great coworking spaces are and all the amazing things that happen at DeskLodge locations but you don’t really know much about the people behind the brand. Who could be better to humanise the DeskLodge brand than DeskLodge’s founder and creator Tom Ball!

 Cat Johnson writes content marketing for coworking spaces and communities and a weekly newsletter Coworking Out Loud.  https://catjohnson.co/subscribe/

Here is the influential blog post that taught us to humanise our brand through storytelling.


 What is the DeskLodge story?

The first thought of what has now become DeskLodge, was seeing a village that had won awards yet contained no pub or social space of any kind. This started a thought that daily commuting to send emails is insane. I believe we are social animals and full-time home working can be lonely. Therefore, I wanted to create great places to work near home and to reduce needless commuting, I do think coming together with colleagues is hugely important, just not every day. Ultimately these places would be in your ‘village’ not in city centres – but that’s a few years ahead.

The second was seeing Google’s new office (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2016/02/08/inside-googles-quirky-london-headquarters/ )open and wanting to have access to an inspiring office like that without needing to work for Google. That combined with wanting them to end up in villages created the thought about inclusivity, whilst we might have clusters (like tech and low-carbon in Bristol) I didn’t want cliques. I think having very different people, very different ways of thinking and working in a space is important.

Who are the people involved in the DeskLodge story?

In terms of building the space, our wonderful builders are where most of the ideas (and all of the work!) comes from.  Most of our builders, Skip, Martin, Wayne and Matt, I’ve known since I was two, when we grew up in the same village. Because we all have to travel to Bristol (We all live around Cambridge) we obviously stay over and go to the pub in the evening. This gives us regular time to think and reflect on what we’re doing, what’s working well and what doesn’t feel right. The Lego, tree and tent booths were going to be yellow, blue and red until a particularly good evening in the Blue Lagoon http://thebluelagooncafebar.com/ on Gloucester Road. That then gives the first version. The DeskLodge team are very good at sensing what is working, what people like and what needs to change. What could be better?

Have there been many lessons learned?

Where to begin! We started doing temporary spaces like a building due for demolition that we can use for a year or two. These are cheaper and allowed us to experiment much more but aren’t great long term as we would not be able to invest in a building or in growing a community if it was only temporary. We had a failed location in Hemel Hempstead, it was too far from transport links and was too small/too spread out to create a DeskLodge. We tried a few changes then realised we should either do it properly or not try. I think that focus on doing a few things well is really important in business, as well as tough!

What happened and is happening on the journey of building DeskLodge?

We keep trying to upgrade and improve the space. To make it more productive, friendlier and a nicer place to be. We are also thinking about how to make the space more inclusive to all, particularly to women, minorities and disabled people. Tiny changes like putting power sockets at table height not ankle height. We have much further to go in many ways.

What differentiates DeskLodge from your competition?

We try not to spend too much time thinking about the competition and defining them very broadly. I think I’ve learnt more from Wetherspoons https://www.jdwetherspoon.com/ and Thorpe Park www.thorpepark.com than most offices! I’m convinced that choice is a good thing, both of vibes and of different types of furniture. We watch which places get used the least and try to swap them for better places and create more of the most popular seats. We can’t seem to get enough of the bar height tables!

Why did you start DeskLodge in the first place?

I just wanted to enjoy my time in the office and I noticed that there were places I liked more and got more done and places I liked less and got less done. I normally have a few favourite seats in coffee shops I use often (I can’t always find a good coworking space).

What are your short, medium and longer-term vision and mission?

The biggest focus currently is just to improve what we’ve got. To get our systems/processes even smoother so it’s less dependent on our wonderful team having to run around to keep it all together! Basically, preparing for future growth.

Medium and longer term, I’d like us to open more DeskLodges, but I think that will have its own natural rhythm. If we are creating somewhere good to work and making it easy for people to enjoy it and get more done, I think we’ll naturally slowly grow.

 Who do you help? What have the specific results been to date?

I’m passionate that everyone should be very welcome. Corporates are very different to freelancers but the people aren’t nearly as different as we like to think. Especially the ones who like DeskLodge! And I think that diversity in every sense is wonderful, a freelance graphic designer can learn a lot from a corporate accountant and vice versa. I go back to that first thought of the missing village pub. I think grown-ups invented work so they could play together.


Lift off at DeskLodge Basingstoke!


We held our official launch party on November 9th at our new location in Basingstoke. It was a fantastic evening spanning over our 2 floors, with a beach and New York themes running throughout the space. From a sand covered welcome desk, to locally produced ale from Longdog Brewery, prosecco on tap, giant pretzels and of course, lots of amazing people and businesses from both local areas and from afar attending the event. 

It was a great success and we loved getting to meet and talk with people who were really interested in a new flexible and collaborative way of working from in and around Basingstoke. We hope everyone enjoyed it and we can't wait to see you all again! We offer 2 free hotdesk days if you want to change the way you work and you can register for that here

Check out some of the pics from the night and a video from founder Tom Ball below.

DeskLodge Socials - There ain't no party like a DeskLodge party!

Once a month DeskLodge Bristol holds a social event for all of our coworkers and residents. It’s a chance to network, let your hair down and to meet new and different people from outside your usual work/friendship groups.

We want to treat our lovely DeskLodgers and make everyone feel comfortable, happy and part of a team even though we are all from different companies and areas of business.

There is no hierarchy and with ageless boundaries, the DeskLodge socials are something to look forward to and a topic of conversation in the break out areas on our usual working days. Most importantly you can make new friends, network and have a good time.

Whether it’s just a trip to the pub, a games night, drinks in our indoor garden or a full-on pub crawl party, DeskLodge has it covered.

“I think they are always very fun, it’s good to meet new people and I like that, I just love them! You get free drinks and the themes are a great idea, like the quiz night, the Halloween, and Hawaiian night, it makes it more interesting and loads of new people have started coming lately, so I’ve met loads of cool people. The socials are really funny I’d never want to miss one! I love the massive dressing up box in the Oak Tree and the Games night was hilarious and for charity, which was a great idea. It’s the people around you that make it, I met my best friend at the DeskLodge social! You get to know your coworkers on a friendly basis, you can get on with them better because you have already socialised with them and now have things in common. Without the socials I wouldn’t have spoken to some of them, it’s a bit of networking, It’s interesting”. Beth Doherty, Fixed Desker, Media Street. https://www.media-street.co.uk/

“Desklodge socials are the perfect opportunity to meet amazing people. The socials are well organised by Jamie, Sam, Thanh & Emma. It’s a pleasure having them around, they know how to organise a successful get together. I think socials are great for co-working spaces because it is the opportunity we have to get to know the people that work around us every day”.  Claudia Loch. Hotdesker. Claudia Loch, Hotdesker, www.claudialoch.com

 “Oh, love them, it’s a great way to get to know your fellow DeskLodgers, it’s near your desk, you don’t have to go far! There are so many themes which help different personality’s shine through on different occasions. In many ways, it’s our like the other coworkers are our default team, it’s like a team bonding exercise, with no team away days and bonding exercises. The people I sit with on my fixed desk bank are more my team then people from my actual company. The socials make people more laid back and you find yourself networking your business without realising it as it’s on a more personal level. You find out about people’s interests and family life and create a bond that is deeper than just work”. Sarah Jane Freni,  Fixed Desker https://uk.linkedin.com/in/sarah-jane-freni-27915a13

See you at the next one!

Some reasons why coworking just works........

So, you have this new project to do. You really need to buckle down, concentrate and get some work done. The question is, where is the best place to work?

You're at home. You've made a nice little space just for you, but there are some dishes in the sink. Ok, get them done and then work. Well, give the dog a nice walk... then that's it. Work. Okay, NetFlix... just one episode...well, two episodes, just so you can see what's happening... you have just watched the entire season.

You're at the coffee shop. Decent WiFi, not too uncomfortable and good coffee. Expensive coffee but good. One cup should give you 45 minutes working time, maybe an hour. Then you order something else and you're good for the rest of the morning. Except for those toddlers running around. And those 3 people talking... yeah we get it, the football. And that music is definitely getting louder, plus that door opening is just causing a draft.

You're at the coworking hub. Nice choice of standing and sitting desks, that's good for the back. Decent coffee and a little selection of teas. Forgot the charger though! That's ok, they have a spare you can borrow. There are a few like-minded people sitting over there, You reckon you can work even harder than them! Midday already? 5pm already? So much done... 

It really can be that simple. For some people, it is WiFi, for some good coffee and for others it is networking. Whatever ticks the box for you is how you need to work, and finding a flexible working space can tick every box there is.

Thanks to our friends at NearDesk for sharing the post.

DeskLodge Bristol - Member Chats

Emma took some time last week to have a chat and catch up with some of our awesome members in DeskLodge Bristol.

Some new faces, some old and from different backgrounds and work industries. We love our relationships with our community, it's what makes us tick.

Check out the video and if your a member and want to get involved come and speak to the team :)

Thanks all for being interviewed!

Builders are back in Bristol town!

Have a word!

We are all about positive vibes at DeskLodge and we also really love sayings and quotes that encourage productivity. This week our builders have been taking a break from our lovely new Basingstoke office and have come back to Bristol to take down a wall here, add some new standing and normal desks with complete power/connectivity set up and put up our cool vinyl positive statements which will hopefully put a smile on a DeskLodgers face and inspire them to stay productive!

There are other interesting little quotes and words that can also be found around the office, look out for them on your next visit.