From in-house massages to meditation gardens, Huckletree explains how it’s putting wellness first for members across its two new and existing sites.
London coworking provider Huckletree has had a busy few months. It just announced plans for two new spaces – one based in West London that targets the “digital lifestyle” startup culture and the other in Dublin, which will bring a “holistic wellbeing programme” to the space.
The Dublin-based D2 space is Huckletree’s first international location and is a major step as the operator aims to build a network that extends beyond the London startup scene, connecting entrepreneurs in both cities for collaboration and advice. Huckletree West will open in the regenerated White City area of London, where has a rich cultural history as the home of the BBC and its surrounding neighbourhoods have an enduring art, fashion and music legacy.
Gabriela Hersham, CEO at Huckletree, said: “There’s a strong community of creative and tech businesses in the area such as Shazam, Stella McCartney and Yoox-Net-A-Porter – our neighbours at White City Place. Our new space is based in the former BBC building, The MediaWorks, which felt like a natural place to create a digital lifestyle hub. We’re curating our members to bring together creative and lifestyle startups with those who have the tech know-how to help take their ideas to the next level – and vice versa.”
Over in Dublin, the D2 space will offer members an extensive wellbeing programme. Hersham explained why a focus on health is important across all the Huckletree locales:
“When your work is your passion, it’s easy to spend all your time on it but that can become mentally and physically draining. Even 15 minutes of time out replenishes your energy and helps you fully engage with the task at hand, rather than working 100 miles an hour with no focus.”
“Even 15 minutes of time out replenishes your energy and helps you fully engage with the task at hand, rather than working 100 miles an hour with no focus.”
“We’re really excited to offer Huckletree’s first in-house massage studio, which our members can book regular sessions or drop in. We’ll be offering guided meditation on a weekly basis and we have an amazing roof terrace with views across the city which will be the perfect setting for outdoor yoga classes (Irish weather permitting),” she added.
Alongside Huckletree D2’s massage studio and in-house programme, the company will also focus on wellbeing at Huckletree West. Hersham said: “With the luxury of more space at the White City Place site, we’re building an indoor Meditation Garden, a relaxing pod constructed of tactile natural materials. It’s a dedicated no-tech zone for our members to escape from their laptops, find creative inspiration and take much needed down time.”
Huckletree’s current members already take advantage an in-house squash and basketball court at the Alphabeta space, and the famous bike ramp which you can ride straight into the building. “We also partnered with Tokyo Bike on exclusive Huckletree bikes for our members to hop on to easily get to meetings around East London,” Hersham added.
Health matters for founders
Hersham said: “Startup life is completely different to the traditional 9 to 5 existence. We put our all into our business, both in and outside of the workplace – and that’s how we like it! We’re constantly thinking ahead to the next challenge, whether that’s in the backseat of an Uber, in an entirely unrelated meeting or even in bed.”
“On the flip side, that means we need to proactively make time for ourselves, put our phones on silent and be completely present in that moment. If you’re not balancing that entrepreneurial drive with regular downtime, burnout is inevitable. Self care is so important and the easier we make it for our members to incorporate it into their daily life, the more they can achieve and successfully grow their startups at Huckletree,” Hersham added.
“If you’re not balancing that entrepreneurial drive with regular downtime, burnout is inevitable.”
It can sometimes be challenging to get members to focus on wellbeing instead of bottom lines, as Hersham explains: “They often think they’re too busy to take the time out! Sometimes it’s a learning process for our members to actually say to themselves, ‘This can wait’ and take the time to do something that ultimately makes them a better CEO, developer or marketing manager. It’s a case of encouraging them to try it once and let the effects speak for themselves. We often find they end up bringing their teams along with them next time.”
“We believe you can only do your best work if your personal and business life are balanced. Our members spend so much time in our spaces that it’s imperative for us to provide opportunities for them to find that balance, be that yoga, meditation or quiet spaces for contemplation,” Hersham added.
Huckletree is also planning to introduce location-specific teams to take on group exercise activities, such as boxing to encourage wellness across its spaces. Hersham said: “Our Shoreditch members, Culture Amp, recently hosted their own yoga session on the Alphabeta rooftop – it was amazing! It really struck a chord with our community and we’d love to team up with them to roll that out on a regular basis. We’ll continue making the most of each location and finding ways to utilise their unique features for members’ activities. Watch this space.”