Opening A Coworking Space During A Pandemic: A Quickfire Q&A With Cubo’s Rebecca Brough

Rebecca Brough, owner of coworking space Cubo, talks about how the current situation is impacting plans to open two more spaces in the UK.
  • Rebecca Brough is the owner of Cubo, a regional coworking space in Derby, UK.
  • With plans to open two more locations in the UK, Allwork.Space spoke to Rebecca to find out how the pandemic has impacted those plans.
  • Rebecca also shared how they are navigating the current situation and how members feel about returning to Cubo.

Rebecca Brough owns and runs Cubo and numerous other businesses alongside her husband, Marc. As you’d expect, there’s no such thing as a typical workday; she could be on a building site one day, in the office the next or out and about at various meetings. 

Cubo currently operates a coworking space in Derby, UK, and will be opening centres in Nottingham and Sheffield soon. We caught up with Rebecca to find out how she’s been navigating the lockdown and how it has affected Cubo’s short-term plans. 

Allwork.Space: What inspired you to enter the coworking market?

Rebecca Brough: Our company, Staton Young, already owns a number of business centres in Derby and Burton. We came up with the idea of launching Cubo as we saw a huge gap in the market for a modern coworking space that offers members lots of perks, making it a more enjoyable place to work. 

Cubo in Derby is situated in the city’s Cathedral Quarter and is the operator’s HQ.

We believe that coworking is the future – allowing businesses flexibility is key. 

Our Cubo sites in Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield allow our members to work from whichever one they need to. Our research has shown that the Midlands is lacking in coworking spaces and we’re keen to offer this service to businesses to enable them to be more successful. 

Allwork.Space: How has the UK lockdown impacted Cubo?

It’s been understandably quiet as the Government has made people work from home, but our members are coming back now and we’ve made Cubo a safe place to work. We still had a lot of enquiries coming in throughout the lockdown and a lot of interest in our new sites in Nottingham and Sheffield.

Allwork.Space: How did you keep members engaged during the lockdown?

We kept in touch with our members to keep them updated. We also asked them what measures they’d like to see in place to help them feel more relaxed and safe when they came back to work.

Allwork.Space: What safety measures have you implemented now that the lockdown is easing?

We have hand sanitisers, wipes, tissues and hand soap throughout the building. In areas such as the communal kitchens, lift, meeting rooms and print station we’ve asked for the number of people to be limited.

We’ve also implemented one way systems where possible. The furniture and seating has been rearranged to make sure physical distancing is adhered to at all times and that no one has to work across from each other. We also have an extra room, if we do get more hot desk members, to make sure they all have enough room to work. 

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Designated Desk members have temporarily been given private offices to work from. We’ve increased our cleaning throughout the building and make sure that areas used with high frequency are cleaned more often (door handles, lift buttons, exit switches, desks etc).

Cubo has introduced a number of measures to help prevent the spread of the virus. 

Allwork.Space: Two of your sites are opening soon. Are you optimistic despite the current circumstances?

Yes! The interest we’ve had in Nottingham and Sheffield has been very surprising, especially considering the current circumstances. We’ve had interest from people looking for single hot desk memberships to large 30-person offices (we also offer studios which is where a company can take a whole floor).

Allwork.Space: Do you have a set opening date in mind for the centres?

We have a date set in mind within the next few months (to be revealed soon). It’s partly dependent on the building works – some things have been set back slightly due to the pandemic.

Allwork.Space: Do you have any more spaces in the pipeline and would you consider entering the London market?

I definitely wouldn’t say no! We want to keep growing Cubo and are constantly on the lookout for new spaces.

Allwork.Space: If you could give any budding coworking operator one piece of advice, what would it be?

Remember what you’re trying to achieve – the ultimate workspace, and think about how you can get that and have happy members. The most important thing is creating the perfect workspace: speak to your members and take their comments on board.

Follow @cubowork on Instagram for updates.

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