Last week I arrived in Dublin and had two days to find a coworking space. I ran around Dublin visiting as many as possible.
I'm looking to rent a hotdesk, which means I don't have any storage space at the office and I don't have a particular desk.
Below are my impressions of eight businesses offering either hot desks or dedicated desks, ranked in order of preference. It's subjective. The going rate in Dublin seems to be €200 — €300 per month for a hot desk. Hours range from 9am - 7pm Monday - Friday, to 24/7.
Dogpatch offer a coworking space and access to a community of tech startups. They run regular networking and mentoring events and occupy 3 floors of a warehouse next to an old dock. The offices have a range of interiors styles. The middle level is fairly standard but pleasant open plan offices, the top floor is a flexible working space with event areas. The lower level is a series of vaults that each contain meeting rooms of various sizes. There's a lot going on and there's a good buzz in the air.
The range of interior spaces is a big plus for me and I'm looking forward to being able to switch up my working environment through the day. There's a couple of kitchen areas, and a table football and table-tennis table on the top level. Access is 6am - midnight, and a hot desk is €200 per month. A dedicated desk is €400.
Dogpatch occupy less than a quarter of the warehouse building, the remainder of the space is used as a shopping mall and a museum. In my opinion Dogpatch is by far the best value and if you're working in tech it'll probably be your go-to solution.
These guys are great. The space is a lot smaller that Dogpatch, comprising only ~12 desks. It's a basement, but don't let that put you off — its open plan and has large windows at either end. The space is well designed and uses a lot of light colours and textures, including wood on the walls and floors. There are also plenty of pot plants. These combine to give a bright and airy atmosphere that feels very natural and bright.
There are alcoves down one side of the main room which serve as meeting rooms, and a garden and basic kitchen at the back. The owners want the space to foster a community, and I expect that this is achieved. There are no dedicated offices and no teams using multiple desks, everyone is an independent worker.
The desks are large, and each has its own little wall to provide some privacy. €200 per month ongoing, or €250 for just one month. They offer a trial day for free.
The building looks well run and appears clean and fresh with adequate resources. The building is an old Georgian tenement with high ceilings, cornicing and lots of natural light. The furnishings and decor lean towards corporate rather than something more interesting, but this works well to add a professional feel to the homely architecture. Access is 24/7.
There's only two rooms for hotdesking, and most of the building is given to private offices. There's a garden with bike storage, meeting rooms and a quiet room for calls. Lockers are extra. They also offer a free day as a trial.
€249 p/m for desk access 9am-7pm Monday - Friday
Friendly and well resourced, but very corporate. The architecture is corporate glass and steel. They're situated on the ground floor in a posh business district with large financials for neighbours. It's too corporate for me, but if you wanted an impressive place to meet clients and a nice address, this could be it. There were about 15 hot-desks for rent, plus plenty of dedicated desks. Clients seemed to include mostly young tech companies and tech freelancers.
I'm hoping to find somewhere with more of a community, more inspiring architecture, and more character. I was offered a free day as a trial.
€200 for the first month then €350 p/m
Glandore offer a relatively luxurious package with a corporate feel. They have a few buildings in Dublin and only the flagship has hotdesking space. There's a super looking restaurant and a large club room to relax in, but these are features that I don't need, and the rates aren't competitive if all you need is a desk and somewhere to take calls. It's set up for teams and for impressing clients, and independent tech workers are probably better off elsewhere.
Regus offer a polished on boarding experience and the friendly staff were quick to respond and generally helpful, but the office space was bland, grey and generic. The rooms I visited didn't have external windows and it reminded me of the rooms banks often put auditors in. If grey walls and tube lights are your thing then this is for you. 24/7 access, and meeting rooms equipped with A/V.
I visited the southern branch and thought the building was a bit shabby and needed a new layer of paint. I recognised the desks as some of the cheapest available from IKEA. The rooms were small and needed cleaning, and there was weird art on the wall.
The thought of paying €200 a month to sit at a small wobbly desk put me off. The place was also almost deserted. Maybe their other branch is better, but this is not for me.
Last and least, tCube seems to be putting in zero effort. When I visited I saw two rooms that needed painting, disorganised furniture and abandoned bits of computers lying around. The kitchen isn't high spec and the meeting room isn't big enough. I was also given a speech about how great the wifi was - a prerequisite that was taken for granted everywhere else. At €300 p/m for a dedicated desk its easy to find better value elsewhere.