The gentle art of co-working and collaboration

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Sonny and Cher, Donny and Marie, Hale and Pace, Keith Harris and Orville. Throughout the years, collaboration and co-working has driven business success and yielded some of the world’s most memorable partnerships. 

Nowadays, the proliferation of mobile communications and digital file-sharing platforms are revolutionising the workplace further. Where once start-up companies would base themselves in a static office, or entrepreneurs would work from home, a new culture of co-working and collaboration has emerged. Shared spaces are cropping up across London, especially in the trendy quarters of Shoreditch, Wapping and Hoxton. 

One such venue is ‘The Dock’. Opened in 2015, The Dock is a dynamic, progressive co-working space located at Tobacco Dock, in the heart of Wapping. A community for the generation of ideas, The Dock currently has over 100 entrepreneurs, start-ups and companies working within 300 desk spaces. 

For Jonathan Read, The Dock’s founder, co-working has readily noticeable advantages. “Spaces like The Dock, with their community-feel, naturally foster collaboration. With a large number of distinct companies, offering a range of different skills, there is plenty of opportunity for crossover, generating mutual business benefit. For example you might have a situation where one company’s coding team is not busy, but another company working in The Dock desperately needs one; we facilitate the sharing of resources, so there is no need to look externally.”

It’s not just in the approach, but also in the physical design of such spaces that the gentle art of collaboration is fostered, as Read highlights: “Ergonomically we have also designed The Dock to actively aid collaboration – the long bench and open layout allows a degree of freedom for companies to interact, swap expertise and share ideas across platforms and sectors.”

It’s something that Read actively supports and advocates, concluding: “It would seem that through collaboration, companies can maximise on existing business and also explore new, non-traditional markets, diversifying their business. We’ve been able to observe at first-hand how co-working and collaboration improves productivity  by cutting out inefficiency in the admin process.” 

As the working world becomes more remote and companies look to augment their offerings to meet increasing client demands, I can only see the culture of professional collaboration increasing. We are witnessing an exciting landscape of information sharing, co-operation and mutual appreciation. There’s a reason why ‘Morecombe’ and ‘The One Ronnie’ never worked. Sometimes it takes a collaborator to make the magic happen.

Henry Rubinstein is planning manager at Triggerfish Communications. Go to