Belfast – Why we chose this emerging city for Hubflow (2021)
People often ask us; “Why Belfast?”
To some, long gone are the days of Belfast having connotations of hardship and troubles. Recently Belfast has become globally recognised as a hub of technology and innovation.
However, it seems many start-ups are struggling to compete with larger businesses.
We wanted to change this!
Our plan? To open 2 new state-of-the-art coworking spaces that foster limitless creativity and collaboration. We created the offering, now it seems start-ups are coming from every angle. Working from home is now grinding on people. Getting out of the home office to a collaborative space is a growing trend.
What is fuelling Belfast’s transformation?
Like Dublin, (which houses tech-giants like Facebook and Google) Belfast is emerging as a powerhouse of technology. Dublin’s corporate tax levels and excellent geographic location in Europe offer an opportunity that is too good to turn down. However, with Belfast, it seems the workforce and success of tech companies are what’s fuelling this transformation.
According to Silicon Republic, Belfast ranks strongly against other UK cities when it comes to technology.
This comes in light of MIT choosing Belfast as the location for MIT Technology Review’s European technology conference for the next 3 years. ‘EmTech Europe 2021 – Forging a Brighter Future’ will delve into the following topics:
- A Sustainable Future
- An Intelligent Future
- A Healthy Future
- An Equitable Future
Belfast’s Lord Mayor Alderman Frank McCoubrey said this regarding Belfast’s recovery post-lockdown:
“The resiliency, adaptability, and innovation at the heart of the sector here along with the talent on offer is continually noted by those global businesses who have already invested here.”
What does the future look like for Belfast?
With lockdown constantly reminding us that we may never get back to normal life, it’s a turbulent time. How will standard working practices evolve with companies reaping the benefits of remote working? How will attitudes to hygiene and safety affect the way we live our lives?
These are tough questions.
Thus, it would not be surprising at all if we see a significant fallout from the pandemic. We still are not entirely certain how economies will recover, especially with Brexit still on the back of our minds. There are 2 main opinions on what will happen:
- The Pessimist View – Furloughs, loans and grants and emergency cash thrown like snow on a mountain-top are delaying the inevitable.
- The Optimist View – We have been held back and compressed as a society for over a year. Once it is over, we are going to party and spend them lockdown savings!
We’re just going to have to sit tight and observe this one.
Coworking Spaces and the future demise of traditional working
If there’s one thing that we learned from this lockdown, employee flexibility is here to stay. Companies have found a new phenomenon in remote working. On paper it works! Conversely, many also believe there is a fine line between home life and work life, and that line should be drawn post-lockdown.
Additionally, companies everywhere are realising the cost-saving benefits of remote working. It begs the question “How much office space do business’ really need?”. Cost-Saving will be important post-lockdown. This is because business’ impacted by COVID-19 will need to save money to recover.
The Hybrid Approach and coworking space’s role
This does not mean traditional offices will disappear. It is likely that a ‘Hybrid Approach’ surfaces and the actual role of the office changes. Employees may work a few days from home for individual projects, and the rest of the week in the office for team projects.
However, what happens when employees are given the opportunity to escape their own four walls? Will they conveniently accept this new way of working as a permanent solution? What happens when they lose out of socialising and that fine line between work and home-life?
We responded to this potential trend with our ‘Lite Desk’ subscription. This grants access to our coworking space 2 days per week, which maximises your flexibility and choice.
This is where coworking spaces are set to boom. Coworking spaces offer a solution there are companies that are flocking in even with the lockdown at its fullest extent. This is due to the flexibility of payments and networking solutions.
It is a no-brainer surely?
COVID-19 has completely sent our society off the rails of normality. Long gone are the days of stability, and that age-old assumption that everything is in our control and “everything will be ok”. If you asked a few years ago would a virus come and shut the entire world into lockdown for over a year, we would have looked for a tin-foil hat!
Nonetheless, Belfast has shown great potential as a tech-giant of the future. It is with this that we have decided to bring our offering to the people here, who are making a huge difference to the world of technology!