When I got invited to a try-out at co-work The Thinking Hut, I was thrilled. I all starts with a name. They call themselves creative co-work, and that sounds just right for me. The idea of toiling in a hut brings out the hippie in me, which is my most playful side and, I risk saying, the best one. I like to create in vibrant places that do not feel like traditional offices. So I was willing to have a steady workplace of my own for the first time in my content creator life and take the opportunity to do a semi sugar & caffeine detox (in which I failed spectacularly, by the way).
I have been doing the freelance thing from cafes since I’ve kicked out Amsterdive. If you follow me on social media, you know how passionate I am for third wave coffee places. If a day passes without a visit to a cafe that means I’m sick. However, I also love creating together with other freelancers, and it is handy to have a dedicated space for that. I dislike working from home, and cafes are not always quiet or spacious, and many of them do not provide power sockets. Plus, I had the feeling I was spending way too much money on fancy coffee and cake. I’ve been increasingly interested in co-work spaces as a laboratorium for exciting projects and collaborative labours — a place where ideas take shape. Plus, I love this idea of a community of freelancers from different fields doing their thing together and stimulating each other along the way.
The initiators of The Thinking Hut asked me for an honest review of their spaces, but I sort of convinced them to let me vlog there as well. They agreed and didn’t try to control any part of the process, not the filming, not the written review. On top of that, they incentivized me to be totally transparent in my opinion, as they’d like to know where they could improve. As a blogger, I can tell you that this total freedom is rare. They had me right from the start.
The first TH location I’ve visited (they have two) was their space in the East (Oost). For starters, it stands practically in the Oosterpark. That single detail! An office at the park? Sign me in. I loved the fact that this place feels so low-key. It has a lot of spacious desks, some art hanging on the walls, and it does have a creative vibe going on. The first day I shared a desk with an illustrator, and it was highly inspiring to, simply, see her work. The area that I liked the most though was the kitchen & meal area. It has a lot of light and color, it is cozy, and it invites interaction between freelancers. Plus, it has all the equipment and appliances you might need to prepare a quick meal. Finally, and you’ll see this on the vlog, this place has a fantastic backyard full of greenery and trees, where you can go for a break, a little bit of movement, and some fresh air. As for improvement points, I think the working spaces could be made cozier with the use of plants, pillows, carpets and warm lighting that created more of a living-room atmosphere, less of an office one. This is, off-course, my personal taste. I guess many folks pick a co-work precisely for their office feel. All in all, I am going back to that location. Can’t resist the inclusion of greenery in my day.
I was very curious to try the second location. I knew it was located in the South of Amsterdam (Zuid), the business and financial epicenter of the city, and that it would be way more office-office, which means Ana out of her comfort zone. The building, a former bicycle factory, is gorgeous. The front part of the co-work is an enormous window that offers the best possible natural lighting. It also gives access to a patio where you can work in the sun when the weather is warm. When I shot the vlog, this wasn’t very clear because we were in the peak of winter, but I promise I’ll go there on a spring day to show you what I mean. The Zuid Thinking Hut is an office for grown-ups. It is a more modern and chic version of the East one, and it made me feel like an entrepreneur in my own right. Plus point for the fact that the communal working space is at the center of it all which can naturally generate interaction between people. Here’s an improvement point: the day I worked at Zuid there was someone talking business on the phone very loudly. The man’s voice in the silence was quite bothering, so my suggestion would be to create a couple of telephone booths and to insist on a silence policy in communal areas. As for the rest, I have enjoyed being “one of those people from Zuid” for one day. For those who like a kick-ass design working space, this is your address.
I want to thank The Thinking Hut for taking the risk of having me over together with a couple of guests shooting god-knows-what at both of their locations. These vlogs are, above all, playful (do.not.take.them.too.seriously), and pretty blunt because – and this is a spoiler – my mum vlogged with me, so brace yourselves. And have fun. Last suggestion for the big girls and guys at The Hut: if you open a specialty coffee place in one of your locations, I will certainly be a TH groupie 😉
The vlog is up on my YouTube Channel. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. Hope you have as much fun with it as I had while filming it. Subscribe to the channel for more of this madness, will ya?
Also, love you, mum! 😀