Dear Le Bureau,
After three (and a bit) years of co working in our fine shared office, I – the author of this blog – will be leaving to take up a full time role in journalism.
This is not momentous news. Most of you will not even notice I am gone, which is to be expected in a busy co-working space, where long-term members pop in and out and new members come and go. It is the very nature of co-working, and one of the reasons I have enjoyed it for so long.
Le Bureau, however – the memories I have made here – will never leave me. I arrived here as a staff writer on a magazine and subsequently went freelance without so much as changing desks. I admit, I was lured by the be-your-own-boss mentality and the encouragement of those around me that had already made the leap.
Whilst I don’t for one second regret it, lordy, was that learning curve steep. More of a learning jagged cliff face, really. In hindsight I knew just enough to sustain a meagre client base and everything else was learnt on the hoof: marketing strategy, account management, finance and web design all became part of my daily workload.
I have been at my desk at 6am, at midnight and on weekends. I have worked on the floor, in meeting rooms, downstairs and outside. I have snuck into phone rooms, turned out the lights and sobbed. I have eaten porridge for dinner.
For most of you, I’m sure this will all sound unsettlingly familiar. Whether you are starting a start-up, leading an SME or simply working for yourself, the tasks often feels daunting, the problems unsolvable and the hours are mostly long. If you have ever sat at your desk and wondered why you were doing it, if it was all worth it, then you are not alone.
But it is worth it – it has been for me. For every late night at my desk, there has been a late, riotous night at The Vic. Remember mine and Michelle’s birthday? Remember the night the entire, packed pub united for a 2am sing-along as someone played the spoons and we danced on the tables? No? Me neither really but the video evidence for both exists.
Nights out haven’t always resulted in a monstrous hangover; a swift but single glass of wine was often the remedy to another long day and the chance to relax before we came back and did it all again.
In addition, for every frustrated tear shed, I have laughed until I cried. Uniquely, coworking affords its members the chance to make colleagues who become friends, and vice versa. I have been thrilled to work for and with people who are at the top of their industry, which has driven my own output and work ethic. I have been honoured to call them friends.
And for every porridge dinner, I have taken in advice, creativity, knowledge, love, inspiration and joy. At times, the office has felt more like a second home; at others, more like a refuge from whatever is happening back at home. I’m sure that is something with which many of us will identify.
It has also been a pleasure to write this blog for the last couple of years and document the many highs of Le Bureau life. Christmas parties, sports days, in house events and birthdays all spring to mind and it has been wonderful to profile so many Le Bureau co-members and watch their businesses go from strength to strength.
That’s not to forget the more day-to-day minutiae, of course: fire drills, 3pm biscuits, the day that the water supply was shut off (that wasn’t quite as fun, admittedly). These things may have not made it onto the blog but they combine to compose the fabric of office life. You will have your own highs and lows, in jokes and low points, and you (and your team) will be stronger for them.
As the author of this blog, I would like to take a liberty of mentioning a few Le Bureau members individually (I won’t mention the ones who have left, we’ll be here all day, but they know who they are.)
Kinga, the backbone of the office – we will always have France, sharing a bed and eating figs straight from the tree.
Charlie Chaz, aka The Janitor, who was the first person to say hello to me and make me feel welcome.
Jade, my Welsh wonder, who can drink more than the rest of us put together. In fact, I’d like to name-check the whole Cobalt team for the memories – and the hangovers. If you want to buy a house go and see them, I think that’s what they do..?
Pete, the loudest man in the office: he may not be able to put down a phone correctly but he is one of the kindest people I know. Just don’t tell him I said that.
Finally, Michelle: my pod buddy, my employer and now one of my best friends. She is one of the finest graphic designers you will ever meet, as well as one of the best people. Don’t go to anyone but her if you need any sort of design work done for your company.
There will be some leaving drinks on the 12th or 13th February and it is an open invite so do come along if you fancy it.
For now, thank you and goodbye Le Bureau.
If you want me, I’ll be in The Vic.
Rosy xBack to Blog