It was one of those niggly little issues right from the start. How do we incorporate privacy into Comrie Workspace? The main office area has a homely, bright and airy feel that we didn’t want to mess with by building walls, yet our users and potential users have talked about the need for somewhere private for meetings, confidential phone calls or teleconferencing.
We decided to get things up and running first and allow the answer to find its way through – which, I’m delighted to say, it did!! As is so often the case in such situations, it was staring us in the face the whole time.
Linking our hut to the Wild Wood Bros next door is a corridor, half of which is now defunct, as the door into the neighbouring hut has been sealed off. During the renovation work and in the initial weeks of operations it had become something of a general repository for tools, materials and surplus office furniture. One afternoon in October, as I stood staring at this appendix of space, wondering where to start with the tidying operation, it came to me – private meeting room!!
Next to the main door, separate from the main office area and with a front-facing window, the “appendix” certainly had the potential. A single partition wall and door is all it would take to convert it into a room – right?
If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see that the floor of the former corridor slopes downwards towards the blocked-off doorway. The idea of a meeting room on a slant felt more like a sketch from the Two Ronnies than a feasible business proposition. Nevertheless, I stood staring at that space on that October afternoon knowing exactly what I had to do, and uttered the following cry: “Neil!!!”
He stood next to me, quietly eyeballing the space, hands on hips and nodding gently while he sized up the task. There was no sucking in of air through his teeth, which I took as a good sign. And that was pretty much the end of my input.
Neil set to work over ensuing evenings and weekends to measure up, source materials and put it all together: first constructing a new, level floor, then building the partition wall and doorway and finally finishing it all off with skirting and facings. Colin and Ally from Renwick McLean Electrical installed lighting and plenty of power outlets. I did my usual – swooping in when all the hard work was done to slap a few coats of paint on the woodwork.
I then went on a shopping trip to Remake to source a suitably sized meeting table and floor lamp. The carpet came courtesy of Jade in Crieff. And there you have it – a corridor to nowhere transformed into a private meeting room with ample space for three – or even four if you’re keen. I’m delighted to report that the new meeting room, generously referred to at the Workspace as “the conference suite” has been up and running since late November and has already been put to good use. Our first taker was a business consultant seeking a facility for conducting lengthy teleconferences with international clients. Suffering from patchy connectivity in his home office, our meeting room and high-speed internet offered the perfect solution. He’s been back twice since and is looking forward to further visits in future. Our regulars are entitled to use the meeting room free-of-charge as and when required (subject to availability).
For people who work from home, the new room is also an ideal place to meet with clients, suppliers or colleagues. Users have full access to our refreshment facilities (including Mary’s home baking) as well as inkjet printing.