“Work better, live better.” That’s the mantra at all+one, a new coworking space in Portsmouth, New Hampshire we’re excited to welcome to the Proximity Network. We spoke to owner Stephanie McLaughlin to learn more about her space, why wellness is such a priority for the community, and how she’s reaching new members.
Why did you decide to open a coworking space?
We opened our doors on May 6th, 2019. I started this concept almost two years prior to the date (beginning of April 2017) after moving from inside sales to outside sales at my “day job.” The first few months were great – no commute, no coordinated outfits (LOTS of yoga pants and messy buns), and I was finally in charge of how my day would be scheduled. The downside was, I became very lonely and isolated working alone. I’d go to coffee shops or have a working lunch at a cafe, but I found myself running to the bathroom every time my cell phone rang, and the internet was always SO slow and unreliable. That’s when I started thinking about joining a coworking space, but ultimately I didn’t find any that fit my vibe – so I decided to open one myself.
Tell us about your space. What amenities do you have? What makes it special?
We have about 6,000 square feet in an old brewery building located in Portsmouth, NH. We have 11 dedicated offices, 16 dedicated desks, 24 community seats (hot seats), one board room, one conference room, a soft-seating lounge, and a 750 square foot studio space. When people first walk in to all+one, we hear things like “welcoming”, “warm”, and “inviting.” Our kitchen area probably gets the most instagram love, having a variety of beverages on tap: still and sparkling water, kombucha, cold brew, and beer. And believe it or not, the kombucha is the most popular out of all of them! Starting in October, we will launch our wellness program, an aspect of all+one that sets us apart from a lot of co-working spaces. We will offer yoga, meditation, reiki, and massage classes throughout the day for members and non-members. We strongly believe that success is not defined by how busy you are, and that when you work better, you live better.
What is your favorite thing about operating a coworking space?
Other than the opportunity to create a unique community of staff and members, it’s waking up every day excited to come in, and then being told by your members how much they love coming in to work now. People spend far too much time unhappy with their jobs and/or commutes; it’s nice to know that we’re creating a space that people look forward to coming in to, regardless of what kind of work they are doing.
What has been the most surprising/unexpected thing about operating a coworking space?
The different types of requests we’ve gotten to use the space. I expected to have work conferences and team meetings, but we’ve hosted a three-day yoga teacher training, photo shoots for marketing and branding companies, essential oil sessions, and have even had an inquiry for a boutique pop-up. It has opened a whole new realm of event ideas for us to host ourselves.
What’s your favorite story about one of your members?
We have two members that work for a start-up company called LISNR, and they purchased motorized scooters that they use to ride around town (and the office sometimes!). They use them so much that people have commented on photos that we’ve posted, recognizing them from their “scoot scoot” adventures. There’s always get a good laugh when the elevator dings open and two guys come scooting in.
What is your biggest piece of advice for someone wanting to open a space?
Hire an IT company before opening and get dedicated fiber for your internet – we tried having both and the regular coax wifi went down at least once a week. We’ve switched all of our members over to our dedicated fiber and haven’t had an issue since. It was the biggest source of stress for the first few months while we tried to find an IT company to hire – something that I didn’t think would be that hard to find once we were open.