Door Office – a co-working space nested in a cloister
Name of the initiative: Door Office
Organisation form: For Profit Organization
Starting year: 2018
Keywords: shared office, co-working, community building, church
The first co-worker community is in the making in Szeged, a large regional city in South-East Hungary, where the first co-working office has been opened in September 2018. The founders were driven by two equally important aims: providing an alternative for ‘classical’ co-workers and emerging enterprises who have no office, while facilitating the co-worker community towards self-sustainability.
One special feature in this co-worker space is that the office itself is hosted by the Franciscan Order of the Catholic Church (in a 500 year-old church building that is the second oldest building complex of its kind in Hungary), however the office does not belong to the church, as it is a laic and independent for-profit business. The cooperation between an emerging sharing economy initiative and the church stems from the lack of proper spaces to rent for a shared office in Szeged and as one of the co-founders is an active member of the Franciscan community in Szeged, while the church is struggling with populating some of its empty properties it seemed to be a perfect match. Moreover, community building is in the focus both of the shared office and the church, adding one more obvious link to this cooperation. However, the shared office is open for all, regardless religious or other beliefs, all the co-workers must respect the church rules as the office space is partly connected to it (the gallery of the church can be approach only through the shared office). The activities and daily life of the shared office and the church is also separated but has a potential in this model to utilize the power of the community and the assets that both parties can offer. Also, the founders of the co-working office are open to develop this pilot to a larger network of co-working spaces hosted by currently empty church properties to replicate this win-win model in more settings.
Author: Aniko Bernat, TARKI Social Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary
Date added: 29 Aug 2019