With a love of people and community combined with a deep value for entrepreneurship, I opened Werklab in 2016 to create a special space for others to do good work. Werklab is grounded in the belief that when you slow down and do the work from within, the right work you’re meant to be doing will be put out. It is a place for holistic integrative approach, fostering mindfulness and vulnerability that are of true value for each individual’s passion, career and business.
Co-working is innately an unconventional and vulnerable place to be. Werklab is essentially a second home for self-starters, artists and entrepreneurs who have typically left security in pursuit of their passion. We are here to support that path, knowing that growth, innovation and creativity requires vulnerability. Our community knows this as well. We are therefore the type of people who love a fireside chat and will be the first to offer advice or a gentle reminder that maybe that mid-day yoga class can do you some good.
As we make mindfulness and wellness more accessible, and as the community tries more new classes and workshops, the better we all become in doing work, and doing life, from both an intrinsic and holistic approach. Amidst the diverse industries and companies that call Werklab their workplace, there is one common string that ties us all together—the practice of presence.
The Werklab environment fosters a flow that travels naturally throughout the entire space. South-facing windows line the wall creating a bright and airy environment even on the dreariest of Vancouver mornings, while emerald green velvet couches and caramel leathers create perches that you can sink into. There is always wiggle room for you to spread out with marble tables and double-wide desks ready to support you and your passions. Work across from your peers or connect and set up in the back for more one-on-one time for yourself.
There is purpose and intention in everything we do, and it radiates throughout the space. We want each member to be able to draw inspiration and energy from their surroundings; therefore, this desired mindset impacts how our space is navigated. There are pockets for work to be done in tandem, with spaces for self-care as well; whether that is a break in our meditation corner (our favorite nap spot), a practice of ritual at our aromatherapy vanity or a full-body stretch out in our loft style studio (with rotating yoga, pilates, and movement classes daily).
We LEAD with curiosity, with compassion and with creation.
Workspaces carry a lot more than just our work lives. The work we put into ourselves determines the quality of work that we put out to the world; therefore, our thought processes must shift to make pauses for ourselves. As much as it is easy to say “leave it at the door,” we all know that our emotions and our internal thoughts emerge in how we show up each day at work. Werklab has seen firsthand the change in our days when we not only commit to our passions and careers but also to ourselves. To work in a nurturing environment is to work towards a better self. When you take the time to join in on our daily dance breaks or meditation sessions, energy is moved, shifted out and revitalized.
Mindfulness is embedded in the DNA of Werklab. It presents itself instinctively in our values, how we run the business internally and then, in turn, how we deliver our best selves and best services to our members. For everyone to have the fullest Werklab experience possible, we adjust our conditioned thoughts of what a workday looks like and what a career looks like to something fresher, more malleable and adaptable. As our values as a society change, we must challenge our outlook on the meaning of work. Our space offers insight into what the future work world can look like.
The typical day at Werklab is structured like a charcuterie board for the individual. Often described as a summer camp for adults; we curate workshops, discussions (on and offline), movement classes and socials to inspire, connect and ground. The start of the day is rooted in making your first coffee and perhaps pulling an oracle card from one of the decks throughout the space. Revitalize with Vitruvi essential oils before stepping into a conference call, or take a moment to realign after a meeting in the meditation nook.
Also offered are lunch and learns hosted by our peers and partners, which has included interests such as digital marketing for business, holistic nutrition, tarot reading and astrology, aromatherapy, setting boundaries in the workplace and beginner bookkeeping. This has garnered a supportive community to learn from and lean on in times of need. As much as our passions drive us to be greater, it is the collective that pushes us to be our best.
Although the space at Werklab is limited physically and geographically, we are overcoming these barriers by creating and pursuing a mindset that transcends the workplace. Vulnerability is a value that we must practice in all of our relationships—within ourself, others and work. It disrupts our conversations and makes our lives more intentional, accountable and honest. And, at the root of our ethos, it is mindfulness that keeps us in check for all of these things.
We hold space for our community to explore vulnerability, to dive into curiosity and come out with the ability to achieve their best work. There is room to move, to expand, to exhale, to play and to connect. The Werklab space exists to complete what an individual needs in each present moment.
“One day Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.
‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’
was his response.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”
— Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland