We speak to Manager Colette O’Sullivan about the role of The Glasshouses in our town
Dún Laoghaire is home to a variety of amenities, including the Harbour, the East Pier, the Forty Foot, and not to mention the plentiful businesses that operate within the town to create the healthy ecosystem that currently exists. With Dún Laoghaire conveniently located on public transport links such as the DART and Dublin Bus, this is what makes it great for locating a business to the area – something which The Glasshouses and its clients are already aware of and enjoying.
We spoke to Colette to hear how Glasshouses has grown and why Dún Laoghaire matters to them.
Founded in 2019, The Glasshouses provides co-working space right in the heart of the town. It offers fully serviced office space and also meeting rooms that can be booked at affordable prices. Colette O’Sullivan, manager of The Glasshouses, explains how there are two Glasshouses in the town; GH1 which is located in Harbour Court in George’s Place and GH2, located at 92 George’s Street Lower, placing it in the heart of the town.
A revolutionary way of creating high-quality co-working spaces
GH2 has an interesting story of its own…
“The owner saw the opportunity of taking two vacant buildings in Dun Laoghaire town, one in George’s Place, which is now Glasshouses 1 and the second on George’s Street, which is Glasshouses 2. These buildings had been lying vacant for years, and he just seized the opportunity. It is actually the only high-quality co-working space that is located on a main street in Ireland, to the best of our knowledge,” Colette explained.
Clients of The Glasshouses have the option of hot-desking, but also to have their own office space for their business and employees, with amenities such as super fast broadband, meeting rooms, printing services, IT support, regular cleaning, kitchens, bike storage and shower facilities all offered.
With acquiring office space, an expensive exercise, The Glasshouses makes it affordable for start-ups or already established businesses to have a ‘bricks and mortar’ presence and HQ.
Why Dún Laoghaire is a great option for co-working
Being so close to the sea, transport links and other amenities and facilities, Dún Laoghaire offers a real added benefit to not only The Glasshouses but the businesses that operate from the buildings.
O’Sullivan says some employees from businesses that operate from The Glasshouses would have previously made long commutes to the city centre or big business campuses, but thanks to their business model and its location people no longer have to make those long journeys and can instead use that saved time for personal or professional activities.
“Their time is more valuable, so they don’t want to commute those distances. Even if they do have meetings in Dublin City they can jump on the DART and it’s only 20 minutes. “People do like bringing their clients out to Dún Laoghaire, for the surroundings and amenities available,” Colette says.
She adds: “The benefits that people have found from here, is what they say every day, ‘I’m going for my swim at lunch time, I’ll be back later’.”
The importance of community and its role in the town
Community is very much at the forefront of The Glasshouses, as Colette O’Sullivan says building a community between all their clients is very important to them. She says events are planned for all enterprises with the hope of bringing all of their members together to create a community, but also for networking purposes which could facilitate the growth of professional relationships and collaborations between companies within The Glasshouses, which in turn keeps business local.
O’Sullivan says their community-based events that are organised between members also supports the local economy and businesses in Dún Laoghaire.
“For obvious reasons we haven’t been able to run any such events over the past 18 months so we are really looking forward to getting back to it,” Colette explains.
“Recently we hosted the launch of an Art Exhibition by our Artist in Residence Adrienne M Finnerty whose stunning art will be on display through out the summer, by appointment.”
O’Sullivan adds: “We have a member discount scheme with many of the coffee and retail outlets who are on our doorstep, and we recently linked in with Lost Weekend who are displaying and selling their amazing furniture from our space”.
“We are very much about community from within, but also the Dún Laoghaire town community.”
Serving the future of hybrid working in Dún Laoghaire Town
While the pandemic has affected many businesses across Ireland, thankfully The Glasshouses has showed resilience and its business occupancy has remained healthy. Its business model appears to be the way forward, as more companies look to a hybrid working model, where employees work remotely for a portion of the working week and occupy the office for the remainder of the week.
“Companies who have their businesses here in The Glasshouses who have worked from home, they really welcome that they have this space to come to, so they have kept their offices.
“It’s just about giving them a break, they have the opportunity to leave home and come into this space, which is a familiar environment with a really good atmosphere, which is also a fresh space, a clean space. They can work away and then the next day they can work at home. It’s just giving them a break from their houses.”
Colette O’Sullivan says The Glasshouses’ plan for the future is to build on what they have already achieved in Dún Laoghaire so far.