Coworking in Dublin

A review of eight coworking spaces in Dublin

By John Mathews
In: Startups
Sep 15 2017

I arrived in Dublin on Wednesday and I start work on Monday. Thursday and Friday were spent running around Dublin visiting as many coworking spaces as possible.

I’m looking to rent a hotdesk, which means I don’t store anything at the office, and I don’t have a dedicated desk or storage space.

Below are my impressions of eight businesses offering either hot desks or dedicated desks, ranked in order of preference. It’s a subjective ranking based on my personal requirements. The going rate in Dublin seems to be €200 — €300 per month for a hot desk. Hours range from 9am - 7pm Monday - Friday, to 24/7.

First place: Dogpatch Labs

Dogpatch offer more than just a coworking space by cultivating a community of tech startups, and run regular networking and mentoring events. They occupy 3 floors of offices in a redeveloped building with a range of interiors styles. The middle level is fairly standard but pleasant open plan offices, the top floor is a flexible working space with informal meeting and event areas that is also used for flexible working. The lower level is a series of vaults that each contain meeting rooms of various sizes. There’s a lot going on and there’s a productive buzz in the air.

The range of well designed interior spaces is a big plus for me and I’m looking forward to being able to switch up my working environment through the day. There’s a couple of kitchen areas too, and a table football and table-tennis table on the top level. Access is 6am - midnight, and a hot desk is €200 per month whilst a dedicated desk is €400.

Dogpatch occupy less than a quarter of a historic building by the river in central Dublin, the remainder of the space is used as a shopping mall (useful) and a museum. In my opinion Dogpatch is by far the best value for a hot desk, and if you’re working in tech it’ll probably be your goto solution in Dublin.

Second place: Studio9

These guys are great. The space is a lot smaller that Dogpatch, comprising only about 12 desks, and is in a basement. Don’t let that put you off though - its open plan with large windows at either end. The space is well designed and uses a lot of light colours and textures, including wood on the walls and floors. There are also plenty of pot plants. These combine to give a bright and airy atmosphere that feels very natural and bright.

There are alcoves down one side of the main room which serve as meeting rooms, and a garden and basic kitchen at the back. The owners want the space to foster a community, and I expect that this is achieved. There are no dedicated offices and no teams using multiple desks, so everyone is an independent worker.

The desks are large, and each has its own little wall to provide some privacy. €200 per month ongoing, or €250 for just one month. They offer a free day as a trial.

Third place: OfficeSuites

The building looks well run and appears clean and fresh with adequate resources. The building is an old Georgian tenement with high ceilings, cornicing and lots of natural light. The furnishings and decor lean towards corporate rather than something more interesting, but this works well to add a professional feel to the homely architecture. Access is 24/7.

There’s only two rooms for hotdesking, and most of the building is given to private offices. There’s a garden with bike storage, meeting rooms and a quiet room for calls. Lockers are extra. They also offer a free day as a trial.

€249 p/m for desk access 9am-7pm Monday - Friday

Fourth place: Element78

Friendly and well resourced, but very corporate. The architecture is corporate glass and steel. They’re situated on the ground floor in a posh business district with large financials for neighbours. It’s too corporate for me, but if you wanted an impressive place to meet clients and a nice address, this could be it. There were about 15 hot-desks for rent, plus plenty of dedicated desks. Clients seemed to include mostly young tech companies and tech freelancers.

I’m hoping to find somewhere with more of a community, more inspiring architecture, and more character. I was offered a free day as a trial to see if I like it.

€200 for the first month then €350 p/m

Fifth place: Glandore

Glandore offer quite a luxurious package with a corporate feel. They have a few buildings in Dublin and only the flagship has hotdesking space. There’s a super looking restaurant and a large club room to relax in, but these are features that I don’t need, and the rates aren’t competitive if all you need is a desk and somewhere to take calls. It’s set up for teams and for impressing clients, and independent tech workers are probably better off else where.

€295 p/m

Sixth place: Regus

Regus offer a polished on boarding experience and they’re friendly staff were quick to respond and helpful, but the office space was really bland, grey and generic. The rooms I was shown didn’t have external windows and it reminded me of the rooms banks often put auditors in. If grey walls and tube lights are your thing then this is for you. 24/7 access, and meeting rooms equipped with A/V.

€299.70 p/m.

Seventh place: CoCreate

The entrance is shared with a general store and the rooms are above an unremarkable row of shops. I thought the building was a bit shabby and needed a new layer of paint. I recognised the desks as some of the cheapest available from IKEA. The rooms were small and needed cleaning, and there was weird art on the wall.

The thought of paying 200 euro a month to sit at a small wobbly desk put me off. The place was also almost deserted. Maybe their other branch is better, but this is not for me.

€220 p/m.

Last place: tCube

Last and probably least, tCube seems to be putting in zero effort. When I visited I saw two rooms that needed a fresh coat of paint, disorganised furniture and abandoned bits of computers lying around. The kitchen isn’t high spec and the meeting room isn’t spacious. I was also treated to a speech about how great the wifi was - a prerequisite that was taken for granted everywhere else. At €300 p/m for a dedicated desk its easy to find better value elsewhere. Avoid.

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