As part of our roaming office series we recently revisited Workshop17’s The Bank (July 2023) for a day. Each month, the Johannesburg In Your Pocket team works at different hotel-linked working spaces so we get a chance to engage with hospitality partners. Here’s what we found.
Workshop17 caters to small and medium-sized enterprises, corporate teams and entrepreneurs with shifting needs, as well as freelancers and other solo workers in need of a productive work environment beyond the tried and tested home office. The company has locations in Joburg, Cape Town and a Mauritius office.
The Bank is one of Rosebank's landmarks, a black brick tower that is also home to Joburg's first-ever Voco Hotel and one of the neighbourhood's most popular restaurants, Proud Mary. Workshop 17 occupies the first, second and third floors of the building, and has a lovely wraparound roof terrace overlooking the neighbourhood.
The first floor is a lively space with a great café and lounge area, as well as a selection of small offices, plenty of hot-desks, and various meeting rooms that are available to hire by the hour. The second floor is quieter, with most of the space devoted to small office rentals, plus dedicated booths and corner spaces for when you need to make an important private phone call.
The third floor is the most recent addition to this dynamic workspace (May 2023). It's cosier than the other floors and feels like a secret hideout from the rest of the building. It's a hot choice for private team meetings and podcast recordings.
There are three meeting rooms and two seminar rooms for private business functions, a cafeteria, and a spacious communal work area that has a balcony with a view of the surrounding Rosebank precinct. There is also a dining area on the new floor that has a beautiful earthy and warm colour palette that creates a relaxed space to enjoy a meal, yet also feels like you are dining at a restaurant.
Another newly revamped area is the former courtyard. This large-volume, secret space with its ceiling skylight and chic black and white Cameron Platter wall mural is now a fully enclosed multipurpose space for meetings, relaxing (in a lounge area) and dining all in one. It even has a piano for those moments when musical inspiration strikes. Designed as an open-plan studio for up to 10 people, the purposeful spaces all flow into one.
The design team has made sure that Rosebank's reputation as an art neighbourhood shines through, with fantastic contemporary artworks on display sourced from David Krut Projects, whose gallery is a five-minute drive away on Jan Smuts Avenue.
Workshop17 The Bank has a total of 62 small, dedicated offices plus 130 hot-desks where you can set up for the day, as well as eight meeting rooms and seven boardrooms (equipped with screens for making presentations and writable walls for those crucial brainstorming sessions). The third floor houses two seminar rooms and three meeting spaces that come equipped with video conferencing facilities.
While Proud Mary downstairs is one of our favourite Joburg restaurants, for something quick and casual, Workshop17 has its own café set in a bright space and opening onto a roof terrace that serves breakfast, light meals and, of course, strong coffee.
The food was absolutely delicious. We were served a fresh Greek salad, fish, chicken, and beef sliders that were mouthwatering, and crispy chips seasoned to perfection. There was also a vegetarian version of a charcuterie board that we barely managed to touch because the quantity of food was so filling. Apart from the café menu that’s available to order, there are also snacks, pastries and coffee to enjoy.
HOW IT WORKS
The space functions on a membership model. Once you become a W17 member you can access any of their co-working buildings. Membership plans are flexible so you don't need to dedicate yourself to coming in full time. All of the Workshop17 spaces have a generator allowing for an uninterrupted work day. The offices at The Bank are open 07:30 – 18:00, Mon – Fri.