Bigger desks, nicer layout

First off, we'd like to thank everybody who came in to test out the office over the last couple of weeks. Especially those who brought cakes and flapjacks!

We had Richard in working on his NodeJS code, Robin working on PHP sites, Fran copy-writing, Tom prepping some international conference stuff, and the Surevine guys doing UX on their web projects. Adam was hard at work for various clients including designing logos for a business that makes bespoke tails for children, and I was scrambling to hit a deadline for a BBC iPad app project.

We had time over the Easter break to think through the experience of having alpha testers in the office, and how it felt for everybody.

Largely everything went well but we decided that it didn't feel good enough having all the desks facing outwards towards the walls, and the desks felt too small. It was a layout we hit upon originally to try to maximise space between people while having six desks in the room, but still keeping the walkway very clear.

As a result we have now changed the layout to increase the desk sizes, and there is only one "reserve" desk that faces a wall (which will also be upgraded to a large size soon). The layout now has four large desks in the middle of the room facing inwards, which is more sociable and gives a better feeling of space. We hope you like the change!

We are also looking at getting more seating for the lounge room, as having shared lunches is a really positive benefit of co-working that was fun during the testing, and we'd like to make that possible for more people at once. We may also get some stools for the "bar" area in the kitchen.

Those who visited us will recall the large medieval-looking doors complete with cross-bracing beam to keep the hordes from breaching the castle walls of the main office room. We sort of miss them, but they are now gone and replaced with floor-to-ceiling bi-folding glass doors. This is a wonderful improvement and makes the room very light even on a cloudy day. We look forward to folding back the doors on warmer days, and no more slug trails on the carpets.

As for progress on our fibre broadband install… the ineptitude of our dysfunctional communications infrastructure apparently know no bounds. A month on from ordering fibre, the second install attempt has failed due to apparent faults on the lines to the cabinet - again. Fortuitously, I bumped into the BT engineer who originally installed the phone line at the weekend and he claimed he could make it work given the chance by BT. Apparently the Kelly Communications engineers (as opposed to BT OpenReach engineers) they send simply don't know how to wire up our particular cabinet. We continue to escalate this with our ISP.

If you're interested in taking a part-time or monthly desk at Cluster please make a booking whether you'd like to just pop in to look around or book a free trial desk day.