7 min read

Co-working space vs. regular office – intive in Berlin

Yasmin Diekmann

Business Development Manager

“intive? What do you guys do? Are you a start-up?”, those were the two of the most frequently asked questions in the co-working space we used to share in Berlin. “No, we’re not a startup. We’re a service provider for custom software solutions with around 1600 employees worldwide.” Hip modern workstyle is great but can get truly challenging. Here’s our recent intive’s Berlin experience.

New office location in Berlin

As many young brands, we are growing dynamically. We needed a presence in Berlin and therefore opened up a new office in 2016. Berlin, the city of start-ups, where technology and innovation thrive, the city of hipsters and fancy co-working spaces, was where intive felt right at home.

Within the last year our initial team of four has grown to today's team of ten great personalities. When our office became too small, we began looking for a new place to house our creativity.

Co-working space as a temporary solution

After a few months of searching for a suitable office, we decided that for the time being a co-working space would do. Thus, until we’ve finally moved into our permanent location this November, we have had the pleasure of getting to know the Berlin startup life. 

WeWork in the heart of Berlin

The new WeWork in Berlin is located in the Atrium Tower on the Potsdamer Platz. Some of the things that come to your mind when you think of a cool work environment are: a fancy co-working space for startups, sizzling innovation, unlimited coffee and beer. Throw in many young soul-searching individuals and you’ll get the full picture – a perfect location for a dynamic organization such as intive.

True? Unfortunately, the story is a little bit more complicated. The Atrium is a brand new building and much of the tower is still under construction. Anyone who’s ever experienced construction in the office knows how much of a headache it can be.

Also, we were not fully aware that at WeWork we’d be sitting in even smaller quarters than before. Of course, we could have used the open areas, but firstly, they were not finished yet and secondly, our clients’ information that we handle every day is, surprise surprise, confidential. This option was out of the question. Nevertheless, it’s fair to say that we’ve managed to organize ourselves in the best possible way. Being intivers, overcoming challenges is what we’re good at. 

Moaning brings people together?

We were not alone. The whole community was affected by the setbacks. Limited space wasn’t our only trouble, we were challenged by very few smart elevator controls, defective heaters and air conditioners, and key card issues. But hey, is there anything that connects people better than having a common topic to complain about? Our troubles became conversation starters at the coffee machine and sparked discussions during long elevator waiting times. That’s how we really got to know each other and the whole community.

Experiencing all the difficulties got our team closer than ever. Our patience was put to the test on a daily basis. We had to learn to better understand one another and to be considerate of each other. Today, we truly appreciate the things that others might take for granted in the modern work environment. 

Leveraging the roof terrace 

Each of our office locations has an area for socializing. A retreat where gamers occasionally play Nintendo Switch and all of us take some – more or less – creative form of a break or just browse the daily news. It’s something that belongs to the intive culture and something we missed in Berlin.

WeWork is in the Atrium Tower and what would a tower in the middle of Berlin be without a roof terrace? We shared it with everyone in the co-working space and it quickly became our favorite place. That’s where we enjoyed many lunch breaks, the weekly Monday morning breakfasts organized by the WeWork team, and some amazing summer afterhours. 

Back to an office of our own 

Despite sitting in such small quarters every single day, we did a lot together as a team, we got to know each other better, and even started building our own office culture. We really looked forward to our very own intive space.  

Even though, for the time being, the construction site feeling continues, we’re already appreciating the comfort of having a proper functional office. We’re looking forward to sharing our open intive Berlin culture with new team members in our new space at the Berlin Ostkreuz and, of course, our Bavarian and international colleagues are more than welcome. 

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