Manitoba

Free outdoor work space opens in Winnipeg, encouraging people to return downtown

A new outdoor space in downtown Winnipeg offers a place for anyone to work remotely, study, catch up on emails or meet coworkers — and it can all be done with your furry best pal at your feet.

'The space is brightly decorated with creativity in mind,' Downtown Winnipeg BIZ says

The RE: Workspace site features solo and collaborative spaces for up to 15 people, free power outlets, free Wi-Fi and a variety of other items that can be lent out. (Downtown Winnipeg BIZ)

A new outdoor space in downtown Winnipeg offers up a place for anyone to work remotely, study, catch up on emails or meet coworkers — and it can all be done with your furry best pal at your feet.

The free and dog-friendly spot, called RE: Workspace, just opened next to Capital Grill & Bar at 275 Broadway.

Created by the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, it's open weekdays from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and will be available until it gets too cold.

"The Downtown Winnipeg BIZ initiative encourages workers and students to spend time downtown again and support downtown businesses while they do," a release from the BIZ states.

"The space is brightly decorated with creativity in mind" and is complete with Wi-Fi and access to power, the BIZ said.

It's also close to restaurants, coffee shops and other amenities and washrooms are provided by Capital Grill & Bar.

Spokesperson Pamela Hardman says the BIZ wants to give people another option for remote work and encourage them to come back downtown. (Kevin Nepitabo/CBC)

BIZ spokesperson Pamela Hardman said the group came up with the idea for Winnipeg after seeing it in other cities.

"As we know, the pandemic has changed the way people work, so we wanted to give another option for folks to do their remote work and encourage them to come back downtown," she said.

The site features solo and collaborative workstations, free power outlets and free Wi-Fi. BIZ ambassadors on site have a variety of other items that can be lent out on a first-come, first-served basis, such as whiteboard and chalkboard space for collaborative brainstorming, office supplies like markers and portable power units.

Workspaces can be booked for an hour or more with 30-minute breaks between each booking for staff to sanitize the spots. Walk-ups are possible if there is room.

People are asked to visit the welcome desk at the site to make a booking.

RE: Workspace is open weekdays from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and will be available until it gets too cold. (Kevin Nepitabo/CBC)

Those with advance bookings will get a check-in email three hours before the timeslot as a reminder. If the weather becomes too rainy, RE: Workspace will not be open, and anyone with a booking will receive a cancellation notice.

If you're completely in the groove when your time is up, you can extend your stay as long as no bookings have been made for the space. The welcome desk staff will be able to help.

Depending on availability, meetings of up to 15 people can be accommodated, the BIZ said in its release.

If you do bring along your pooch, the BIZ asks that they be on a leash at all times.

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