BIZ launches new outdoor workspace in downtown Winnipeg

Heading into a second fall season of the COVID pandemic, the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is hoping to encourage workers and students to spend time downtown again with the launch of a new outdoor workspace.

RE: Workspace is a new space on Broadway where Winnipeggers can hold meetings or get work done during the day, the BIZ said.

“We wanted to create an exciting public space to encourage folks who have been working from home to spend their time downtown again,” said BIZ CEO Kate Fenske.

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“The pandemic has changed the way people work, and as more employers are talking about flexible remote work, RE: Workspace gives employees and students an outside office option.

“We hope it reminds them of the benefits of working downtown and meeting with folks in person.”

The facility, which includes wireless access (Wi-Fi), power outlets, collaborative and solo workspaces, and access to whiteboards and chalkboards for meetings, is located next to Capital Grill & Bar at 375 Broadway.

That restaurant’s owner, Wayne Martins, said the new initiative is an example of the BIZ’s community leadership.

“I know whether through initiatives like this or patio tours they have my best interests in mind as a business owner, and I am totally on-board to help bring back and grow that vibrancy I know we can have here,” Martins said.

the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is hoping to encourage workers and students to spend time downtown again with the launch of a new outdoor workspace.

the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ is hoping to encourage workers and students to spend time downtown again with the launch of a new outdoor workspace.

Will Reimer / Global News

Catherine Bell is a business consultant and founder of The Awakened Company, and says the idea has more benefits than just getting people out of their basements.

“I would argue we’re going to get better ideas and better solutions to some of our problems in such work spaces … we’re sparked by different environments, we’re inner and outer beings, we’re not just kind of Zoom-bots,” Bell said.

“I think it’s creative, I think it’s energizing, and I find it hopeful.”

Bell adds non-traditional approaches to working environments are only going to become more common.

“The majority of people are wanting a hybrid environment,” Bell said.

“What I think is going to happen is there’s actually going to be more personal choice and more creativity around this.”

Pamela Hardman, director of marketing, engagement and communications with the Downtown BIZ, says they held a soft-launch of the area last week, and the response has already been positive.

“I think they just really appreciate the beauty of this space, and it just fosters that creativity (and) innovative ideas,” Hardman said.

“Maybe you’ll come up with the next brilliant thing for your business if you come and spend some time working here.”

Although the new space is a pilot right now, Hardman hinted they’re considering adding more in the future.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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