Working from Haig Park: the perfect way to leave the office

Man working

Part of Haig Park has been converted into an external office. Photo: Gupi de Zavalia.

Fresh air, good coffee, sunshine over and grass under your feet – sounds like a relaxing way to spend the weekend, but some Canberra people make it their work day. A new initiative invites Canberrans to shift their indoor home office to a desk in Haig Park.

Braddon-based co-working space Good Work Canberra and the City Renewal Authority coordinate Outside Offices, a collaborative work area in Haig Park. The room hosts individual desks for up to 25 people, a relaxation room and a communal table for meetings at a distance.

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“Working in the outdoor office was one of my most productive days since the lockdown began. It was wonderful to be able to enjoy the park and the fresh air while having access to all the comforts of an indoor office, ”says Outdoor Offices participant Sherri Ward.

beanbag chairs

The room also has beanbag chairs for a relaxing break. Photo: Gupi de Zavalia.

With Lonsdale Street nearby, Outdoor Offices contestant Jasper Penfold-Low enjoys the opportunity to take more meaningful breaks from work.

“I feel enticed to work around the silence of the trees and the tranquility of the beanbag chairs. When tranquility turns into distraction, I can take an energizing stroll to get some locally made and brewed coffee of Braddon’s finest.”

The park also offers a middle ground between working with family and colleagues.

“There is no office policy because there is no competition. You can opt-in or opt-out of social events as you like without worrying that some executives think you are not a business person,” says Mitch Tilbrook of Good Work Canberra.

“Since the pandemic, I’ve noticed that some people do not love the separation between home and office, and some people hate it. The latter will seek out a place to work from if their employer does not offer them one,” Mr Tilbrook said.

People sitting together

Include in Outside Office is a special meeting area. Photo: Gupi de Zavalia.

The offices are a small part of Haig Park’s dramatic transformation, which now hosts weekly markets, monthly PAWS parties (for dogs and humans) and a monthly play outside day for the whole family.

Tilbrook says participants are invited to donate to a charity when ordering their tickets instead of fees for this project. The charity of choice is Orange Sky Laundry, which provides regular laundry and shower services for the homeless. It focuses on creating a safe, positive and supportive environment for people who are often ignored or disconnected from the wider community.

“Canberrans showed how generous and kind they are through the recent lockdown, and I would like to encourage that charity and charitable actions are in our heads when we return to our normal lives,” says Mr. Tilbrook.

“I see a lot of homelessness here in Canberra, and unfortunately it is not a problem that will ever be solved, in my opinion. Orange Sky Laundry does not aim to solve the problem, but offers services that can help people who have most need it, with dignity and respect, which is crucial to a person’s mental health. “

To reserve your ‘office’ in Haig Park, visit Good Work Canberra.

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