The story of Atol coworking: how a consulting company launched a coworking in the business heart of Ljubljana

Atol coworking was established in 2012 in Ljubljana by the Atol, an experienced consulting company offering management, sales and marketing solutions for the B2B sector. The coworking is cozily located in the business district of Ljubljana, near the BTC center. Proximity to the Ljubljana Ring Road offers easy transport connections with Ljubljana and other Slovenian cities.

Even though Atol coworking is quite young, it already can demonstrate great results in building the business community and facilitation of the networking between entrepreneurs. According to the research, coworking spaces are beneficial for business development.

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Today Jan Mertelj, a coworking manager at the Atol Coworking, will share the experience of creating coworking in Ljubljana.

How the idea of creating a coworking space came to your organization? What inspired Atol to create its own coworking space?

The idea came from our top management. The nature of our work allows us to work remotely. As working from home became more and more popular among members of our main company – Atol, it was a shame that such beautiful offices would not be used. As an additional revenue source, along with other business benefits, starting a coworking space seemed like a good idea. And it definitely was! The process of creation was, however, not without challenges. In our case, the most challenging part was creating a community of appropriate people to ensure Atol coworking is more than just a working place.

What makes the Atol coworking unique?

Coworking is not our primary activity, which has its upsides and downsides. Initially, Atol is a consulting company, which now has been transforming into a platform for independent sales & marketing professionals. Therefore, we try to nurture a more serious, calm and professional environment, where people will have an opportunity to establish useful business connections, create partnerships and gain up-to-date first-hand professional information from our weekly thematic presentations. 

Overall, shared spaces and coworking spaces are becoming extremely popular in Europe now. What factors, in your opinion, contributed to this? 

Initially, the advancement of technology, which enables remote work, along with the changing lifestyle of the younger generation, was the first push for the popularization of coworking spaces. Nowadays in the Western world young people rarely want to stay in one place and/or work for the same company for 20+ years. Also, there is an increased demand from young professionals for flexibility of schedule and opportunity to combine traveling with working, which goes hand in hand with an increased number of coworking spaces around the world.

Do you think big companies will move to the coworking spaces in the future?

I do not think big companies will move into coworking spaces, but I believe that large companies will happen by connecting people in different coworking spaces.

What makes the coworking environment successful? How to build synergy in a coworking community? 

It always depends on the community of the right people who get along well. We tried to start the community by personally inviting people whom we know and who fit the target profile to weekly events and offering them special packages while encouraging them to recruit similar friends.

Can you give an advice for users of coworking how to maximize the benefits of working in such a collaborative environment?

Be open, get to know people, make connections and don’t be afraid to ask for help! You never know whom you will meet at a coworking space.

Bring your headphones. Coworking in an open space can be a pain if you need to be completely focused on your task at hand. If the headphones weren’t effective enough in t helping with the noise, I recommend Boris Brejcha.

If you are in Ljubljana and looking for a place to work, visit Atol coworking!

You always can find additional information about Atol coworking on their web-page or Facebook