Maxims Accounting is an accounting and business consultancy firm, centred in Hastings and serving the general Hawke's Bay business community. In early 2021 Maxims had committed to a new office build in Hastings and they needed to vacate their old premises. This left them with about six months (that with COVID lockdowns would become nine), without a workplace. And work-from-home is hard in a practice that relies on close team work to support clients.
So Maxims contacted Hastings HIVE to see if we could accommodate them and, with three spare i-offices to choose from at that time, we were happy to help out. Maxims chose office 4 (see floor-plans) which is a small but well proportioned serviced office to squeeze into, given the short nature of their stay. Though the office is small for eight people, they get to share over 500sqm of common space complete with café, lounge and and meeting rooms. (Editor's note: since Maxims moved in we have filled all but one of our larger offices, but fitted out six new smaller format offices).
Recently your editor took the opportunity to sit down with Mathew Arcus (Mat), managing director at Maxims, to ask how things have worked out during their stay (which comes to an end at some time this spring) and what they may have learned to pass on to our readers considering a shared workspace move, temporary or long-term.
Mat says, "The first thing we noticed was how quickly we were able to settle into the HIVE and start work. Having the space furnished was especially helpful, but we were also pleased with how productive we could be in a small office situation, whilst having great spaces to spread out in.
Next we asked how a modern shared space measured up to the alternative of leasing a small office. "This is an amazing shared office space" says Mat. "It has everything a small business could need, it is modern, well designed and has great technology behind it all."
We asked about the practicality of being based in the HIVE. "There are lots of things we appreciate very much," said Mat, "but not always the obvious ones. Things like how safe this setup is for our staff, especially our female staff. They are never left alone here in an office, so they can happily keep working, even late, knowing someone will be around for security. Also, it's very central here, there's good parking and good facilities around like cafés and coffee shops."
We asked about the communal aspect of being in a shared space. "The younger members of our team really appreciate the friendly people here. Having other businesses and people around to chat with during breaks, and making new contacts, has been great. They will really miss this aspect when we move to our own small office again. The Hive makes for a cool community feel."
Asked about Maxims' directions post HIVE and "what's next for you guys?"
Mat responded, "We are on a journey with our clients. When I took over the practice we were fairly conventional accountants, focussed largely on the books. Now, and even more in the future, we are focussed on helping our customer grow profitably and being an integral part of their success. Book-keeping and taxation are important, but are not at the pointy end."
So we were curious how Maxims were finding the economics of being in a shared space for themselves - as accountants they must have studied this? Mat replied, "We did have a good look at the monthly costs before sign-up, and ran some brief numbers along the lines of the worksheets on the HIVE website. It is surprising how much leasing an office really costs, and how many costs get hidden in general expenses. We are certainly saving money being in the HIVE."
Last question Mat, any parting thoughts? "In hindsight, had we known of Hastings HIVE before we committed to our own building, we would have seriously considered moving here permanently. We are so productive here because there are so few distractions on my time, or on our team. Everything is provided for and taken care of for us. It's going to be hard to leave."
And we are certainly going to miss you. We wish Mat and the team the very best on their business journey; a proudly Hastings and Hawke's Bay business.