If you follow us on social media, you might have already spotted the exciting news that we’re opening a new photography studio next month.
When the pandemic struck in March 2020, we (along with everyone else) said a solemn goodbye to our office space in Cranleigh High Street.
The timing wasn’t great.
We signed a new licence to take on extra space only months earlier, creating room for seven desks.
As the year dragged on, we tried and failed to get back to the office.
By the start of 2021, it became clear that the office was surplus to our requirements. Thanks to a very generous landlord, we could hand back the keys and resume working from our respective homes.
That remote working arrangement has continued ever since.
I’m working from my ‘shedquarters’ at the end of the garden, with Kathryn at a desk in her living room, and James borrowing some desk space in a client office.
During a typical working day, we’re all within a mile of each other. We tend to see each other several times a week, whether for scheduled meetings (coffee!) or just bumping into each other while out and about.
Our work also means we spend a reasonable amount of time at client locations. Looking back at my calendar last week, I had eight meetings away from my shedquarters and only two here, both via Zoom.
I’ve been a fairly vocal advocate of the changing nature of the office, especially regarding commuting.
Here’s my central thesis; the ‘old’ way of working is gone, for good. It’s insanity to spend five days a week travelling for 30 to 90 minutes to an office location when the vast majority of the work you do there can be just as effectively done here.
With that in mind, why have I just signed up for new office space?
Well, it’s not going to be an office.
The Bear Content Den is, first and foremost, going to be a photography, video and podcast production studio.
Yes, a small desk will be tucked away in the corner, but our working from home arrangement is set to continue.
We’ll use the space when we need somewhere to take photographs, film videos, or record podcasts.
The studio will be set up with these three purposes in mind, allowing us to rock up ahead of each session and create content as efficiently as possible.
We will have the occasional meeting there, too; there’s a lovely cafe right next door, which means the coffee requirements of the team are nicely covered.
The space is also large enough to host small workshop sessions, bringing in small business owners in the Surrey Hills to review existing content marketing strategies and plan fresh campaigns.
A significant appeal to the location of the new studio is how it sits within a community of lots of other small businesses, including artisans and professionals.
We can’t wait to meet all of our new neighbours and hopefully create some networking opportunities.
Another reason for taking on this studio space is having somewhere to keep a lot of our kit!
As the business continues to grow, we’re investing in increasingly large pieces of equipment, most recently a couple of massive softbox lights.
While The Shedquarters isn’t cramped, it’s not the TARDIS, and my wife is starting to complain about the amount of ‘stuff’ that keeps finding its way into the house.
We’re getting the keys to The Bear Content Den later this month, aiming to open the doors to customers around the first week of September.
Once we’re open, we would love to see you there!
The studio is located at Smithbrook Kilns, on the A281 just outside of Cranleigh, halfway between Guildford and Horsham.
With free car parking and some fantastic local businesses to visit (did I mention the cafe?), it’s a brilliant place to spend some time and get a new headshot photo.