The scheme helping charities to benefit from their surplus spaceJul 30, 2020
WHILE there has never been a clearer need for a strong and capable ‘third sector’ looking to support people at their most vulnerable, charities and non-profits find themselves in a uniquely challenging situation.
Many charities find themselves being committed to far more space than they need as more service users and clients are seen using digital methods and with more staff working from home.
It’s What’s Next IT is an IT support company and a social enterprise. It is offering a ‘turnkey’ scheme that enables charities with more space than they need to repurpose desks at ‘hot-desks’ that can be used for outside professionals to come in and use.
“There are many professional people now who find themselves working from home or who are setting up as self-employed solo operators, who miss being in the office, or need get ‘headspace’ away from the home environment,” says It’s What’s Next IT founder Matthew Reynolds.
“This scheme provides a win-win, allowing charities and non-profits to repurpose their space in a safe, inexpensive way, renting out unused capacity to local professionals and small businesses.”
The scheme works by enabling a charity to identify the space to be used and It’s What’s Next IT undertakes a physical and information security audit, helps to organise insurance and adaptation of existing policies to allow co-working that is safe for everyone involved, along with providing the technical infrastructure needed to safely rent out hot-desking space.
Charities can rent out hot-desks on a pay-as-you-go basis, or sell membership packs. The scheme operates using a website and app, the latter being used to check in and check out attendance in the building to support the organisation with Covid-19 track and trace obligations. Meeting rooms can also be offered by-the-hour using the online platform.
The online platform includes integrated ‘Covid secure’ training – space cannot be booked out unless the outside person has been through the training and passed a short test.
It’s What’s Next IT’s social mission is to help people from disadvantaged backgrounds, in particular those overlooked by employers such as care leavers, ex-services personnel, etc, to build careers in IT, the overarching concept to blend commercial and third-sector organisations to help each group learn from the other.
It is uniquely placed to operate a scheme like this, having a strong understanding of both the needs and remit of charities and non-profits, and of the technical challenges of delivering safe and secure hot-desking space.