What is the Military Coworking Network?
The MCN is an online community for partners of military personnel worldwide to share advice and inspiration and create a network of contacts to help and support their careers, education, studies, and businesses.
Individual hubs are connected by a powerful, online professional network which any member, anywhere, can access and benefit from.
What is a coworking hub?
The coworking hubs are contemporary office spaces located on bases throughout the UK and overseas, where our Hub Members can come to work, study, or learn.
Why should I become a member?
There are so many benefits, here are just some:
Benefits of being part of our Online Network
Find yourself again – be you!
Be part of a strong, supportive community
Reduced isolation and loneliness
Boost your confidence and grow your independence
Be inspired and change your life!
Benefits of using one of our Coworking Hubs
Better work-life balance – separation from home and office
Increased productivity – less distractions and a dedicated space to work or study
Flexibility – hotdesking options to suit your needs
Networking opportunities – meet like-minded people
Sense of community – combats feelings of loneliness and isolation
Makes remote working a feasible option.
What are the types of membership, and how do I join?
There are two kinds of membership:
Online Network. Membership of our Online Network is free, and gives you access to a wide range of resources that will help you build or advance your career, help you to set up and manage your own business, and support your personal development. There are also lots of opportunities available to connect with like-minded people around the world, just virtually. It’s also where you can subscribe to our Global Hub Network.
Hub Network Membership of the Hub Network is subscription-based and enables you to access the national network of coworking hub spaces. There are three tiers of hub membership - Bronze, Silver, and Gold - each offers you a different hotdesking allowance based on your needs. Prices start from £20 per year for Bronze, rising to £60 per year for Silver and £120 per year for Gold Membership. If you join the Hub Network first, you will automatically become a member of our Online Network.
Who can become a member of an MCN coworking hub?
Anyone who meets the following criteria may become a member of an MCN Hub:
Aged 18 or older
A partner / child of a serving member of the UK Armed Forces in possession of (or eligible for) an ID pass to allow them to access a military camp
A (partner / child of a) UK Based Citizen living in Cyprus
Can anyone else use/join as a Hub member other than the groups listed below?
If Hub members are happy to accept (via a majority vote) a member who does not fall into the membership criteria, occasional exceptions may be made. These may include MOD civil servants with an MOD pass or a closely linked member of the wider military support community whose Hub membership, through the skills and experience they bring, would benefit the military community as a whole.
Can the use of MCN Hubs be offered at no cost?
We have deliberately set membership costs starting at £20 for a whole year – a price of a cup of coffee per week – to try and make it as accessible as possible.
We are running a pilot project, and this is the model for the pilot. We are keen to collate feedback from people if they feel these costs are too high or not accessible for members of our community, so we can feed that back at the end of the pilot in late 2022.
I’m not in an area where there is a hub. What help and support is there for me?
There is still a lot of help and support available to you. Simply join our Online Network and once you are a member, you will have access to our Members Area, where you will find a wide range of resources, support and advice.
How often can I use a hub?
The majority of our hubs are open 24/7 – some exceptions do apply. For more details, go to our Hub Page The number of hours you can use the hub for will depend on your membership tier, but desk time is available in
3-hour blocks. Each time you book, you'll see your remaining session balance.
What happens if I’m posted?
You can take your membership with you. Simply, get in touch with the team at your new hub, and carry on as always.
Don’t forget to join your local hub’s Facebook group so you can meet people before you arrive as well – they will be a fountain of knowledge on the local area, and you will already know people when you arrive!
And, if your partner gets posted to a base where there is currently no hub, we will refund you pro rata.
Who runs the spaces?
Each hub is run by a small team of enthusiastic local members who truly believe in the network and the community we are building.
The Central Support Team take care of as much of the administration of the hubs as possible, but we still need people in the hubs to build their coworking community and establish a professional relationship with the base.
These members are the core of our community and give a huge amount of effort, energy and time to make the hubs work well.
What services does each coworking hub offer?
A contemporary office space
Access to printing facilities
Unlimited tea and coffee
Some hubs are equipped with a few more facilities, but you can check out what’s available at each hub at www.militarycoworking.uk/hubs
There isn’t a coworking space in my garrison or station how do I set one up?
The MCN is currently a pilot project, and we are therefore limited to the number of hubs we can open. For the pilot, we identified several sites across multiple geographies, including Akrotiri, Bovington, Bulford, Blandford, Chivenor, Clyde, Leuchars, Sandhurst and Valley.
The pilot will end in September 2022, and there will be an ongoing evaluation of our hubs using an independent agency. The results of this will be presented to the MOD to support discussions on the future of the MCN. If successful, we are hoping to secure longer-term funding, which will allow us to open further hubs at other military bases. But for the time being, it does mean that we are not able to open more hubs for the duration of the pilot.
However, there is something you can do!
To help us evidence genuine need and demand for the work we are doing, you can join the MCN Online Network & Sign our Hub Register - both are FREE.
I want to set up my own business, can the coworking network and hubs help?
Yes! First, check out our Business Support page for a great “Quick link” guide to all the organisations and associations that offer free advice and support to the Armed Forces Community. There are also lots of great courses available from groups like Heropreneurs and Supporting the Unsung Hero, some with member discounts or Armed Forces discounts, some even free.
If you have a hub local to you then first join their local Military Coworking Hub Facebook group and then get yourself to a hub. As well as lots of remote workers, our hubs are full of people running their own businesses. They have been through or are going through the same journey and the great thing about coworking is that you have a friendly group of people working around you to ask questions and bounce ideas off.
Many hubs also have great links with the Local Enterprise Partnerships which can help small businesses with practical support and integration with the local community.
I want to get more qualifications, how can my local hub help?
First, check out our Career Support page for a great “Quick link” guide to all the services that are offered free to our Armed Forces Community. Companies like Lifeworks offer great courses designed to reveal exactly what it is you want to do.
Once you are enrolled on a course the hub can provide a de space to study from.
I want to help. How do I get involved?
Get in touch! We love to hear from you!
If you are located on a military base where there is already a hub, and would like to volunteer your help and support, we can put you in touch with our Volunteer Member Team there. Alternatively, why not pop along and introduce yourself?
If you happen to be located on a base where there is currently no hub, there are other ways you can get involved. For example, you could write a blog or host a webinar on topics that could benefit the community or even run a Skill Sharing session, where you can help others to grow and learn. There are so many ways you can help our community.
Who is behind this project?
The whole project has been built by military partners, for military partners.
We have grown purely by demand from partners around the world. As we have grown, managing the network has become a full-time job and we now have a small “Central Support Team” who run the day-to-day operations and expansion of the network.
The Covenant Trust Fund has generously supported the Military Coworking Network. These funds are held and managed on our behalf by the Royal Air Forces Association.