The Digital Jersey Hub in St Helier, has always been the public face of the organisation, and the original home of our digital community, but it’s not the only facility available. There’s another digital co-working space in the west of the Island, which is perfect for those who don’t want to travel into town, DJX.
With free parking, excellent facilities, and just a few minutes from the beach, DJX offers members a dedicated workspace and all the learning, networking and mentoring benefits that come with Digital Jersey Membership.
One of the regular users of DJX is Jack Cunningham who runs West Creative Digital. We caught up with Jack to see why he’s made DJX his work home.
Q: Tell us a bit about you first?
Jack: I’m Jersey born, and some people will know me from when I co-founded The Beach Communication agency, where I was digital designer and developer. At the end of 2011, I sold my interest in the business to move with my family to New Zealand. We were there three years, and I was Head of Digital at a direct marketing agency called Twenty. After the birth of our second daughter, we came back to Jersey and I spent six years with FeelUnique, before founding West Creative Digital.
Q: What prompted you to start your own digital business again?
Jack: Often, if you are engaging with a company to build a website, you’re likely to get one that uses WordPress, or another legacy-based platform, but there’s been a gradual shift which means that these sites aren’t enough in terms of performance and security. I believe that Jamstack is the way forward, it’s faster and brings with it a new generation of CMS, but there weren’t any agencies over here which offered it. I wanted to build sites that offered this, along with marketing automation tools to help customers build their customer database. So, I set up West Creative Digital last year.
Q: Setting up a new business during the Covid pandemic must have been tough?
Jack: No, for me there’s been a real silver lining of the pandemic. I am now working with my former colleagues in New Zealand, and able to have other clients anywhere in the world. Covid has made remote working totally acceptable, it globalises you immediately. It is a normal part of most working peoples’ lives now to have virtual meetings, whereas before there were barriers in attitude and technology. I can live in my home island and bring money into the economy here from overseas clients. It’s win-win.
Would I have recommended going into this line of business, to my kids, three years ago? No, because there were so few jobs at a senior level, but now it’s totally changed. It’s a lovely place to grow up and work and you now have a wider horizon and options.
I’ve been able to work on an exciting project with one of New Zealand’s biggest house builders, it’s involved me creating a website that enables a franchise of 15 businesses to manage hundreds of properties and will help kiwis find house and land packages and even plan their own. I’m offering that to local estate agents, it’s another benefit of this remote working to Jersey. I’m creating a premium product with an overseas client, but then able to offer it cost effectively to the local market.
Q: Why have you chosen to work out of DJX?
Jack: There are a host of reasons. Firstly, for me, I feel more productive. I was keeping time sheets when I worked at home, and I found that I was having to work late into the night to put in my eight hours because I got sucked into other distractions of home life. As soon as I started at DJX, there was a measurable difference in my billing hours.
The facility is also fantastic. I can just jump into meeting rooms when I need to, and it’s a modern, pleasant working environment. You don’t have to pay for parking. I don’t need to be in town for clients, so there’s no reason why I would sit in traffic and then pay for parking, just to work in town.
You also get to connect with people here. I’ve helped connect a couple of people I met who I knew could help each other with a pitch. It’s nice to have people to collaborate with if you want to, and if you don’t then you just stick headphones on and concentrate. If DJX wasn’t here I would be trying to go to the library or something to get out my house. This way of working will become more and more a part of the workforce, it offers huge opportunities to people like me.
If you’d like to use DJX, then get in touch with us and we’ll show you how. Email [email protected] or call 01534 789333.
Learn more about Jamstack or estate agent software in Jersey at https://www.westcreativedigital.com