OOO Campus, a community office building, has gained a lot of popularity during the pandemic. It has terraces, the sound of the buzzing Danube and a lot of greenery surrounding anyone who comes to visit – either alone or in groups –, instead of the usually closed spaces and the sound of traffic coming in the windows. There is Wifi, coffee and occasionally the sound of a lawnmower.
Domokos Pálfai and his wife, Réka Pálfai-Turján, travelled to Pannonhalma, to a peaceful environment embraced by nature; they dreamed of how good it would be if they could spend more time there, even when they are working, reported Forbes. They already knew the Danube Bend well and were returning guests in the Lósi Major in Verőce, where there is an event barn. So they thought: how cool would it be to make an office out of it?
Domokos and Réka only started moving forward with their idea after the new coronavirus broke out.
“Because of COVID, we were forced to go to Lósi Major for two months, where the idea came back that it could work,” Domokos explained. “It was visible that the home office would inevitably become part of our lives, that’s what the virus put on a good track. So we had to give some sort of solution to that.” And so they turned their idea into reality, and together with Domokos and Réka’s friends, Márk Vujevits and Júlia Pécsi, they co-founded OOO Campus.
There are already people at the campus at 10 AM, and as time passes, more keep coming. The office can accommodate up to 25 people If they form a group. Otherwise, the limit is 20 people. There are hammocks, old-school chairs, garden chairs and armchairs to work in.
OOO Campus opens at 9 AM and is free to use until 10 PM. Coffee and lemonade are free until 5 PM. The usage of the office costs 2,790 forints (approx. €8) per person per day. The founders have not yet decided about a monthly fee, as they feel it is too early. As of right now, it is only them on sight, no employees yet.
Right now Domokos and the others rent the space from the owners of the building, but they have not abandoned nor given up on the original idea of the barn either. They are also thinking of expanding into a franchise, with new offices opening next year. They plan to rent out terrace spaces that only bring in money during a given period each year, but as a community office, it would be profitable all year round.
How long they will stay open is still in question, for now, it looks like the office will be accessible “as long as the weather is good,” but a winterisation could also be possible.
Domokos was surprised by the success of OOO Campus, although he spent approximately €35 on well-targeted advertising on Facebook. But since then, word of the office has spread from people to people, and not only startups, but employees of larger companies are also reserving spaces. “Last time a team came from Morgan Stanley, they spun all day, they were incredibly efficient,” says Domi enthusiastically, but Bitrise, Budapest School, Eddie and Decent Labs have also been there.
The community office is easily accessible from the Hungarian capital, only about 45 minutes by train, by car it takes a bit longer.
The news of OOO Campus is spreading fast amongst digital nomads, and a share on Instagram goes a long way nowadays.
One of the regular guests, Alex Macintosh, of the office says an elder lady mentioned it to him, telling him “there is a place where you can work pleasantly. ‘Bali in Hungary,’ the lady described,” which Alex did not believe. He later mixed up the trains and got on the wrong one. He ended up in Nagymaros and stumbled upon OOO Campus himself.