Skyrocketing real estate prices and low unemployment point to coworking as the future for many companies. With one of the largest remote workforces in the United States, Colorado employers that are still requiring employees to battle traffic, conform to a dress code and punch a clock, only to sit in a cubicle and teleconference with another employee, client or vendor in a different time zone, will have high overhead, stressed employees, a tense culture and difficulty hiring talent compared to their telecommuting competitors.
With constant connectivity and never-ending notifications, the lines of work/life balance have blurred. According to Stacy Taubman, founder and CEO of RISE Collaborative Workspace, “Work/life balance is just not realistic. It’s about work/life blend now.”
Employees and business owners alike appreciate the ability to choose the neighborhood, the look and feel of the space and the community they engage with daily, which is why so many local coworking options have emerged in recent years.
“It’s been amazing to witness the revolution that is occurring in urban Denver—so many people are integrating more of their lives into their work environment.” Said Casper Lundemann, marketing manager of neu.works.
Where you go to work is very personal. Gina Shreck, founder of the soon-to-open coworking space The Village, said “I have owned a business for 24 years and entrepreneurship can be a lonely road. With a team of 12 remote workers, we were looking for an office or coworking space in Denver but couldn't find one that had the vibe we were looking for, so we started our own.”
Each remote worker must determine the setup that meets his or her needs. Before you are wooed by amenities, close your eyes and picture the ideal workspace. Do you see a light and airy space with new friends and yoga mats or a private space with exposed brick, ping pong tables and craft beer on tap?
Some remote workers are looking to get out of the house occasionally and collaborate and socialize. For them, renting a desk in a community space with an active social calendar is ideal. Conversely, a coworking environment can also be a retreat to work in peace, alone. There is not a one-size-fits-all model. Like most of the trends of today, personalization is paramount. Some workers want the option for kids and dogs to drop in and others are looking for a refuge from yells for “Mom” or “Dad” and barking in the background.
Also consider how often and during which hours you intend to be at your new office. Regular business hours and around-the-clock options are available. Some workers prefer two days per month in at a community table and others require a dedicated space daily. If you have a larger team or hold client meetings, you may need the option to rent a conference room or event venue.
Not only will you be more productive as a remote worker, you will be happier when you have a choice of where you want to work and which type of community is right for you as opposed to a sterile, corporate-mandated cube. Best of all, you are not obligated to ask Becky how her weekend was the next time you hit the water cooler.
Eames chair fans, this space is for you. The minimalist and light Scandinavian interior that feels more like entering an art gallery than an office in the heart of Cherry Creek North offers an upscale option that is further distinguished by offering 3,000 square feet of private event and balcony space to host events of any size. The community here is more work than play.
“We cater to those who want to grow their business in an elevated environment,” Casper Lundemann says
This space identifies as “Ohana of entrepreneurs.” Ohana is a group of people fighting for the same purpose. Office Evolution locations offer phone answering service, a locking mailbox and the ability for reception to accept packages and a national network of location for corporations managing multiple satellite teams.
Denver’s green coworking space in RiNo is now expanding to Winter Park so you can split your time between the city and the slopes under one membership. Work while you commute by taking the ski train. Snag a free day pass online to give it a try.
As the first locally-owned shared workspace in Denver, Shift Workspaces is an amenity-driven, resort like community with outdoor work and entertainment areas, meditation and massage rooms, gyms, yoga studios, kitchen facilities, three bars onsite and numerous meeting spaces. The arts-oriented community features more than 50 unique works of art by 13 local and regional artists.
Events are held daily ranging from sushi-rolling classes to happy hours and educational programing, including a B Corp certification program. Not only does Shift Workspaces improve the lifestyle of members, the company is focused on environmental sustainability and became carbon neutral by planting 4,000 trees in Texas and Arkansas.
“Company owners have a unique opportunity to redefine success--we can use the power of business to solve social and environmental problems by balancing the interests of our community, our environment and investors” said Grand Barnhill, founder of Shift Workspaces.
A coworking space for women is opening soon where there is a community mission rooted in what is described by Taubman as “Shine Theory,” which adheres to the mentality of “If I don’t shine, you don’t shine.” Women are connecting and collaborating and in turn, making social capital more accessible to women. Educational events are hosted by members monthly and synergy is often found between businesses. To further support the vision of RISE Collaborative Workspace, the charity arm, RISE Society, connects high-school-age students with mentors and scholarships.
Scheduled to open in late spring, The Village Workspace is a coworking space for female entrepreneurs, founded by mother and daughters team Gina Shreck, Taylor Stauffer and Bailey Medearis. “We feel strongly that women think differently, they talk differently and they work differently. Why not create a space that is uniquely different?” said Shreck. The Village Workspace will provide the amenities that blend the hospitality of a hotel and the services of a business growth coach. Media and podcast rooms, kid-friendly offices, mom’s nursing rooms, zen/nap rooms along with monthly educational and networking events are planned. The look and feel is “boho chic” with an indoor patio under a lighted pergola and offices shaped like tiny houses. Programming is mostly educational but also includes team stretches and WINSday lunches that integrate accountability.
Danielle Yuthas is a Denver native and marketing director for national franchise brand, SpeedPro imaging. She’s an advocate for telecommuting rather than I-25 commuting, as is among the growing sect who believe cubicles belong in 2005.
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