Flex and Co-Working Spaces are Changing Thoughts on Office Space

 In News

Note: This if the first in a series on the changing place and space of work.

Late last year, we were faced with a challenge. A long-term tenant in the Devorris Center for Business Development exited their office space in favor of a virtual, work from home approach – a trend that is happening nation-wide. Rather than try to market all 2,000 square feet of space, we decided to break it up, office by office and it worked. In the just the past few weeks, ABCD has welcomed 5 new small tenants in need of a desk, place to convene and make connections.

Our region has a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Newer start-ups are serving a global client base from many different work environments. Co-working options like “We-Work” and “Spaces” are attracting the next generation worker and business. Images of 20 and 30 somethings lounging in bright colored bean bags, sitting at the coffee bar or playing foosball all while working come to mind.  While these spaces are taking hold in larger cities, they have yet to greatly impact our First Frontier main streets. Our friends at Penn State Altoona got the ball rolling with their Launch Box presence in Downtown Altoona and we are excited for more opportunities for unique spaces.

At its heart, a co-working space is where start-up entrepreneurs can work and collaborate in an environment that moves beyond the coffee shop but well short of that corporate cubed high rise. A study from Emergent Research and partners showed that coworking spaces are human spaces,

“The key finding is while coworking spaces are definitely workspaces, they are also much more. They are places where members work, network, learn and socialize together.”

ABCD staff is researching a First Frontier co-working space concept with plenty of natural light, modern amenities, shared desk space and common lounge elements along with meeting rooms and more permanent offices. We envision membership and rental options along with a design with the right look and feel that meets current demand. Stay tuned for more on location, function and cost. For more information or to reserve your desk now, contact us at mattf@abccorp.org.

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