Shared Workspace Is Growing and Welcome Trend
WorkHub in Tyler is one of a growing number of reimagined workspaces popping up in the Upper East Side of Texas. Shared work areas like this one allow use of Wi-Fi and other amenities, as well as opportunities to network with others. This site also has an elevated walkway that goes around the inside of the building where people can stretch their legs.
Photos By Hannah Fattig
What is this “shared workspace” that keeps popping up in media and other conversations fairly often these days, even in rural areas of the Upper East Side of Texas? To those working in the corporate world, or even a mom-and-pop shop, a health care facility, or just about any business environment, the idea of shared workspace is nothing new. Every day, people work crammed into small cubicles, tapping away at computers, and taking too many bathroom breaks just to stretch their legs, or similar scenarios in other industries.
But this isn’t the same kind of shared workspace that’s got people talking lately.
Over the last decade or so, with the help of the internet, more and more people are leaving those cubicles to work from home, or otherwise independently from their employers’ facility, and many others are starting their own businesses.
This works well for entrepreneurs and remote workers, but sometimes a home environment has its drawbacks.
Let’s not forget the now-famous video of South Korean political expert Professor Robert E. Kelly who was being interviewed by BBC World News from his home office in March of 2017. Seems he forgot to lock the door and soon after his interview started his toddler daughter wanders in behind him on camera wanting Dad’s attention. The professor keeps his cool as they are on live TV and then his baby bounces in behind sister in a walker. Then the camera catches Mom crawling in desperately trying to get the children out and finally succeeding with a close of the door.
Kudos to Professor Kelly for holding it together and to the video for providing comic relief for the entire world, but nobody wants this kind of home invasion — whether on TV or not — while trying to do their job.
Besides the kid factor and other distractions some might find challenging in a home office, entrepreneurs in start-up and even established businesses are also looking for better work environments for other reasons. Leasing or buying individual office space can be expensive, not to mention the cost of maintenance, and utilities, and it can feel isolating for some who prefer to network with other professionals on occasion.
The solution for many, is the emergence of today’s version of shared workspace — facilities that provide a place where people from many different businesses can work under one roof, sharing expenses, equipment, and much more. Users include entrepreneurs and remote workers looking for an alternative to home offices or expensive individual space, travelers needing a temporary office, college students looking for a quiet place to study and take advantage of Wi-Fi, and others who prefer to work around people, even though they are not working for the same company.
In the Upper East Side of Texas people can find a number of these facilities now and others are in upcoming plans for towns of all sizes. Open now are Rockwall OpenSpace, Fuse Dynamic Workspace in Prosper, Co.Work in Tyler, 2Gather Cowork & Meeting Space in Lindale, and WorkHub with two locations in Tyler.
At WorkHub’s newest facility, 7922 South Broadway, guests and members enter the building to an open and welcoming atmosphere. To the right are exercising rooms, as well as dressing rooms, which are fully equipped with toilet utilities, showers, and even napping spaces. On the left is a kitchen, where guests and members cook and store their food. All along the walls, on each side of the facility are offices for permanent desks for those who want more privacy and conference rooms large enough to seat about 20 people.
In the middle of the building, there is a large open space, filled with chairs and tables and flexible desk spaces that are open to everyone for temporary use. Charging bars for phones, computers and more separate the area into sections, and this is where members and guests enjoy shared spaces to work, converse, or simply relax. There is also a small, soundproof room for making private calls, or to just have a quiet moment.
Circling the interior, and elevated above the kitchen and front desk, a walkway is available to exercise or simply as a way to stretch the legs. The walkway allows a perfect view of the entire building. It also connects to many of the workspaces, and the “auditorium” area. This area seats at least 120 people with a projector screen for large meetings or presentations.
For a reasonable price, anyone can enjoy the creative atmosphere and social interactions of WorkHub by either membership or as a walk-in. For a one-time visit, the cost for all it has to offer is $25 — this does not include the private desk areas. General open-space memberships are just $75 a month, and can be cancelled at any time, and for a Flexi-desk space, it’s only $175. People who need to use the facility as a full time office can get a dedicated desk area for $300 and a private office is $600. Conference rooms are free to members and pricing starts at $50 for non-members.
Shared workspace is not just a place to get work done, but a place to help fuel creativity, to socialize and feed off of each others’ ingenuity, and to introduce the mind to a fresh new space.