Co-Working Spaces: The Face of Modern Business

Open Office Space Benefits They're popping up all over the country. From Austin to New York City, Peoria to Poughkeepsie, and Sarasota to Seattle, co-working spaces and shared offices are just about the hottest item in commercial real estate.

Finding Your Space in Minnesota

Minneapolis-St. Paul is no different. Numerous new entries in the market cater to a wide variety of users, from artists who share studio space to freelance writers who like to share a bottomless coffee pot with other solitary workers.

It's a trend that bears some similarities to the "executive suites" or seminar and meeting room rental facilities of previous decades, but with a decidedly modern twist.

While most offer some shared facilities like conference spaces and coffee rooms as well as complementary internet and office machine usage, co-working spaces may be designed with multiple desks or carrels in one large room, or with totally separate and secure offices. Many can be contracted for a day, a week or a year, for regular periodic use or on an as-needed basis.

Industrious Minneapolis, just one of a handful of offerings in Minneapolis, boasts an address on the 28th floor in the heart of downtown. Great views are included, along with such amenities as a mother's room, huddle rooms and conference facilities, a cafe that serves local beer in addition to coffee, fruit, and artisanal pastries, concierge service and a congenial atmosphere.

Another example of shared workspace is located in Edina, with other locations coming, and boasts free parking, a convenient location, flexible month-to-month plans for individuals or teams and shared assistants available for specific tasks. The Reserve offers a five-day free trial as well as periodic networking events, all in an effort to promote a sense of community.  

A Growing Preference

What has spawned the popularity of communal office space? Shared space is a boon for entrepreneurs and freelancers, to be sure.

Co-working space offers an escape from isolation as well as networking opportunities for start-up businesses owners. A physical address lends legitimacy for work-at-home professionals and sole proprietors who only occasionally meet clients. And employees of larger firms that encourage "work at home" days, job sharing or remote work find that going to an office has advantages in terms of productivity.

In addition, who can resist such perks as free coffee and regular get-togethers? It's only natural that the trend toward co-working spaces will continue. It complements the growth of innovative business incubators and "maker spaces", all concepts that have value in an increasingly interconnected business climate.

Co-working spaces allow savvy investors to experience a part of a strong trend in today's business environment. Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all attitude when it comes to office space. As smaller businesses become more competitive and fast-paced, it can be easy to see why co-working spaces continue to grow in popularity.

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