Coworking spaces are opening up a world of possibilities for the way businesses large and small work. Whether the need is meeting space once a month or a destination to work every day, flexibility is the name of the game when it comes to coworking.
The rise in popularity of these community-driven workspaces is also leading to creativity in their use. With a client pool that Kelly Cox, general manager of Serendipity Labs Columbus Downtown, calls a mile wide and an inch deep, members are finding ways expected – and unexpected – to use coworking spaces to fit their needs. From the professional presence for the solopreneur, to a launchpad for a big brand, or even the site of a birthday bash, Cox outlines the multitude of ways to use coworking spaces.
Solopreneurs & Small Businesses
Studies show that moving from the home couch to the professional office boosts productivity for workers. Coworking’s flexibility provides the ideal stepping stones for a business owner to figure out what their professional office presence looks like.
Cox sees business owners that need access to a conference or meeting room once a month, others from field-based service industries come in a few times a week to complete tasks like scheduling or invoicing, and still others that need a space to work everyday. Serendipity Labs helps its members mix and match the services that best fit their workstyle through a needs analysis with every potenital client.
Coworking can be for the new office owner, or the established small business that just isn’t interested in managing a space. Gone are the days of deciding who makes the coffee, or fixes the printer, or wifi, or air conditioning. Coffee is waiting and common areas are maintained by the operator.
“It’s very, very plug and play all the way down to the fact that the offices are even furnished,” Cox says.
Setting up shop in a coworking space is almost like adding another employee to the team. Professional spaces like Serendipity Labs are staffed by an office manager who can greet guests and announce appointments.
Beyond the flexibility of space, coworking offers flexibility in lease terms – great for the small business not ready for a long-term commitment. Serendipity Labs’ coworking memberships run month-to-month, with private offices hitting a sweet spot of six to 12 month agreements.
Like for small business owners, flexible lease terms on private offices are a major plus for bigger businesses utilizing coworking space. Large corporations frequently turn to coworking spaces to explore new markets. And when a traditional office lease can run upwards of three to five years, there is bound to be uncertainty and variability in a new arena in that amount of time.
“We can grow with you, we can shrink with you, we can kind of mirror what your business does until you are ready to take that bigger leap, or maybe you decide that market wasn’t for you,” Cox says.
At Serendipity Labs, individuals and groups don’t have to be members to rent conference, meeting and event spaces. Various events from the personal to the professional bring community members into the space.
Cox says they have worked with groups like the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, Experience Columbus and the Short North Civic Association on various events. Both Serendipity Labs locations include an ideation studio with audio visual equipment ideal to hosts trainings, seminars, meetings and more. An outdoor patio with sweeping views of Short North also provides an ideal place for networking events to birthday parties.
Above & Beyond
Communication and creativity keep the list of ways to use a coworking space growing.
Serendipity Labs has welcomed professional photographers using their modern, stylish space as a backdrop of head shots. They’ve hosted baby showers, birthday parties and wine tastings. On the other end of the spectrum, lawyers have used the space for arbitration.
Cox also finds coworking spaces can fill a gap for short-term office needs, whether an individual needs a space to work for a few days while they are in town, or an office for a few months while their original space undergoes renovations.
Serendipity Labs is introducing a network of inviting, inspirational members-only workplaces to Columbus, Ohio. We have combined state-of-the-art workplace design, technology, and security with the highest service level standards to deliver a consistent and peerless workplace experience.
Our mission is to deliver an upscale, hospitality-based workplace experience that can serve as an extension for businesses and a home base for established, independent professionals.
Learn more about coworking in Columbus, including Serendipity’s Downtown & Short North Locations in The Metropreneur’s Coworking & Creative Workspaces Guide.