EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Structure. Amenities. Opportunities for collaboration.
Cowork Evansville provides all that and more for its clients, a diverse group of local individuals who don’t fit a stereotypical 9-to-5 office mold.
The space at 318 Main St., in the ground floor of Innovation Pointe, has the look of a modern office. There are conference rooms, a copy machine, a coffee pot and WiFi.
In reality, there’s nothing traditional about Cowork Evansville. Inhabitants share space, but they mostly work for separate companies. Many are based far from the Tri-State.
Omnicom Media Group has its headquarters in New York, but Cowork Evansville is where Brad Warthan checks in with them daily. The Boonville native is trained in marketing, and he moved around for about 10 years, including stints in England and San Francisco.
Warthan wanted to come back home, and after having Omnicom as a client, the company offered him a full-time job. He manages people in India.
“It helps to come in here and not feel like I have to work from home all the time. That’s challenging,” Warthan said, adding that Cowork Evansville “provides some structure.”
Across the room, Sam Stevens pecked away at his computer. Stevens works for a San Francisco-based company called truthlab.com, and as he explained it, his job is to teach computers how to solve problems.
“I write code,” he said. “I’m a remote worker, and now that we have the Cowork space and internet, we can work. I joined as soon as I moved here. I’m really glad they have this space.”
Cowork Evansville has accumulated about 60 clients since its opening Oct. 1. Most are employed by different companies, but those who use the space also have formed their own little office community. Stevens and someone else in the room recently wore red pants on a Friday; the occasion was then declared “Red Pant Friday.”
“Everybody kind of comes to each other for help,” Stevens said. “And we’ve given each other some work here and there. It’s been good.”
Such an environment was the goal when the Growth Alliance for Greater Evansville created the space. Cowork Evansville is an extension of a pilot program that was on Innovation Pointe’s second floor, in a smaller space, starting in 2014.
“We wanted to test the waters and see if it’s something that could work in Evansville,” said Abby Elpers, marketing communications manager with GAGE. “It wasn’t marketed heavily. It was mostly word of mouth.”
The minimum commitment for a Cowork Evansville client is one full year. There are two payment plans for 2019 — a lump sum of $750 or monthly payments of $75. For an additional $100 per month, a client may receive a designated workspace.
Get your resume ready.
Coworking is a new concept in the Tri-State, but not to other areas. Cowork Evansville is largely modeled after WeWork, a chain that has locations throughout the United States and the world. Founded in New York City in 2010, WeWork has more than 100,000 members. It even offers a health insurance plan.
“Those tend to be in larger cities,” Elpers said. “We did a lot of research into places like that but tried to scale it for our community.”
Members of Cowork Evansville have around-the-clock access to the facility. If a client wants to video conference late at night or early in the morning with someone in another state or country, he can. Mail delivery service is another perk.
“We try to provide everything they would need to conduct business,” said Celia Shoulders, facility operations manager with GAGE.
For those interested in checking out the space, a free Cowork day is offered on the second Tuesday of each month, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
A good way to retain millennials is to have new technology, allow them to take enough time off and work from home. Sean Dowling (@seandowlingtv) has more.
Read or Share this story: https://www.courierpress.com/story/money/evansville-business-journal/2018/12/21/cowork-evansville-just-ticket-remote-workers-freelancers/2148300002/