Crowdsourcing? Maybe. Utilizing the talents of your neighbors? Yes. I read the other day that we are better innovators by surrounding ourselves with a variety of individuals. Why not find office space that gives you the crowdsourcing environment, with great design, and a variety of talent just a wall or pane of glass away? Think of it as a new neighborhood with like-minded individuals, with great taste. You each selected a beautiful office, your home away from home, the place you spend most of your day. You might just find that you have more in common than you ever knew. You might find out when you get your morning cup of coffee in the communal kitchen.
Many have called sharing office space “co-working” where individuals rent space at large shared tables or desks, and work alongside people from different companies. Members are surrounded by a community to interact with and support their business. Why is this good? It is cheap, and works for those that are basically on laptops and do not need to talk much or worry about privacy, or security of assets. Other individuals might rent “executive office suites” that are rented on a short-term basis that gives the feel that they have a physical office space. Why is this option good? Physical location with privacy and security of assets. However, there’s no office community.
If co-working and executive office suites do not solve what you need, then maybe try a “hive” office. A key component to a “hive” environment is a balance between privacy and community. Whether you are in the start-up mode, trying to raise money, or a budding company that thrives on the inspiration that a community of entrepreneurs brings, then a hive environment might be just the thing. You might think, why not just rent or lease a typical office? You could, but many times those can be expensive, with long lease terms, and often without the community aspect available to you. Who knows? In a hive environment, that lawyer you need might be your neighbor down the hall. You might collaborate with a web designer and find that you can help each other out.
We have a few co-working or hive office ventures in Portland. Recently I came across a great venture in the River North district of Chicago. It is called “Industrious Office” that focuses on modern designed offices in a hive environment. It is a 17,000 square foot building with 72 offices in total that can each accommodate 1 to 10 people on a month-to-month basis. Office rates start at $400 a month, which is a steal! Amenities include: 24/7 access to free wi-fi and electricity, printing services, private phone booths, onsite storage, lounges, complementary mail services, access to conference and collaboration rooms, a kitchen and a full service coffee bar. In addition, Industrious offer members a wide variety of classes and events in its space.
Industrious Office draws the best elements of co-working, executive suite offices, and traditional office space by creating individual private offices using glass partitions so that individuals feel that they are part of a larger community, but still have the privacy of their own private office.
I can see it being the perfect setting for designers, writers, start-ups, non-profits, lawyers, or anyone that wants to have a beautiful location to spend most of their working hours. Industrious Office is scheduled to open later this summer. If you live in Chicago and work from home, or bounce around from Starbucks to local coffee shop, have been craving a quiet space, and a clean and modern place to bring your clients, then be sure to check out the lofts at Industrious Office. I would love to spend my days within the modern feel of high ceilings, exposed brick walls + glass walled private offices, conference rooms and common areas.
Updates can be found on twitter.com/IndustriousHQ and facebook.com/IndustriousOffice