Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Shared Work Spaces Can Offer Growing Businesses Many Perks

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Clean desks, coffee machines and the camaraderie of co-workers are just some of the amenities shared work spaces offer to freelancers and start-ups alike. NY1's Money Matters reporter Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

Americans are working from home -- lots of them. According to the US Census Bureau, 13.4 million people worked at home at least one day a week in 2010. While the commute is great, the experience can be a little isolating.

"You need to be in an environment with other people, even if you are not talking to them. It puts an energy in the air," says Peter Gache, who uses shared work space. "You look around, you see other people working really hard and it gives you the inspiration to work really hard as well."

Gache, a Californian, certainly seems inspired in the corner office he has nabbed for himself at Regus, a company that provides flexible work spaces around the globe. Unlike working in a coffee shop, the menu of Regus' amenities is extensive.

"We have a support team in place for whatever type of support you might need. It might be scanning, it might be binding of booklets," says Colleen Susini, the market director of Regus.

"There's conference rooms and meeting rooms that you can immediately take advantage of and there's a sense of camaraderie between other people and entrepreneurs that are here that are doing the same type of business that you are," says David Valazzi, the president of Medical Advising for Patients.

If a business involves more than just one person and a laptop, then shared work spaces might be the perfect fit to accommodate both a growing team and a growing company's budget.

Sam Lundin is the CEO of Vimbly, an online activity booking service. His team of 10 rotates in and out of a 20-feet-by-20-feet office space operated by We Work.

"We basically have a designated private office in a building that has a lot of those," says Lundin.

Running a relatively new site, Vimbly is able to keep his start-up costs down, thanks to the shared amenities offered by a collaborative space.

"We have seven conference rooms which we can use at any time. We have copy machines, we have coffee and we don't need to worry about facilitating this all by ourselves," says Vimbly.

But perhaps the biggest benefit of a shared work space is shared knowledge. Individuals are able to bounce ideas off one another, trading expertise and insights over the communal copy machine.

"You may be a lawyer and meet someone in marketing who can help you grown your business. You may be very creative but need an accountant to help you manage your books, so there's a lot of great networking that goes on," says Grant Greenberg, a spokesman for Regus.

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