Rent your desk, flex your networking muscle
From the Reno Collective to Pacific Workplaces, there are many flexible work spaces available in Reno to provide all sorts of office fundamentals to individuals, telecommuters and small business groups. And, yes, this even means coffee.
While the fundamentals do include that physical work space or desk, they often expand to other less tangible things that make an office space work: think access to wifi and printers, conference rooms and a kitchen -- most with at least a microwave. Other shared work spaces have a community lounge, landlines, reception, and even notary services – although some of these amenities may only be available with higher-tier membership pricing.
"The biggest draw for me is the community," said Andrew Samuelsen, a sole proprietor and software engineer who pays to use space at the Reno Collective, located on North Arlington Avenue. "I really like the community aspect of it. It's sort of a hub of events. It's like networking, but it's not like a networking event where you are forced into a situation with people. It's like true networking, authentic networking. That's kind of what it ends up being."
Meet the talent
That's because members of these shared spaces bring skills and talents from many different fields, including graphic or furniture design, coaching and development, real estate, mortgage, accounting and more. Members can connect with each other while working in the shared spaces or even through actual networking events hosted by the businesses.
Pacific Workspaces, located on the sixth floor of the U.S. Bank building on East Liberty Street, holds bimonthly networking events for members in its business lounge. These help to "get the whole community in," and to provide opportunities for members to make networking connections, according to Bryan Warner, Reno manager, who describes flexible work spaces as a type of plug-n-play.
"It's a pretty eclectic group," he said.
Samuelsen said that at the Reno Collective, there is communication and networking outside the physical space as well -- think email, a member portal and a Facebook page.
It might seem like a shared work space could get distracting or noisy, but that is generally not the case, Samuelsen said. At the Reno Collective, people are generally focused on their work during the day; people who need to take phone calls can use one of the booths with soundproof walls, he said.
As well, many shared work spaces are located in key business areas, meaning that members don't have to walk far to find that desired food or coffee nearby. Located near the Reno Collective, for example, are the Hub and Java Jungle.
For Samuelson, who heads to the Reno Collective three to four times a week, the environment has also been a place "for both finding work and finding people to help me work." Additionally, he said that a shared work space can be helpful to freelancers who work out of their home, but need to escape that environment or want to meet with a client somewhere else.
What's space like this do to the pocketbook? Shared work space businesses generally offer a variety of membership levels so that members can find something that meets their budget and wallet size, said Warner. For example, Pacific Workspaces has several different membership levels available, offering everything from a one-day drop-in to 24/7 access to the building.
"I think the biggest thing that is attracting people to these kinds of spaces is the whole on-demand economy that we're running on now," Warner said.
People also can sign flexible lease terms to rent any of the 44 actual physical office spaces at Pacific Workspaces, which is at about 70 percent occupancy, but has reached as high as 80 percent. As Warner noted, these spaces can meet the needs of start-ups or new companies looking to launch or expand in the area.
"While they scout out a place or build out a building for their employees, they can put feet on the ground here in Reno," he said.
Pacific Workplaces, which has 15 locations in California with Reno as its 16th, has long figured out how to work out the kinks and to roll with the punches – and this includes reacting when it's hot outside.
"We provide coffee and tea, and now that it's the summer months, we're making lemonade every morning," he said.