A new type of office space is gaining popularity in Springfield. Coworking spaces.
The Harvard Business Review estimates that approximately 1.6 million Americans work in coworking spaces. In Springfield, there are five different spaces where a business can rent space. or even private offices. Businesses have the option to buy desk space, entire offices or conference rooms. By talking to the people that work and have memberships to these offices you gain a glimpse of what they are like.
One artist using a coworking space is Jeff Adams, a video editor and documentary filmmaker with Two Tree NY. Adams, who is currently working on a documentary, rents office space in Originate Office Space in downtown Springfield.
“There are some downsides and some benefits,” Adams said.
One such benefit, Adams says, is the 24-hour accessibility. Adams splits his time between Springfield and Brooklyn, New York, and said that the ability to step off the plane and go to the office is invaluable. One other benefit, he said, is the security.
“I have a lot of expensive equipment, and I don't have to worry about any of it getting stolen,” Adams said.
Jay Mihalevich and Mike Burkhart of VE Design Group, an architecture and design management firm whose main offices are in Willard, Missouri, said the added space is what they needed.
“It has allowed us to expand as we need to,” Burkhart, president of VE Design Group, said.
Burkhart also said it allows him and his project team to be closer to their project in Springfield.
However, all three agree on the one big downside of coworking spaces: the noise.
“Sometimes it gets a little noisey,” Mihalevich said. This is because of the nature of open offices. In these types of offices collaboration and talking to your coworkers is often encouraged. In an open office plan this could be a problem for hose who want less noise and more silence.
In addition, it doesn’t help that the building is a historic one and has a quite echoey acoustic.
Often, these coworking spaces come with amenities that help people get more work done.
In the Originate Offices in downtown Springfield, this includes a kitchen, a breakroom, Wi-Fi, printers, and professional private offices.
This range of amenities is also shared by the other coworking offices in Springfield. All of these amenities come with a membership to the office space for $200 a month.
According to a study published in the journal R & D Management, called “New in-house organizational spaces that support creativity and innovation: the co-working space,” coworking spaces and the collaboration that stems from that environment make employees and projects more creative and innovative.
In addition, shared spaces allow people who work remotely from home feel less lonely and isolated.
This is a problem as isolation and loneliness are the biggest complaints from people who work remotely, according to the Harvard Business Review.
According to the HBR, 83 percent of people working in coworking spaces felt less lonely and 79 percent of people expanded their social networks.
Despite the noise, coworking spaces will continue to grow.
The HBR forecasts that the number of people working in these spaces will go up to about 3.8 million in 2020. So needless to say, coworking spaces are here to stay.