Technology has allowed the American workforce to be more flexible and mobile than ever before, and finding office spaces that evolve along with these changes is a must. This translates to the bustling Metro-D.C. area embracing more communal workspaces.
Coworking spaces appeal to a variety of companies, from startups to Fortune 500 businesses says MakeOffices CMO Shana Glenzer. It eliminates the hassle of committing to a five-year lease and gives companies the chance to test a new market.
MakeOffices’ newest location is in Reston, and construction for their hub at Logan Circle started in March. An office at Clarendon will open sometime between mid-May and mid-June at 3100 Clarendon Blvd. with about 40,000 square feet and located right across from the metro station. Similarly with the other MakeOffices locations, it’ll offer three options for companies to rent: private offices, bullpen shared spaces or virtual offices. Interested renters will also find a central pantry area, a coffee bar and conference rooms. Clarendon will have the company’s updated style with bright colors and an emphasis on fostering a productive atmosphere.
“Everybody has drywall between their offices with windows so they can get some sunlight,” Glenzer says. “It’s a different working atmosphere than some of the others that are little more like a party or social scene.”
Another coworking business expanding its local presence is WeWork. The city lead for Washington, D.C., Carl Pierre says that they pick their offices based on the volume of amenities available.
Their newest office in the area is in Crystal City on 2221 S. Clark St., and it’s just a 15-minute walk to the National Airport. The space can fit up to 425 workers, and the offices can be modified based on a company’s team size and needs. According to Pierre, a variety of niche industries, from tech startups to magicians, find their home at WeWork.
“The thing is that you’ll never have a boring conversation at WeWork because the diversity of the industries that make up our core membership is just all over the place,” he says.
Scott Brodbeck, owner and founder of Local News Now LLC, the umbrella company of sites like ArlNow.com and RestonNow.com, rents from multiple MakeOffices and says they’ll move to the upcoming Clarendon office. As a media company and small business, Brodbeck says he appreciates the numerous locations, flexibility and networking opportunities that communal offices offer.
“We definitely interact with some of the folks here, and that is one of the advantages of being in a coworking space,” he says. “Having other companies doing interesting things here, sometimes you find ways that can work together and use the network to boost your business.”
Glenzer says MakeOffices CEO Raymond Rahbar refers to this as “collaborative collisions.” The shared lounge and kitchen areas facilitate brainstorming between the companies or simply provide an opportunity to take a break and have a beer together.
Pierre notices that a lot of interest in renting their offices comes from people who want that interaction with different employees in a professional space, rather than working alone from home.
“It’s that level of community that is a really, really big anchor for why WeWork has caught on, on a global level,” he says.