Redefining Office Space
By AnaMaría Bech
Click aqui para español->Redefiniendo la Oficina
The co-working movement surfaced in San Francisco in 2005 as an idea to combine the independence of freelancing with the community and structure of an office space. These co-working spaces emerged to offer flexible alternatives while helping foster a professional community for entrepreneurs seeking something beyond a café or the isolation of working from home. The Shop is a comprehensive co-working development at the Contemporary Arts Center and it is designed to provide valuable business/cultural programming and services to tenants in addition to the features, amenities, membership packages, and benefits that form the cornerstones of a successful co-working space. “Many people enjoy having the flexibility to work by their own rules and vary their work environments, but what’s often missing from that is a sense of community,” says Pam Meyer, Community Director at The Shop at the CAC. “Current members regularly tell us that they’re more productive when they’re working around and able to connect with other creative, goal-oriented members." According to one ResearchGate report, people who belong to co-working spaces report levels of thriving at an average of 6 on a 7-point scale. Research conducted by organizational psychologist Craig Knight concludes that “empowered offices” -- in which workers can choose their conditions -- can increase productivity on cognitive tasks by 25 percent or more. One of the top benefits that people identify in terms of value is the focus on having a community that provides networking opportunities, which in turn helps them grow their business. Numerous members at The Shop have acquired new accounts, clients, financing, and more, due to their time spent working in the space. The need for a progressive workspace like this in New Orleans helped The Domain Companies drive the development of The Shop, which provides innovative design and competitive amenities like onsite car and bike parking; secure, 24/7 keyless access through a mobile app; a full kitchen with coffee and beer on draft; member events; local and company-focused discounts; and more. For Matt Schwartz, Principal of The Domain Companies, this alternative works “extremely well” for New Orleans, adding that the main goal for The Shop was “to give locals and visitors a place to congregate, share ideas, and in turn, foster a creative, entrepreneurial community. New Orleans is open to that. It’s a creative city with a ton of opportunity, already full of great ideas that we can build on.” The Shop is an innovative workspace. Located in the heart of the historic Contemporary Arts Center, The Shop features over 40,000 sf of award-winning, art-filled space curated to highlight local artists and designers, featuring both temporary and permanent installations; seven conference rooms equipped with the latest technology; private phone booths; and more. One of the more unique aspects of The Shop is the local, creative focus on the artwork and educational and cultural programming that connects members with what’s happening in New Orleans currently across the arts, business, local government, and more. To learn more about The Shop at the CAC visit the website or schedule a tour: https://theshopcac.com.