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Coworking Spaces Offer Unique Alternative for Businesses

As business models continue to evolve, the new trend of alternative workspaces is allowing professionals to escape the traditional office environment, while providing a much-needed change of pace.

According to DeskMag, 71% of people in coworking spaces have said they are more productive with 68% saying they are able to better focus.

Across the nation, coworking spaces, or alternative workspaces, are becoming more prevalent, providing an opportunity for companies and individuals to share work and common spaces. Those utilizing coworking spaces run the gamut from, freelance workers to startups and multinational corporations. Coworking spaces offer leases of all durations – from short-term leases to longer-term leases – which allow small companies to grow while limiting their expenses. Some individuals work at an alternative workspace instead of working from home, at coffee shops, or even to change their work setting for a day, allowing ideas to flow or get more work done. Rent typically includes internet, printing, cleaning services, utilities, and can include 24/7 access to the building.

Furnished coworking spaces share common areas such as break and conference rooms, but individuals can choose to have their own offices. This model can allow companies with various backgrounds to work in close proximity, allowing for networking, collaboration, and even mentorships. These spaces can also provide professionals a new, creative place to generate unique ideas and innovations.

In Northwest Arkansas, alternative workspace operators collaborate with and support startups, as well as provide more options for larger companies, further developing the business ecosystem. These workspaces provide a platform for businesses in the region to grow, partner, innovate and create new industry leaders.

Northwest Arkansas currently has five coworking spaces – CenterSpace, Regus, Cast, NWA Workplace and Grit Studios – with plans for two others, Likewise and WeWork, expected to open within two years. These companies rent offices to various companies and higher education institutions such as ibotta, Green Circle Projects, !deation, nielsen, along with the University of Arkansas and Oklahoma State University.

Among the amenities offered, Grit Studios provides advice for startup companies, professional development and has coaches to assist with business development plans. Cast offers educational programs, social events and networking events. These services allow companies a unique opportunity to uncover potential synergies.

Unlike other alternative workspaces in Northwest Arkansas, CenterSpace in Fayetteville provides its services free of charge for startups and entrepreneurs with like-minded values. The space is owned by Startup Junkie, which helps entrepreneurs start businesses with a support group, while providing business consultation. There is a conference room, which is also free to use, and a game room, to stimulate the creative process.

Regus and NWA Workplace also host networking events for clients to make business connections. With multiple coworking offices around the world, Regus allows its clients to move to any location with no additional cost. As a local coworking space, NWA Workplace provides convenient amenities to clients such as business workshops and on-site parking, appealing to businesses in the area by operating as a local business itself.

Northwest Arkansas’ alternative work spaces are thriving because they provide unique opportunities, whether it’s career development, networking prospects, or even the opportunity to escape a daily routine. As Northwest Arkansas’ business ecosystem continues to develop, it will be interesting to see how alternative and coworking spaces evolve within the existing office space universe in the region.

For more insight on business trends and activities, contact our team.