Many confess they miss the face-to-face interaction and co-worker relationships inherent in a typical office situation.
Another downside often shared among those in the home office arena is the problem of finding appropriate meeting space in which to connect with clients other than noisy coffee shops.
Local business owners Jeff and Kim Thomas of Crossroad Sign in Woodinville have come up with what they believe is an optimum solution to these issues.
It’s called “EASY ST Workspace,” and it’s being marketed as “the new way to office in Bothell and Woodinville.”
“The concept is basically a co-work or shared work space,” explains Jeff. “It’s akin to the campus library, but it offers the convenience and amenities of an executive office at a fraction of the monthly cost.”
At EASY ST, which is located in the same building as Crossroad Sign, approximately 800 square feet in the front part of the facility has been designated shared office space.
There are five shared desks, a four-person worktable, private conference room with flat-screen, windowed lounge, fast wireless, single-sheet printing, faxing, coffeemaker, fridge and cleaning service.
According to Thomas, the shared work concept is about four years old nationally. There are about a half dozen of these types of offices in the Seattle area with two on the Eastside.
“I read about these places back in late summer,” comments the local man. “Kim and I thought it would be a great idea to open one, and as we weren’t really using the front part of our building, we decided to convert it into a shared office space.”
He adds, “We have lots of friends who own small businesses and work primarily from home. They often drop in on us at Crossroad Sign and they ask to use a desk, a table or if they can make copies or send a fax. They also just like to hang around and talk. It’s obvious they enjoy the social contact and opportunity to network, too.”
Thomas strongly feels there’s a market for this type of office arrangement, pointing to statistics that indicate one-person companies as comprising 78 percent of all small businesses in the country. The local businessman notes that the rates at EASY ST are considerably less than the cost of rent for a small space in an office building.
“And they’re much less than the executive shared spaces that you find,” he adds.
At EASY ST, members pay as low as $159 a month with a six-month membership. Though this is a business venture for him, Thomas emphasizes that he is keeping rates reasonable because his main objective is to help solo professionals in the Woodinville-Bothell area.
Feedback has been highly positive to the concept and Thomas has begun selling memberships.
He plans to cap the number at a few dozen and expects that he will reach that goal in the near future.
“I think it’s going to be very successful because the need is there,” he adds. “And the location is great. We’re just two blocks off 522 and there’s plenty of parking.”
EASY ST Workspace is located at 13406 177th Place in Woodinville. For more information: (425) 398-1116.