As telecommuting and contract working increases in the Twin Cities, coworking opportunities are keeping pace.
The latest initiative for bringing independent professionals together under one roof is WorkAround
, a Minneapolis-based office space that distinguishes itself by providing both shared offices and business consulting services.
Founded by business coach Buffie Blesi and entrepreneur John Burns, the space is located in the Warehouse District, and features both individual desks/cubicles and conference rooms.
Blesi notes that the idea for a coworking space came, in part, from her efforts to bring together business coaches she'd hired as part of her company, KnowledgeSphere, and her part of a franchise, AdviCoach
. She says, "I didn't feel like we were a team, we just weren't connecting well. Also, even though I worked from home, I began to feel like I'd do just about anything to get out of the house."
That experience is familiar to many entrepreneurs and small business owners, she believes, and a sense of connection and community can be helpful in fostering creativity and company growth.
WorkAround distinguishes itself from other coworking arrangements in the Twin Cities because of its business coaching, which is part of a member's coworking package. AdviCoach professionals advise members once a month on business matters.
"Our members are primarily small business owners in service-based businesses," she says. "CoCo
has a lock on the technology entrepreneurs, and while they're certainly welcome here, we feel that this environment is more geared toward people who have started a business in the last year or two."
Connecting with others in the WorkAround space allows members to be part of a community that cares whether they succeed or fail--something that most people have a hard time getting at home, working alongside pets and kids, Blesi believes.
"We want our members to get to that next level, where they eventually have a space of their own," she says.
Source: Buffie Blesi, WorkAround
Writer: Elizabeth Millard