The internet is constantly evolving and technology is advancing every day. Therefore, the way we work is changing and where we work is changing also.
On Wednesday, the City of Augusta announced a new type of office space coming to the downtown area. The business is called SharedSpace. They already have two successful locations in the Atlanta area. Augusta is the first new city where they will set up shop. They plan to open November 2018.
NewsChannel 6’s Ashley Osborne was there for the announcement that took place at the future location on the corner of Greene Street and James Brown Boulevard. She talked to city leaders and to the founder of the company.
In our digital world, many only need an internet connection to work. Co-Founder and President of SharedSpace, Michael Everts explains how they are capitalizing on this trend.
“The easiest way that I like to describe it is a gym membership for an office,” Everts says before further describing their business model.
People pay a monthly membership starting at $99 that provides access to a range of professional amenities. They will have 45 private offices, 70 hot desks and a coffee shop. There will also be 5 conference rooms, that you will be able to reserve from your smart phone.
“[You] come in when you need to use it, Everts explains. “A lot of startups, entrepreneurs, they’re working out of their house, out of a coffee shop, where ever they’re working and they might not be in the office working the traditional 9-5. You could come in get all the stuff you need without really having to worry about the full overhead of an office,” he says about SharedSpace.
For those of you who are already working from home or a local coffee shop and doing so for free, you might be wondering—why would I go there and pay them to work in their space? Everts responds to that thought.
“A lot of people that are doing that currently come to us and tell us they’re ready to get out of that.” Everts explains that the loud talker in a coffee shop or the unfinished laundry haunting you at home affects your productivity.
“We also think it’s a great opportunity to kind of network and meet people within the entrepreneurial community.” Everts says the energy in the building from a collective group people hard at work, provides a thriving atmosphere.
Margaret Woodard of the Downtown Development Authority explains that with as many as 400 members, there will be more feet on the streets. She also says Everts passion is contagious.
“They so believe in Augusta. They didn’t have to be convinced,” Woodard says. “They didn’t come into our office and say, ok talk us into coming here. They had already made up their minds.”
They made up their minds and brought their money with them. Everts and his partner are investing $3.2 million into the downtown Augusta location starting with the building renovation. Everts says they are gutting the whole thing. Their plan is to keep some of the historical features in the structure like the exposed brick, while also giving the space a modern feel.
They also plan to turn an empty grassy lot across the street into a parking lot. One of the things Everts says he loves about the Augusta location that is different from their Atlanta spots is the “walkability.” He referenced the proximity to restaurants, shops and hotels.
Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis Jr. originally planned to read his notes during Wednesday’s announcement from a sheet of paper. However, Davis looked over at 28-year-old Everts with his phone in his hand and said he would read his notes from his smart phone also. Davis got a laugh from the audience when he joked about showing people we are hip in Augusta. Davis says this project ties into the cyber jobs popping up downtown. He adds, SharedSpace does not signify the death of the traditional office, but simply a complementary opportunity.
“We need to create a climate in Augusta where people are living, working and learning in downtown Augusta.” Something Davis says he has recommended for several years and the announcement from SharedSpace furthers that goal.