Newsmaker Q & A: Co-working more than office away from home
Question: What made you want to open up another co-working space, and why did you choose the location on South College?
Answer: I honestly thought that Cohere would stay as-is for the duration, but then we got so full of awesome people that I had to turn a few would-be members away because we physically couldn’t fit any more people in our Old Town location. I’ve had my eye on Midtown for over a year, so when I heard about the building at 2120 S. College I knew that would be our expansion site. Whole Foods and MAX station across the street? Yes, please!
Q: How would you describe the culture of Cohere, and how will this location be different from the space at 418 S. Howes St.?
A: Collaborative, community-oriented, creative, helpful people who make a choice to work side by side instead of alone. Midtown will be part of the larger Cohere community, and we’ll see where the new members take us. Cothere, as we affectionately call the South College location, has much more open space than our Old Town location. There are three different co-working rooms, three private offices, a conference room and a kitchen. Our suites are arranged so you have a spectacular view of the foothills in one direction and in the other overlook the most amazing mature trees that tower over us.
Q: What’s been the most unexpected thing to come from out of Cohere so far?
A: Deep friendships that continue outside the borders of the physical space. I see people who have met at Cohere form relationships outside of Cohere. They become friends; true friends who socialize together, help each other, and those relationships endure even when they move on from belonging to Cohere. I always sit back and think, “Wow, you probably wouldn’t even know each other if you hadn’t met at Cohere and now you’re on Facebook planning your next girls’ night out together!”
Members have even branched off and started businesses together. (Food critic and blogger) Kristin Mastre and (graphic designer) Ellen Bryant joined forces to create Four Course Marketing over a year ago. We’ve also had startups who work from Cohere hire Cohere’s freelancer members. Derek Haynes of Scout snapped up the freelance Rails developer, Matt Rose, and now they have their own office space in Old Town. It’s so rewarding to see relationships form and grow even when people are no longer a part of Cohere.
Q: How many people are members of Cohere?
A: 46 and growing.
Q: Can you give me your elevator pitch for co-working?
A: Cohere is a collaborative shared office community for people who normally work from home but don’t like it.
Working at home can be incredibly isolating for many people and is fraught with the distractions of pets, kids, dishes and lawn mowing. When you join a co-working space, you give your brain permission to be wildly productive while co-working, and then you can really relax when you get home. Most members enjoy the routine of getting dressed to come to work instead of staying in PJs all day. They can finally form connections in real life instead of relying on social networks. They hire out work to one another, barter website updates for pizza or a press release, and there is a delightful sense of peer pressure when everyone else is concentrating and typing; you feel like you should crank on your to-do list as well.
Q: At most any office, at some point conflict arises. How do you handle conflict/disagreements at Cohere?
A: Rock, paper, scissors and doughnut buying when bets are lost.
Q: Any advice for a first-time co-worker?
A: Come with an open mind, accept generosity and be helpful when it makes sense for you. You’ll likely be extremely productive too, so be prepared for that.