When we launched ThinkBar last fall, one of the most common questions we heard was, "Why would you open a coworking space amid a pandemic?"
We understand this sentiment. One hundred percent.
Though the ThinkBar concept was born long before Covid became a household name, it eventually caught up with us, delayed our planned May opening, and left us with a similar question. "Should we open a co-working space amid a pandemic?"
As all businesses did, we used this time to reevaluate what we were offering and gauge how the market would respond in this new environment. We researched. We stayed on top of developments and recommendations. We read. A lot.
We made adjustments to our space, the furniture, the layout, daily operations and simplified our opening business model to best prepare us for a post-pandemic environment. (Still waiting) Eventually, we decided to soft-launch our existence to the world and listened.
We immediately heard from SO MANY people who had now found themselves in uncharted territory: working from home. They were burning out. They were becoming unproductive. They were working alongside home-schooled children, spouses also working from home, and the usual work-from-home distractions. They had spotty internet connections, or NO internet connection at all (rural America is still without reliable internet!) making zoom calls, virtual conference calls, and webinars, etc. a huge source of stress. Add to that uninterrupted time to work, and now they were working twice as long and had lost all work-life balance. Some didn't even have actual offices. They needed a new arrangement, and fast.
They needed a professional space that provided the flexibility of the home office, with the structure and support of an office. What they needed was a coworking space.
We started to think this might have actually been the BEST time to launch a coworking space. With this sudden influx of remote employees paired with our area's already heavy remote-work population, entrepreneurs, and solo business owners, the market needed ThinkBar now more than ever.
As the pandemic will continue to push people into new directions, willingly or unwillingly, and businesses decide to transition away from the traditional office for the foreseeable future, we expect coworking to become its own household name.
We're ready for it.