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Co-working is the Answer for Many

The traditional office space with workers clocking in to a 9 to 5 job is waning as more companies are offering work-from-home positions and entrepreneurs are seeking shared workspace options.

“Telecommuting has become more popular.  And finding a shared workspace has become much easier,” said Shanna Palans, owner of Inspire 70 Coworking in O’Fallon.

“There has also been a rise in the number of large companies adding amenities to their office space to make it more appealing to employees.” Palans said the traditional office has become less important.

“Companies can save money by putting sales people in charge of their own work space and not leasing huge offices,” said Palans. “Employees want the option to telecommute and the freedom to set their own hours. Technology and the internet has made working remotely easy to do, and often more efficient.”

But some employees still need a bit of human interaction, secure Wi-Fi, and a professional environment.

“Enter the coworking space,” said Palans.

Palans and her husband, Andy, opened Inspire 70 Coworking last fall to accommodate the   work-from-home employees and small businesses who enjoy the freedom and flexibility of working from home, but crave the workplace interaction and collaboration.

Located at 2173 West Terra Lane in O’Fallon, the 4,000-square-foot building offers small business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to lease cubicles, private offices, or conference rooms on a daily or monthly basis.

“It’s perfect for people in sales or tech; we even house a radio station satellite office,” said Palans.

Members at Inspire 70 Coworking are not required to sign long contracts, but can lease month-to month. All of the spaces are also available by-the-hour and by-the-day for people who don’t need space full-time. Memberships include use of all the amenities—such as a receptionist, kitchen, waiting area and smart TVs in the conference rooms.

Wi-Fi memberships allow the tenants to come in, pick an open spot, and get right to work.

“It’s similar to hanging out at the local coffee shop, but without the screaming kids or unsecure internet access,” said Palans. “We also offer workstations, assigned cubicles, and private offices.”

Members can also rent out the conference rooms which can accommodate a six to 12-person meeting, as well as a larger space that seats more than 50.

“We also have a Virtual Office Membership–we can accept your mail, sign for packages, and be your brick-and-mortar building for Google,” said Palans.

Inspire 70 Coworking offers a free networking event on the second Monday of each month that is open to the public. In addition, the business also hosts mastermind groups on various topics, such as Navigating Social Media.

“We bring in speakers for seminars on topics like “How to Use Canva For Your Business,” investing and financing, legal issues, and other topics of interest to the small business owner,” said Palans. “We encourage members to attend our free networking events, mastermind sessions, and seminars.  Being in a space with other small business owners encourages collaboration and forming referral partnerships.”

As for the future of Inspire 70 Coworking? Palans said they are going to see where the membership takes them.

“If demand is higher for private offices, we will add more.  If conference room rental is in higher demand, we will add more space for that,” said Palans. “There are a few other coworking spaces in St. Charles and St. Louis County, and they are all a little different, so it’s difficult to know who we will attract. But we are ready to adapt to the needs of our clients.”

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