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Get Motivated: Find The Perfect Coworking Spot In Spokane

Coworking spaces may feel like a relatively new concept. While the idea of coworking started in the 90s, the first official coworking space kicked off in the early 2000s.

Today, coworking is alive and well in the northwest and is gaining new energy after the pandemic.

Coworking spaces offer a fascinating service for business owners; enabling them to get out of their houses and around other people who, too, dream of building flourishing companies.

Coworking spaces also offer a few other essential services, such as providing a business address and mailing address, hosting quiet, tech-enabled spaces for conferences both virtual and in-person, wireless internet, printing, and offering a desk and chair to sit at.

For small start-ups, having an official address that isn’t their house, and a place to meet clients, can make a huge difference. 

Outside of the logistical benefits of coworking, there’s also the major benefit of networking with other business owners and building a community – Because starting a business can be a lonely endeavor.

In a post-pandemic world, coworking brings expenses down and professionals together. 

I caught up with the owners and community managers from several Spokane-area coworking places to check out their spaces, and find out everything you need to know about coworking in the northwest.

From Entrepreneurs to Enterprises: Burbity Coworking

If the Inland Northwest had a leading expert on coworking spaces, it would definitely be Ann Long of Burbity Coworking, the Sullivan Valley Commons, and Liberty Lake Coworking. That’s right, Ann runs three different coworking workspaces in the greater Spokane area.

Back in 2018, Ann worked as a consultant and customer experience strategist and wanted her own space to work with her clients. She had never heard of coworking in 2018, and started investigating these spaces. 

Ann soon realized that there were others like her who needed a shared space. She worked around the country in several coworking spaces and fell in love with the concept.

What did she enjoy about the coworking idea? Ann explained in one of the lounge areas at the Sullivan Valley Commons: “I loved the vibe. I loved the camaraderie. I loved the collaboration between business owners. I loved how coworking operators were so open and free and giving.” 

Ann said that, after a year, she decided to open her own coworking space. Soon, she closed her other business to focus on coworking full time.  

Coworking Serves More People and Companies Than You May Realize

When many people think of coworking spaces, they tend to think of freelancing creatives, such as designers and developers. Within the walls of Liberty Lake Coworking, the Sullivan Valley Commons and Burbity Workspaces, it’s clear that coworking benefits a variety of people and businesses.

“When I first started in the pre-covid days, I anticipated there would be a lot of freelancers, graphic designers, software engineers and people in the gig economy,” explains Ann when asked about the types of people who utilize her coworking facilities.  “It turns out that’s completely flipped around now. We see all walks of life here. We even see global enterprise companies in our space.” 

Larger coworking spaces usually have a variety of coworking spaces available, such as community tables, dedicated desk spaces, short-term desk/office rentals, phone booths, conference rooms and private office suites. 

Within all of these, entrepreneurs and large companies alike are able to find a workspace that fits their needs. 

From Coworking Spaces To Collaborative Events

Additionally, coworking spaces often host events, with networking events being a staple. 

Networking events offer an opportunity to meet new community members, clients, future referral partners and like-minded friends. 

In addition to networking events, coworking facilities often host other events such as technology training, educational workshops and featured speakers. 

Burbity Coworking partners with several organizations in the community to bring great events to their spaces, including local chambers, businesses and networking groups. 

This year, Burbity is partnering with Founders Live, a global company based out of Seattle, to host pitch competitions on a local level. These pitch competitions feed into venture capitalist funds, providing the funding needed for start-ups to reach their potential. 

Other co-working spots, like Fellow Co-working, also offer “lunch and learns”, host book clubs, and have a calendar in the main kitchen where members can share upcoming events.

Two Major Trends for 2023 Coworking

What trends can we look forward to in 2023 for coworking? Coworking experts I spoke to predict coworking will have steady growth in 2023 as companies continue to embrace a hybrid work model. 

Ann explains: “We anticipate that a lot of enterprise companies are still trying to navigate hybrid work. What we’ve discovered is that enterprise-size companies are interested in coworking for hybrid employees because it gives them the flexibility they need while allowing them to work virtually.

“Not everyone can work from home for a multitude of reasons, whether it be roommates, small children, a bad internet connection or they just need to be around people. Coworking provides that to enterprise companies that want to shut down their building when they only have five people coming in. We’re seeing that trend here in Spokane.”

In addition, according to Coworking Mag, other trends we can expect to see include:

  • Demand for coworking spots in multi-city locations – if your coworking business is able to scale up in other cities, like Spokane, Seattle, Missoula, Portland, etc., it will be in higher demand for nomadic and traveling entrepreneurs.
  • Variety of spaces within a coworking location – bean bag chairs, quiet rooms, common rooms, standing desks and more – entrepreneurs and coworkers need flexibility, both in seating arrangements and in the ability to move around their spaces.
  • Connection to nature – as coworking spaces are traditionally located in the city center, more coworking companies are bringing the outdoors in. From plants to water fountains, offering some aspect of the outdoors brings many positive dividends to workers.

Among Friends At Fellow Coworking

Another important part of the coworking puzzle is the community manager. Most coworking spaces have a community manager who works as a liaison between coworkers and the facility. Often, their work includes being available to answer questions, sorting mail, scheduling events and conference rooms, administrative work, and being a point-of-contact.

Fellow Coworking – located at 304 W. Pacific Avenue in the Washington Cracker Building – is one of Spokane’s most well-known coworking spaces. 

Filled with modern accents and brilliant coworking features, Fellow Coworking offers an environment that feels very similar to what tech startups in the 2010s dreamed of: Free coffee from Anvil coffee, a selection of tea from Revival Tea Company, smart-looking workspaces, cozy couches, kombucha and local craft beer on tap, contemporary design, and great music fills the space.

At the forefront of the fun, you’ll find Karinna Hemenway, Fellow’s Community Manager. Karinna began as a Community Manager in 2022, and has become a vital part of Fellow’s incredible environment. 

Karinna’s work involves supporting Fellow’s small businesses and entrepreneurs in their day-to-day work, from fixing the printer to helping them receive mail. “Everyone here is super kind and respectful. They let me know when there are concerns, so I can help as they need.”

From Media Rooms to Meeting Rooms

Fellow offers several memberships with perks and benefits – including one and two-day plans, 24/7 memberships, dedicated desk spaces and suites. 

Fellow also offers virtual membership options for those that need a business address and a place to send their mail. They also have a variety of designated areas: break-out desks, phone booths, a lounge area, a full kitchen, a media room, conference rooms and more.

North Spokane’s Professional Spot: The Happening Space

The Happening Space is a cozy coworking space located off of North Division inside of North Town Insurance. Operated by Lisa LeBlanc, The Happening Space was started in 2022, and has become a convenient spot for entrepreneurs who need a quick office to meet with clients in person, want to hold a small conference meeting or simply want a place to work that isn’t their kitchen table. The Happening Space feels modern but comfortable, collaborative but also quiet enough to complete your work.

 

“Our North Spokane workspace aims to create an environment that is functional and friendly,” explains founder, Lisa LeBlanc. “Your work is meaningful. Creating a welcoming space that allows you to brainstorm, get inspired, focus, product and connect with other like-minded members is our effort with this space.”

Other Coworking Spaces in Spokane

The Inland Northwest has several other coworking facilities to consider, like 22 Rooms, which offers an exclusive coworking space for entrepreneurs.

Mad Co-Labs offers coworking, or more aptly, co-creating for artists. Mad Co-Labs also hosts a weekly networking event on Fridays at 3 pm. 

Jump Into Coworking This Year

Coworking is an incredible way to find a community amongst other entrepreneurs, professionals and business owners. As a self-proclaimed extrovert who started a business during the pandemic, coworking has been a vital part of growing my business and staying connected to the community. 

Entrepreneurship, especially in its beginning stages, can feel independent in the best times and lonely at other times. 

After the joy and adrenaline rush of starting the journey fades, the long, solitary hours creep in. 

Between the arduous work days and missing certain occasions to build your business, it can be isolating for entrepreneurs and lead to burnout.

Coworking can help you find your community. Between modern workspaces, great events and camaraderie, coworking can help you find the resources to take your business to new heights. 

Where will your work take you in 2023?

Christine Burns

Christine Burns is a local entrepreneur, public speaker, content creator, model, and writer from Spokane, WA. She’s an expert in marketing and owns Posted Consulting LLC, an award-winning PR firm. Born and raised in the Inland Northwest, Christine loves to support and advocate for local businesses and artists, and even hosts the annual Spokane Small Business Convention in the spring.

READ ALL OF CHRISTINE’S ARTICLES HERE.

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