Co-Working: Collaborative Office Space of the Future

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Last night the New Tech Group, a Web and tech-centric networking group in South Florida, gathered to celebrate an anniversary and get the first look at a new working environment. Although Caffeine Spaces is a long way from an official ribbon cutting, it was clear to all in attendance that the huge space located just steps from Florida Atlantic University’s Boca Raton campus will become a place to work and forge new connections.

A co-working space is not the same as a virtual office. Virtual offices have been around for several years. The main benefit they offer is the appearence of a professional office without the full-time overhead.

With a virtual office, you have the prestige of a business address and a professional receptionist to answer and route your incoming phone calls. You use meeting and office space only when you need it. Co-working takes this idea a few steps further. This space isn’t as much about creating a professional facade as it is about having a work environment that encourages collaboration and networking. In a co-working environment, like Caffeine Spaces, there are huge open areas for people to work, gather, and communicate. According to Mark Laymon, the driving force behind Caffeine Spaces,

“We a suffering a brain drain of tech startups and entrepreneurs in South Florida. By creating a network of coworking spaces I hope to have an impact in keeping more of the talent locally. What we are creating is as close to a professional business clubhouse as possible. All the amenities of a large office are included, but none of the overhead. Becoming a coworking member is much more than renting a desk, it is joining a community of like minded individuals that want to work in a group environment, but still have the flexibility of working for themselves.”

The 11,000 square-foot facility we toured last night is just the first of several planned. The space will have a mix of hot desks, fixed desks, and executive offices to be used on a day-to-day basis. There will also be phone booths for “private calls.”  To round out the needs of the technologically savvy co-workers, there will be a kitchen, several full-sized conference rooms, and a pod-casting/green-screen room.

The level of involvement among the tech community in South Florida is outstanding. Be sure to check back often for interviews with the people involved in this co-working project.!

Michelle Stinson Ross

Michelle Stinson Ross

Content & Outreach Goddess at AuthorityLabs
Michelle Stinson Ross is a digital marketing industry recognized authority on the outreach power of social media. She has worked as a community manager and consultant for several brands to increase brand awareness, raise the visibility of special promotions, and train their teams to use the social space to connect with media influencers and the public. Michelle is part of the marketing team at AuthorityLabs and co-hosts #SocialChat, a Twitter based live chat that covers a variety of topics geared toward social media marketing (Mondays at 9 p.m. ET). Her passion for social media marketing has made her a regular conference speaker at events like ClickZ Live, and Search Marketing Expo. She has also been a featured guest on Webmaster Radio and several industry Hangouts on Air.
Michelle Stinson Ross
Michelle Stinson Ross
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  • Charlie

    This is a neat idea, I guess for it to reach its full potential you need to make sure you have the right people together. Any conflict between individuals could completely ruin the collaborative atmosphere.

  • katey

    This is a great idea that would surely benefit startups and small businesses in need of reaching out and networking.