“It feels like you’re at Starbucks, but it’s not that loud … or dark.”
That’s Cameron Dyales’ description of Workspace Collective’s new location in downtown Ocala, where he and his colleagues at marketing agency Searchalytics have just moved.
Other terms used by members and owners to describe the ‘vibe’ of the location include ‘chill’, ‘cool’, ‘modern’, ‘professional’ and ‘eclectic’.
While the coworking space may have a cafe vibe – and its own cafe – it has a few extra amenities that draw freelancers and businesses to the space amid the growing trends in homeworking and coworking driven by the pandemic.
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In addition to the desks and seating expected of any workspace, Workspace Collective offers four telephone rooms, a “Zoom room”, a conference room, a podcast / video room and 18 private offices, as well as a Another advantage that you won’t find in a boutique café: one free beer per day.
The second Ocala Workspace collective
The new location, which opened earlier this month at 217 SE First Ave., Suite 200, is the second Workspace Collective in Ocala.
The first, on East Fort King Street, opened in November 2019 and has a more ‘homely’ feel, according to co-owner Zach Cox, given that it is in a renovated house built in the 1890s.
“It went really really well, then COVID hit in March, so we had a drop of about 20% in April,” co-owner Adam Ramsay said. “Since then, the demand for this type of workspace has gone wild.
As offices closed and employees worked from home, the original Workspace Collective provided a space for them to be productive and connect with other people. By midsummer it was almost full.
“We were tired of saying no to people,” Cox said. “We just didn’t have a place to send them, and the goal with us was always to open another location. We didn’t necessarily know at the time that it would be Ocala.”
Cox and Ramsay both live in Orlando but have been doing business in Ocala for over a decade. Since the opening of the two Workspace Collective sites, they have noticed the great appeal of coworking spaces.
“It attracts like-minded people,” Cox said. “It’s a ton of different industries, but everyone here has similar mindsets. People want to be successful, they want to be around like-minded people, but they also want to be able to stand up and walk around and maybe meet new people in the community, and this place really gives that environment.
“I just like the vibe, man.”
The new Workspace Collective has a slightly industrial but elegant feel. Tables and desks have wooden tops with black metal legs. Golden lamp shades hang above a marble counter and brown leather stools at the cafe bar. Dark blue walls, warm lighting, and hanging plants suggest a calm working environment. Colorful works of art by local painters adorn the walls.
Video:Local artist EJ Nieves works on Workspace Collective’s new mural
Cox and Ramsay admit they had less to do with design and more to do with assembly. Their wives, Cassandra Cox and Ashleigh Ramsay, also co-owners, made the decor choices.
“The goal here is really to be eclectic,” Cox said. “We want it to be open, warm. We wanted to create multiple areas where you can sit and have a conversation or sit alone and work without feeling crowded.
When it comes time to take a break from work, fun activities aren’t far either.
“You can go into the living room, maybe you want to play a disc, maybe you want to play a board game, connect to Xbox for 20, 30 minutes, then come back to work,” said Cox. “You can do it. . ”
A dart board and vintage board games hang on the dark green walls of the living room. A vintage-style record player, foosball table, and books all provide additional ways to relax.
Dyales and his colleague David Ward of Searchalytics, which provides marketing, web design and search optimization services, chose to play a game of darts during a break on Thursday.
“It’s not embarrassing to have your clients here,” Dyales said. “It’s super cool. Everyone that comes in here is like, ‘Wow.’ ”
Among other industries, Cox and Ramsay said members of the Workspace Collective include freelancers, sales representatives, healthcare professionals, realtors, lawyers, business coaches and coders.
Gabe Pierannunzi, app developer at Geeky Interactive, has been in space since it opened a few weeks ago.
“I just like the vibe, man,” he said. “It’s a great atmosphere for Ocala for sure. It’s comparable to the spaces they have in Silicon Valley.
Workspace Collective not only welcomes people from a wide range of industries, but also people of various ages who are interested.
“We didn’t anticipate the magnitude, the widest range of people who were going to be here,” Cox said. “Whether they’re 19, 65 or 70, they still have the same personality where they like to meet people, they like to confront different points of view, work hard and have fun.
Monthly membership possibilities
All of Workspace Collective’s membership options are monthly for flexibility and offer Wi-Fi, mailing address, coffee, snacks, and beverages. Members can also travel to either location.
A basic subscription costing $ 199 per month provides access to the building Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on a first come, first served basis.
For $ 299, members benefit from a dedicated office and 24/7 access to the building.
A desk in a shared office with a filing cabinet costs $ 350 per month, and micro desks for one to two people start at $ 650.
Private team offices of various sizes range from $ 1,000 to $ 2,000.
Memberships also come with a varying number of hours for use in conference and podcast rooms, although others can be purchased at discounted rates, and non-members can rent the conference room “at the card “for company interviews or lawyers’ depositions, Example.
A community manager on each site welcomes visitors, resolves technical problems, organizes visits and manages social networks.
Those who do not need physical space to work can also become virtual members to receive a business mailing address and receive their mail scanned or sent.
Workspace Collective works with CrossFit Iron Legion next door to offer joint memberships, as well as with nonprofits to rent space for events.
The growth of coworking
“It’s good that something like this exists,” said Ward, who, along with eight colleagues, rents four dedicated desks, one desk and three basic subscriptions.
“Trying to have an office is crazy right now, just like buying a house. It’s unobtainable, so having something that’s a looser engagement and having a good vibe is essential.
Cox says coworking spaces are fairly common, but not like Workspace Collective.
“I think what makes us different is that we try to bring a much more personal and community touch to it,” he said. “Anyone can open a space and set up a lot of offices there. Very few take the time to give it a personal touch.
With monthly offers, Workspace Collective lowers the barrier of entry for startups that may not be ready to sign long-term leases or commit to other investments.
“The number of people opening businesses is skyrocketing,” Cox said. “These subways like Ocala are totally underserved for these entrepreneurs.”
But just as startups grow, he says, large companies do the opposite in terms of space.
“If you talk to people about corporate America, everyone is downsizing, going out of business,” he said. “A lot of things are work from home, and so from an industry perspective, I think we’re only scratching the surface of what the future will look like.”
Following the pandemic, these forecasts change even more.
“Across the coworking industry as a whole, the statistics were that by 2030, 30% of the entire workforce would be in an environment more like this coworking or shared office,” Ramsay said. . “Then, after the pandemic, it went to 2026.”
While Ramsay would love to keep opening more locations quickly, it takes time to find the right space. Their next Workspace Collective will be coming to Gainesville in the future, where some Ocala members have also expressed interest in expanding their presence.
“The coolest part is when someone comes along and they maybe start with basic membership, then they’re like, ‘Oh, I hired an employee,’ and they have to go. look for an office and then the next thing you know they’re going to come up to us like, ‘Hey, I’m so sorry we have to move,’ ”Ramsay said.
“And we’re going to be like, ‘This is great! Like, you did. This is what we want.
– Contact Danielle Johnson at [email protected]