It’s finally time for most workers to get back to the office after months of working from home. The rise of new coworking spaces in the Valley is reinventing what it feels like to walk into the office.
“We want to take the model and adapt,” said Chris Hogue, co-owner of Codesk, one of two new coworking offices opened in Kalispell this month.
The model has become all the rage in major metropolitan areas such as Hogue’s former home in Dallas, Texas.
Most coworking spaces offer an office that functions much like a gym: members pay a monthly subscription to access the facility and its features, which typically include offices, conference rooms, kitchens, and more. other office essentials.
Coworking offers remote workers a professional setting where they can connect with other businessmen without maintaining a traditional office.
“It’s really fun working with them,” said Mark Kenney of Atrium Cowork in South Kalispell.
Although the trend started to spread to Northwestern Montana years ago, with BaseCamp Coworking in Whitefish and Camp CoWork in Bigfork, coworking is taking off this summer.
Kenney and her partner Aaron McPherson celebrated the grand opening of Atrium Cowork on Friday.
Located at 1205 S. Main St., just south of the Flathead County Courthouse, Atrium Cowork is a three-level open plan office with relaxation areas, phone booths, and private offices.
Members can reserve their own designated office and have access to a conference room for rent. Short-term visitors can purchase a day pass to use the Grand Lounge and Internet service.
Since the founders renovated the office building and opened the Atrium in early May, the founders said they have already received reservations from 15 subscribers.
Most of the first guests to space are outside workers looking for a place to work while traveling in the region.
“They apparently want to do more than a vacation,” observed McPherson.
COWORKING IS attractive to travelers as well as locals looking for office resources while working from home.
Hogue and his wife Lindsey came up with the idea for Codesk when they moved from Dallas to West Valley in 2017. Internet access at home was not reliable enough for Hogue’s tech law practice, and he couldn’t find a small office space or a suitable audience. place in town either.
The Hogues bought the former home of Marquardt & Marquardt Surveying at 201 Third Ave. W., and plan to open on June 18.
They did some modest cosmetic renovations to modernize the old surveyor’s office, like turning a closet into a set of five cubby desks. But Hogue said Codesk’s benefits go beyond physical space.
Members have access to Virtual Direct Mail at Codesk, so they can send and receive packages at the office and register the site as their official business address. Lindsey Hogue, who will manage the business, will offer a suite of back office services such as marketing, invoicing and help with Microsoft SharePoint software. A Codesk subscription also comes with a complementary professional portrait and a digital network with other Codesk users.
Codesk and Atrium don’t seem to have much in common in terms of design, between Codesk’s black-and-white single-story layout and Atrium’s three-tier glass design. But the founders of both companies agree that interest in their offices will only grow.
With population growth in the valley, the transition to user-friendly remote operations, and the region’s ever-increasing footfall, coworking in Kalispell is fast becoming more than just a passing trend.
“I think the market is here to stay,” Hogue predicted.
Journalist Bret Anne Serbin can be reached at 406-758-4459 or [email protected]