Office Space News
Published April 13th, 2009 by Jennifer LeClaire
If you live near Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and have been craving a coworking environment, aBetterOffice.com has good news for you. In just a few days, Collective Turf Coworking will open it doors to the newest coworking facility in the nation.
On April 20, Collective Turf Coworking is making its office space available to freelancers, entrepreneurs, consultants, virtual employees, telecommuters, and else anyone who is interested in starting a business venture and needs an office to call home-base.
Located in Downtown Urbana, nomadic entrepreneurs and Urbana residents Lucy Cross and Susan Potter are the brains behind Illinois’ latest coworking concept. The duo is building on a foundation they call “working alone, together” to establish a collaborative environment inside a refurbished downtown building that’s easy to access via busy or bike.
Working Alone, Together
“We’ve had days where we bounced from one coffee shop to another or camped out at the public library, just to get out of the home office rut and to be around other people and different energy,” says Susan Potter, co-founder and Technology Architect at Collective Turf. “Coworking offers a solution to the problem of isolation that many freelancers experience while working at home, while at the same time letting folks escape the distractions of home.”
Collective Turf is pushing its “working alone, together” concept, providing an alternative for at-home professionals and freelancers to work independently while being surrounded by tools, resources and “coworkers.” Collective Turf claims to be the first of its kind in the Champaign-Urbana area. (I couldn’t find any other competitors, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any. If you are out there, give us a shout so we can let folks know where to find you.)
“Collective Turf offers a comfortable environment, office technology, secure WiFi connections and an opportunity to exchange ideas and insight with other ‘coworkers’ all while working in a professional, yet fresh space,” Potter says. Such is the promise of coworking, a trend that’s sweeping the nation in a down economy and promises to stick around, and perhaps even grow, when the recession is over.
The Coworking Set Up
Unlike business centers or executive office suites, the Collective Turf Coworking space is geared less toward those who want or need lots of privacy and more to those who want to work around other people. Hence the name coworking. To that end, Collective Turf provides desk space in shared offices to encourage a community atmosphere.
Collective Turf offers space residency by membership. Memberships include a desk with access to a wireless connection, optional locking file cabinet and VoIP, and use of the conference room with digital display, conference-call capabilities, white board, and seating for 10-12 people. Daily and weekly residency available for non-members, as well as hourly conference room rental. The duo isn’t publishing its prices. You’ll have to check in with them to see what it costs for the configuration you want.
“With our current economy, many people have turned to building their own business or are working in a virtual office,” says Lucy Cross, co-founder and Creative Designer of Collective Turf. “Working independently is isolating and many can benefit from the creative synergy that happens when you have a pool of talented and creative folks come together, working within in the same space.”
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