LIMA — A new set of challenges are emerging now that a growing number of Americans are working from home, where there is limited interaction with coworkers and personal space becomes office space.
Enter coworking centers, a trend in which independent contractors, freelancers, small businesses and hopeful entrepreneurs can rent desks and other spaces that mimic traditional office settings for those who now work from home. The trend is popping up in Lima at places like The Coworking Center, located inside The Meeting Place on Market.
“It’s just for anybody (who) doesn’t want to work from home,” said Jennifer Brogee, part-owner of The Meeting Place and The Coworking Center. The center, which opened last April, offers monthly memberships and daily passes that buy temporary access to amenities like a desk, conference room or access to The Meeting Place’s kitchen after hours.
Brogee has two primary types of members: People who work remotely and people who are looking to start a business of their own.
“One of the challenges with working remotely is you don’t have a work community,” said Marin Luria Harbur, a data scientist for Land ‘O Lakes who rents a desk at The Coworking Center. “You can stay at home all day in your pajamas. You don’t necessarily have the work/home divide, which is healthy. So it’s really helpful for me to be able to come in and get away from the house, focus and have the chance to interact with people here.”
That desire for an office community is what inspired The Coworking Center.
“There were a few of us talking about the need for such a place, wanting to build that community,” Harbur said.
Brogee said she hopes the space encourages collaboration and creativity.
Demand for desk space or conference rooms has been steady at The Coworking Center, which is expanding to include private offices and what Brogee calls a brainstorming lobby.
The Coworking Center also offers business seminars in partnership with local agencies like The Walter C. Potts Entrepreneur Incubator and Technology Center, the Lima Area Chamber Foundation and the Rhodes State College Small Business Development Center, targeted at entrepreneurs who need help with marketing or legal advice.
Reach Mackenzi Klemann at 567-242-0456.