In the gig economy, people are cutting ties with the traditional work space, but Laramie Plains Civic Center Executive Director Melissa Daniele said there is still an occasional need for The Office.
“We’re finding that if you’re a small start-up, if you’re a freelancer, if you’re working from home and you like that, but every once in while you want to come out and put on pants that aren’t pajamas … you didn’t really have a place to go,” Daniele said.
The Office, a new co-working space in the civic center, opened March 1 to provide an affordable option for workers seeking an occasional office environment, she said.
“The co-work space works really well with the community center, because we like to think of ourselves as a community hub,” Daniele explained. “A couple of years ago, our former theater director came up with the idea. Co-work spaces had started cropping up in bigger cities a few years ago.”
After Head Start moved to a new location, she said the civic center looked to the empty space as a potential area for the former art director’s idea.
“Our building is full, which is a great problem to have, but a lot of people are looking for smaller and inexpensive spaces,” Daniele said. “One of the missions of the civic center is to provide the community affordable, safe, comfortable spaces with modern amenities.”
The need for a co-working space was so prevalent, the civic center received requests about whether current tenants were open to sharing offices, she said.
Completed by the Laramie Plains Civic Center Foundation, Daniele said the project offers tenants 24/7 access, secure Wi-Fi service, a private bathroom and access to a printer and conference room.
“We have lockers in the bathroom, where people can stash their stuff, so they don’t have to take it home every day,” she said. “We also have a couple dedicated desks, which means these are your spaces and here are the keys to your filing cabinet. Otherwise, it’s come in and pick your spot.”
An abundance of sunlight filtered through The Office’s large picture windows Monday as Daniele toured the room. Small brass lamps set on the corners of steel-cased desks glinting in the natural light. Were it not for the tenant working from his laptop, the room might have appeared left behind after the turn of the century.
“This space just lent itself more to the old-school style,” Daniele said.
The Office is still a work in progress, and Daniele said several artists located in the civic center could soon be displaying art in the co-work space.
“We feel it’s a good avenue for the artists to get their artwork seen in a secure environment,” she said.
Go to www.lpccwy.org/theoffice or call 745-8000 to learn more about The Office.