Has this ever happen to you? Just when things seem to be running smoothly, something major happens and knocks you backwards. Well, recently my business was affected by hurricane Irma and our Miami location which primarily handles our customer service and order fulfillment, came to a screeching halt.
We had to evacuate, and were left without power or internet service for two weeks. Were we prepared for this to happen? Of course not. Well, given the situation I knew I couldn't change the past, but what I could do was find a quick and mostly painless resolution and run with it, for the sake of my team and my customers.
I decided to rent out some desks at a local co-working space that had regained their electricity and internet in record time. I called around to about 6 places near and far, and most were charging an arm and a leg to rent a desk. I found a good deal within a few miles from our office, and brought a small team with me to play catch up.
What are the benefits of co-working spaces?
So, it was basically like going on a field trip. It brought back all of those fun summertime memories from my childhood. We explored a new area of town, got to post up in a nice building in Brickell, got cozy in their bean bag chairs, tried every drink their coffee machine made. I highly recommend the chai tea with a shot of espresso, perfect for after a natural disaster.
They treated us great, got us set up within minutes, gave us a tour, and honestly I left with a few ideas of how I would like to change our Miami location for the better. We were able to get our customer service emails under control, fulfill orders that were waiting for some TLC, and got in touch with some of our vendors and such to let them know we were okay.
Also, the co-working space was kind enough to give us an additional discount titled "Hurricane Irma Relief." Very nice!
Would I use a shared office space again?
All in all, it ended up being a breath of fresh air. I have never been one to partake in "co-working" experiences, because I am more of an introvert and less of an extrovert. I like my privacy, where I can take my shoes off and let my hair down, and sit with my legs folded up like a pretzel in my office chair (again, adulting).
We were able to resolve a problem quickly and easily, making a few new friends in the process. Our customers were happy, our team got to enjoy the perks of air conditioning and wifi for most of the day, and overall we had a great experience.
I have an idea for you, one day next month, go on a field trip to a co-working space in another part of town. It's actually quite enjoyable, a lot like when you stay at a friends house and get to use all of their shampoos and beauty products. Bring your friends along with you, and make funny boomerangs like we did of us jumping into beanbag chairs.