“The term I hear a lot right now is hybrid: a hybrid work life, where they do part of the time in the office, part of the time [outside the office],” Westenhaver said. “[Hamlet is] the perfect spot for that, too, because I have members who come here two days a week.”
Westenhaver opened Hamlet’s Cedar Park location in 2015. The business is a membership-based coworking space that provides individual desks and private offices.
He described a coworking space similar to a gym, where an individual pays a membership fee to use the equipment whenever it is convenient for them.
Westenhaver, who has had several different career paths including working in advertising, computer software development and even local news in Salt Lake City, said he was inspired to open the coworking space when he grew tired of the long commute to his downtown Austin office each day.
Because of this, Westenhaver said he plans to keep the business in the suburbs even as he expands.
“Our clients want a place to go work effectively and efficiently at an affordable price with a lot of flexibility close to where they live,” Westenhaver said. “Personally, as a guy who has been self-employed most of my career, I think there should be a separation of work and home.”
Westenhaver added that his business differs from other larger coworking companies because it has smaller individual spaces where people can work independently or in small groups.
“Most of [my members] just want to get away from the noise and want to be [at] a place where they can be productive,” he said. “Our focus has been trying to let people know they can go back to work if they want to, even if their company is not reopening their offices yet.”
Many businesses use Hamlet as their business address, particularly those who often do not have a brick-and-mortar location or do not want to pay for a formal space they would hardly use. “When I opened Hamlet, I wanted to take away all of those things that would cause you to be indecisive about starting a company, basically eliminate that risk and make it so that I can start a company and if it doesn’t work out, no big deal,” Westenhaver said.
He added that the pandemic has taught him, like most, to be flexible. As a result he expanded membership options to include flex days where one can purchase 10 days of desk or office space to use at their disposal. Rooms and office space can be rented by the hour, day, week or even year.
“Most entrepreneurs can’t afford to sign a two-year lease; they can’t afford to make that long-term commitment; they can’t afford to go buy a bunch of furniture,” Westenhaver said. “As a guy who started companies, one of my goals when I first started Hamlet is to remove all those barriers to entry for entrepreneurs.”
1464 E. Whitestone Blvd., Bldg. 18, Stes. 1801-1804, Cedar Park
512-806-7787 | https://hamletcoworking.com
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 5 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m., closed Sun.
What’s in a name?
Hamlet Coworking is adorned with London-themed decor. Owner Darren Westenhaver said he chose the name for two reasons.
- In Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” much of the plot is revealed early on but indecisiveness causes the main character to prolong getting the answers. At Westenhaver’s Hamlet, he said he wants to eliminate barriers that business owners face.
- A hamlet is a location that is smaller than a large city, highlighting the suburban focus of the business.