An office space trend has emerged in The Woodlands area that gives the business community a chance to network and spend less money on office space.
Co-working office space is an alternate option to traditional office spaces and can be seen in new facilities, such as Cubic CoWork, The Work Lodge and The Work Spot.
The option to rent a small space can be cheaper than signing a lease with a larger building, according to co-working office owners. At an average of $30.98 per square foot, office space in The Woodlands is one of the most expensive markets in the Greater Houston area, according to J. Beard data.
Victor Guerrero, owner of Cubic CoWork, a new co-working space off Rayford Road that opened in February, said by choosing a co-working office space, companies and employees do not have to deal with the added expenses of a long-term office lease.
“Virtual offices allow companies and independent contractors to retain a physical address without incurring the expense and confining commitment of a long-term office lease,” Guerrero said. “They also offer an opportunity for flexible collaboration as well as quiet focus time, which is currently lacking in the home-office experience.”
Costs to rent space at a co-working office vary depending on the type of office needed. Unlike with most standard leases, memberships can be modified and changed depending on needs, he said.
Guerrero said the 18,000- square-foot facility features private offices, conference rooms, a lounge and a private event space. Members working at Cubic CoWork have access to high-speed wireless internet and an online access membership for room reservations and community updates as well as free coffee and water, a kitchen and office equipment.
“[Co-working spaces] are reflecting a rapid transformation taking place in the way people work today,” he said. “There has been a significant rise in on-demand workspaces and meeting rooms in the form of co-working spaces. In some cases, these replace permanent offices by providing temporary options, while in others they supplement a workspace for companies to accommodate growth.”
A growing trend
The Work Lodge, another co-working office space off I-45, has seen success with multiple locations, signaling a more regional demand, according to owner and founder Mike Thakkur.
Thakkur said since opening the 25,000-square-foot facility in The Woodlands last summer, the co-working space has seen a strong response from The Woodlands and the surrounding community. The company has another location in Cy-Fair that opened in 2015 and another slated to open in the Dallas area this summer.
“We’re a true workspace with a service platform,” he said. “We want to help businesses become successful. You get to grow and learn with other members while having access to a fitness center, garage parking and 24-hour security.”
Thakkur said The Work Lodge features private office space, phone booths, huddle rooms and a common area.
Guerrero said he believes this type of office space is not only beneficial for startup businesses and small-business owners, but for larger companies that have more employees and want another alternative to traditional office space.
As demand for these spaces continues to grow in the region, co-working space owners are focusing on a wide variety of amenities and unique architecture to set their spaces apart.
Aradio Zambrano, the marketing broker for The Work Spot, which opened in late 2017, said his office space features several business suites made out of shipping containers, a popular European concept.
Located on Budde Road, the new 4,600-square-foot office development features private office spaces, designated desks, open work space and meeting rooms. Amenities include full kitchens, high-speed internet, outdoor meeting terraces and full security.
“Since we’ve been open, we’ve been doing very well here,” Zambrano said. “It’s a very innovative concept that we have here.”
Zambrano said a second location of The Work Spot will break ground on the corner of Budde and Rye roads in the next 60 to 90 days. The location is only a block away from the original location and will be five stories.
Both Thakkur and Guerrero said they believe the co-working concept will continue to grow in The Woodlands and Greater Houston area as more people look for another option to traditional office space.
“If you’re talking about a flexible workspace, then I think this [trend]will be around for a while,” Thakkur said. “People can just not sign a lease and instead just use a workspace.”