Back in the day, Westporters commuted every morning to New York. They worked in offices (corner ones, if they were lucky), then clomped back on the train each night.
These days, Westporters spend less time in offices. Some commute only a couple of days a week; some not at all.
Telecommuters and their cousins — entrepreneurs and small business owners — work in a variety of places, including their homes (in actual “home offices,” if they are lucky), Starbucks, the library — you name it. If there’s WiFi, there’s a Westporter working.
But — as nice and homey as working at home or a coffee shop is — it’s not at all like working in an office. You miss contact with other workers. Along with a high-power copy machine, mail services, conference space, even an endless supply of staples like staples.
Co-working has come to town. B:Hive recently opened on the Southport line. It’s a great space in a converted mill, with a killer view of Sasco Creek. This is Luke Scott’s second Hive; he’s got one — equally fun and funky — in Bridgeport.
But the co-working space is also occupied by national franchise. One of the biggest — Office Evolution — just opened at 500 Post Road East in Westport. It’s a bit more corporate than B:Hive. But it’s just the thing for anyone looking to put a professional face on a small business.
The Westport Office Evolution is on the 2nd floor of the Morgan Stanley building, across from Fire Department headquarters. It’s big (8,000 square feet), filled with new furniture, modern and bright.
Laura Kaufman is the local owner (with her husband John). A longtime Westporter with a background in non-profits, educational consulting and school psychology, she loves the Office Evolution model.
It offers a variety of plans, ranging from simple mail addresses and phone numbers to shared space and private offices (49 to 140 square feet). There are 36 private offices, 2 conference rooms, a co-working space, phone booths for private calls, a reception area and kitchen, all available on monthly, 6-month and yearly plans.
There’s also 24/7 access. Copy, printing and mail areas. Free coffee and tea (plus snacks for purchase). And super-fast Ethernet.
Office Evolution is based nationally near Boulder, Colorado. That’s a “warm, communal place,” Laura notes. She wants her location — the 62nd in the chain — to be known that way too. She plans plenty of networking events, and a grand opening in April.
(There is a grand opening — with tours — on April 11, from 3:30 to 7 p.m. For more information, click here or email Westport.CT@OfficeEvolution.com)