According to International Data Corporation, by 2020, nearly three-quarters of the U.S. workforce will be mobile workers.1 These people spend a significant portion of their workday somewhere other than in an office building and often need a place to conduct business — whether on a temporary or ongoing basis.
Not only is functional workspace essential, but to be efficient, mobile workers need access to the entire gamut of office operations: printing, scanning, shredding and shipping services.
If you’re a mobile worker, you know this trend can mean more freedom than ever when it comes to finding the right setup for your small business. And we can thank Bill Sechter for his contribution. He’s the founder of Seattle-based ATLAS Workbase, a flexible, shared-space working environment that includes on-site amenities, such as a coffee shop and a staffed FedEx Office location for businesses of any size.
Spaces that work
The word “co-working” might bring to mind young tech start-ups. However, the concept — sharing access to a fully furnished, operational workspace — is perfect for many other professionals and industries. The advantages?
Years of conducting business on the road started to take its toll on Sechter. His days consisted of making deals with clients in airport lounges, coffee shops and hotel lobbies, and hunting down local printing and shipping services. It felt too casual — not the professional image he needed to portray — and he wanted a change.
That’s when the concept of ATLAS Workbase came to fruition. His mission was to create a comfortable, cutting-edge environment for anyone looking for a place to do business outside of the home or the office. He’d include added amenities typically provided in an office setting on an as-needed basis. Sechter calls this a “third place.”
“This is a great opportunity for small and medium-sized businesses needing a place to work, with very little commitment,” Sechter says. No need to invest in conference tables, office chairs, a laser printer or a five-year lease. Instead, ATLAS Workbase offers flexible day passes and longer-term memberships to access meeting rooms, business lounges, FedEx Office® shipping and printing services, and much more.
What is co-working at ATLAS Workbase?
Sharing access to a fully furnished, operational business workspace on an as-needed basis, making use of third-place amenities.
The concept of sharing office space on a temporary or long-term basis has been around for a while, and accommodations can be found around the globe.
Although amenities can vary from one co-working space to another, ATLAS Workbase prides itself on providing secure high-speed internet, a trained support staff to operate as a communal IT department, a full-service hotel-like concierge team and a fully functional FedEx Office location.
Mobile workers across the U.S. use FedEx Office to access a wide range of services, such as:
- Professional packing and shipping
- Self-service printers and scanners
- Computer rental and free Wi-Fi2
- Secure and convenient shredding
- Office supplies
- Personal assistance from on-site team members
“What business wouldn’t want that?” Sechter says. “To have these professional services right at their fingertips, rather than having to go search for them.” When co-working environments include amenities such as printing and shipping services from FedEx Office, members can take advantage of these without having to make an extra trip.
The FedEx Office® Print and Ship Center at the Lumen Building in Seattle has entrances both for walk-in customers from the street side and a private internal entrance for ATLAS Workbase members and day users.
For many small businesses, balancing the books at the kitchen table or refining a sales pitch in a hotel room is a way of life. Still, it’s not ideal when meeting with investors or big clients. “You don’t necessarily want to invite them into your kitchen,” Sechter explains.
Hosting a meeting in a stylish co-working/third place — with crisply printed materials from FedEx Office and state-of-the-art facilities — builds a strong first impression of you and your brand.
“We’re creating a professional space that represents your brand in a positive and professional way that’s actually cost-effective,” he adds.
In this increasingly digital age, Sechter says, face-to-face workplace interactions add a much-needed human touch: “People are starting to really appreciate that more.”
Whether it’s bouncing ideas off another workspace user, sharing encouragement over a cup of coffee at the on-site cafe or getting personal assistance with FedEx Office services, the communal aspect of a co-working/third place setup can add considerable value.
“That co-working buzz brings extra life into your workday,” Sechter says.
1“IDC Forecasts U.S. Mobile Worker Population to Surpass 105 Million by 2020.” BusinessWire, 23 June 2015.
2Available at most FedEx Office locations. Not available at the Lumen Building location.
Photo credit: Gensler