Co-working Firms Pivot to Enhanced Offerings

DALLAS—As some schools continue online learning, parents are now forced to consider what the future holds with another semester of home schooling on top of ever-changing work needs. With that conundrum in mind, WorkSuites, the co-working concept with a variety of officing options, recently launched a “Zoom Room” at all 20 locations (16 locations throughout DFW and four locations in Houston).

This program offers an additional free private space for clients’ kids to study, take online classes or just play on iPads while their parents work. WorkSuites clients may reserve a private office for any child older than 7 for up to two hours per day three days a week at no charge. And, college students looking for a safe learning space can receive a 50% discount on any co-working membership while universities are closed, partially closed or virtual.

Tosha Bontrager, senior director of brand and products at WorkSuites, recently shared insights into the reasoning behind the Zoom Room, how it has been received, its safety measures and how it’s making a difference. Why did WorkSuites decided to create a “Zoom Room” during this time?

Bontrager: We noticed a trend in clients terminating their office with us because they will have to work from home if schools are virtual from home. Almost all of them didn’t want to give up their office but it didn’t make sense to pay for it if they have to be at home. So instead of the clients leaving, we came up with this idea. The reception has been great. Our clients are so thankful that we are making adjustments, getting creative and trying to help everyone get through this crazy time. What are some of the safety measures you have in place for the Zoom Rooms?

Bontrager: The rooms currently only contain a desk set-up but we have ordered bean bags for the iPad watchers and monitors for the kids actually doing schoolwork. We don’t want to add anything else to the room for safety reasons and to minimize distractions. Children must wear a mask and be accompanied by their parent if they are not in the Zoom Room and we have limited the number of hours the room is available per day. What do you hope to achieve by creating Zoom Room at WorkSuites?

Bontrager: We are hoping that by providing a safe and focused place for the kids to continue with their schoolwork while mom or dad takes that important face-to-face meeting, our small business owners can focus on growing their business without worrying about what to do with the kids for a couple hours. Obviously, family comes first, but they also have to provide for the family. Most things can be done remotely from home, but not all.

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