Let's face it, the idea of "going to the office" has changed a lot in the past few months. Hundreds of thousands (maybe millions?) of professionals and companies are reconsidering what they need an office to do for them.
Warehousing employees 40 hours a week is increasingly not one of those things.
Idea Works, Mansfield's largest co-working and entrepreneurial development center, has taken steps to position themselves as a rock-solid "third place" for companies and professionals to land and do business during and after the coronavirus.
A "third place" is meant to describe the environments where people come together that are neither home nor a traditional workplace. Relax It's Just Coffee is a great Mansfield example of a vibrant and functional third place. Work and personal intersects there in a seamless way where both end up getting accomplished.
The space at Idea Works makes a strong argument that it's the ideal in-between workplace for professionals and entrepreneurs. The facility, built before the First World War offers a spectacular, COVID-ready physical environment. Natural light streams into a spacious 10,000 square foot work room from clerestory windows that run the length of the building. Artwork lines the walls of the work areas and music streams wirelessly through a Sonos sound system.
The list of amenities for members is impressive.
There's professional reception and mail service. Add multiple conference rooms, a podcast studio, and a lactation room for new and expectant moms and you have a place that feels a little like Google got crossed with some Midwestern hospitality and threw in a commitment to continued education and programming.
Amy Rehbein is the facilities manager at Idea Works. She and her teammates created a reopening plan over the past few weeks that went into effect May 11.
"Our goal is to provide great service to our community while being mindful of the evolving guidelines regarding COVID-19."
The plan includes clear guidelines for members and guests. Sanitation supplies at every workstation, complimentary masks for all users, and regular wipe-downs and cleaning of all surfaces are among the new protocols.
Idea Works is available for tours during regular business hours. Tours can be scheduled on their website or by calling 419-610-2100 to set up a time.