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Michael Adams

Jackson Hole is a hardworking town that emotes lifestyle. Our lifestyle is a blend of closeness to things wild and wilderness, and the effort of work that supports and engages us. The pandemic has hindered some work efforts, yet it also awakened us to alternative avenues of work. The digital age gives us many choices in how and where we shop, our understanding of events around us and, for some, the opportunity to choose where we work and where we work from.

Work from home was embraced during the pandemic’s “Shelter in Place” mandate to reduce exposure to COVID-19, and while it had an added cost-savings benefit there were also drawbacks. Our home can be our office, and many a small business is operated from there. Yet myriad distractions await to draw your attention from the work at hand. Everything from your dog or child to those dishes in the sink or other household chore that is left undone. There is an alternative that many remote workers have quietly embraced over the past decade or so: coworking spaces.

A coworking space takes the standard office concept and turns it on its head. By leasing an office and opening up the interior for more group tables and clusters of desks, desks are available to individual workers at a lower cost per user and with generally no contracts, maintenance or long-term commitments. This is incredibly freeing and allows us to focus on the real work. Silicon Couloir owns and operates this type of facility, The Cowork Space, in downtown in Jackson.

In The Cowork Space our members are a mix of remote workers employed by many different companies and local entrepreneurs starting their own ventures. For all, The Cowork Space is a chance to greatly cut overhead costs and elevate the efficiency of the work accomplished.

Cowork spaces invest in bundles of bandwidth and the hardware to deliver a strong WiFi signal to all users, thus eliminating dropped calls and slow or interrupted service. When in The Cowork Space, the investment shows as multiple Zoom meetings are occurring at once in various meeting booths and the conference room, other coworkers are powering through their programs, while still others are uploading large files or videos for their marketing campaign or product offering.

Perhaps most importantly, we provide a place where workers can collaborate, network, and build culture, resulting in greater productivity and job satisfaction. Culture is the milieu of the many from far and wide as well as here and near. Each member is an intellectual and social vessel that brings more than themself and their job to The Cowork Space but also brings their interests, their stories, their insights and their energy.

Networking in such an environment is a natural event where being in proximity leads to conversations, exchanges of ideas and contacts, and to an easing of the burden of seemingly being alone. Culture helps us feel connected and a part of something bigger than each individual. Networking ties us to our cohorts and helps us find clarity in a working world that can get cloudy with ambiguity and isolation.

If you are an employer, consider coworking space for your staff. Freeing an employee to work long term in such an environment can have a profound impact and improvement on overall performance. It also widens the sources of incoming information as the employee/agent is exposed to many more professionals from many fields. Problem solving might have just gotten a bit easier.

It is a win-win situation when your conference with the employee is not interrupted by lagging internet, and the employee feels the benefits of working in a space and living in the geography that fits their lifestyle.

Michael Adams manages The Cowork Space. Visionary Ventures is a column presented by Silicon Couloir.

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