Oliver Alexander took his frustrations working out of primitive coworking spaces and east Portland coffee shops and channeled them into Remote.ly. In Portland's small but growing coworking scene, Remote.ly's selling point is comfort without commitment. As little as $20 a day gives clients access to one of 150 ergonomically-friendly desks and a free in-house barista, surrounded by hundreds of indoor plants.
And it's in a north Portland office building surrounded by free parking. In today's trend toward remote working, "employees are happier, more productive and they save time because they don't have to commute anymore," Alexander said. "That's just the reality of the future of work. If you don't have to commute downtown, why would you?"
Can a coworking space be more than just an office? That's
what Melanie Marconi set to find out. Designed with
working women in mind (but available to all), Vida adds
daily fitness and wellness classes, a drop-in childcare
center and monthly business coaching to a coworking office.
The setup speaks to the many hats working professionals
wear from day to day, said Marconi, who previously
launched two businesses out of her living room as a single
"For most people, an extra 20 or 30 minutes a day because
you don't have to run all around and feel crazy and
stressed, that's a huge gift back that can really have an
impact in your life," Marconi said.
CodeChops has been on the coworking scene as long as one has existed. Launched in 2011, the small office overlooking the heart of downtown Eugene has remained true to its hacker roots: an eclectic array of desks wraps around industrial-style walls and a pair of sofas, a mini fridge and Kegerator.
It's a small space, with room for only about a dozen clients. But more times than he can count, CodeChops co-founder Mark Davis has seen tech entrepreneurs sit on his sofas, come up with an idea and grow it into a business that needs more space than he can provide.
"The thing about coworking space is it fosters collaboration," Davis said. "That's what you get when people are bouncing ideas off each other. Projects get energy."