At Collective Agency every member has up to 3 hours every day in conference and phone rooms and common areas in the building outside of our suite. Additional time is $55 per hour, and almost never used. Why do we have this policy? Community vibes.
Equal-ish access to everything
From our Membership page, as written and approved by members a couple years ago:
“It’s important to members that we are all treated the same when we’re here, with the same access to everything. Everybody is worthy of being here.”
And so, unlike many coworking spaces in Portland, we don’t provide just 3 or 4 hours a month for each member to be in conference and phone rooms and then charge extra. Instead, every member at Collective Agency gets up to 3 hours every day in conference and phone rooms, included in their membership.
More productive work
The ability to have phone calls and meetings in private spaces every day leads to more productive work since phone calls from one person don’t distract other people. And it leads to more productive work since people can take phone calls each day, but not spend all their time on phone calls.
In the first year we were open, various people expressed appreciation for what was then a two-hour limit. One person said it limited their meeting to two hours, which was better and more productive than the longer meeting they would have agreed to otherwise. Another person said that working here was the first time they’d been aware of sharing resources in a workplace – if there was no policy they would have just gone into a conference room and worked there for the full day, and not been able to interact with other people in the main space. And while some people love being on calls all day, many people who are members here say they aren’t as happy when they have to be on phone calls or in meetings more than a certain number of hours per day.
The phone rooms and conference rooms at Collective Agency all have ethernet and wifi. We have one of the fastest and most reliable internets in Portland — like conference and phone rooms, everyone has the same access here to ethernet and wifi, and what we say and what it seems like is what members have. And ethernet, including with USB adapters for Macs, is at every desk and conference and phone room here because it’s always more reliable than wifi. We have backups for everything. Videocalls and teleconferences are common here, and our internet works for that.
We also have enough capacity for everyone. There are always enough desks and chairs – there’s always room – and members almost always get the conference or phone room they request. Until recently we didn’t have enough phone rooms at our SE Division location – and members were told that, back when it was true – but now we do have enough phone rooms, and we can quickly add more as needed.
Privacy in a coworking space
- use the showers in the building after a jog, yoga or a workout,
- take a quick nap on one of the sofas to get energized,
- eat lunch,
- read a book for awhile,
- gaze out the window,
- be on a phone call,
- be in a meeting,
- etc etc.
A lot of these things can be done in the main suite too, like having visitors, napping on sofas, eating lunch… but at Collective Agency in Portland Oregon we have lots of options for lots of good things, including privacy areas, which make the sharing even better.