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Work-from-home employees are looking at new alternatives, like co-working spaces

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Posted at 12:30 PM, Feb 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-11 23:32:30-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Co-working spaces are becoming a thing here in Southern Nevada. Two years of working from home and hybrid learning during the pandemic has many folks ready for a change.

With more workers vaccinated and feeling more comfortable getting back to normal, a new normal has emerged: shared co-working spaces.

The finishing touches are being put on The Coop, a 19,000-square-foot co-working building. Sonia Petkewich is moving her two companies, Catalyst Mastermind and Taurean Consulting, into The Coop.

A mother of three children, Petkewich says working from home during the pandemic left her feeling very isolated.

"I'm an outgoing person. I just felt very stuck at home," she said. "And while at first it was necessary, it's just — I can't do it anymore. I need to be able to go out."

Petkewich believes in the concept of shared working spaces so much, she's decided to invest in what she calls the new normal for workers post-pandemic. Already, her recruiting company has set up shop here. She says her staff managed working remotely perfectly well, but lacked the interaction with each other.

"We wanted to be able to come together and be able to talk on the fly and have lunch again...do little learning opportunities we really miss," Petkewich said. "We didn't even really realize it, until we started coming back together, how much we missed being together in a room."

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The same can be said for working mother of two Brianda Barrett, who's thrilled to be working at The Coop. She says working from home and hybrid learning, together, became unbearable.

"It really was tough, so tough that I came to the point — I would say maybe about August of 2020, maybe a little bit later — where I really considered leaving the workforce completely," Barrett said. "I knew at that point, 'I don't think I'm going to be able to do this.'"

But now life has changed for the better. This mom has a hybrid schedule. She can be there for her kids as she works from home, but still gets time in her shared co-working space.

"For me, getting back into the office and actually communicating with people in person, being able to talk to my boss in person, was really, really important," Barrett said.

Petkewich agreed it's important to have that personal contact. She says people who use co-working spaces are more engaged and motivated.

The Coop offers 27 private offices and, at full capacity, more than 100 different companies will call The Coop home. There are two executive board rooms, or you can rent a conference room for $25 an hour.

Petkewich believes that, as we emerge from the pandemic, small business owners will ditch expensive commercial leases and opt for shared working environments, which also makes financial sense.

"You can probably rent a hot desk here for about $200 or $250 a month, which is just a dedicated desk where you can just pop in or out. And some of our offices are starting at anywhere between $850 to $1,250 a month," she said.

As workers move into The Coop's office spaces in the coming months, there will be classrooms available for continuing education, yoga, and even networking meetings. Food will also be available, making it a one-stop workshop for business owners across Southern Nevada.

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