Updated: September 7, 2022 – 10:43 PM
Published: September 7, 2022 – 6:58 PM
Co-working is bridging the gap between work-from-home and a return to traditional office space.
13 Investigates has been reporting on the way some businesses are in jeopardy as many people continue to work from home and downtowns across America have empty office space.
A new coworking space in Clifton Park is feeding a need for more spaces like it between Albany and Saratoga.
It’s called Hangr Coworks, since the owners hope businesses take off as they work there.
It started as a place for Juergen Klingenberg and his partners’ marketing company, Flight Creative Group, to give its clients — mostly small businesses that struggled to thrive in the pandemic.
“The majority of our clients that we have are small businesses, so by creating an environment that helps them grow, it also helps us stay in business. The main thing that the space here provides is the resources and the social aspect. It gets people out of their homes without forcing them back into a traditional office environment,” Klingenberg said.
He’s also finding it’s a great networking space, with communal areas and an open layout for businesses.
“They are meeting people that they would typically find out in a social world,” he said.
For memberships starting just over $130 a month, members can use shared or private space, fast Wi-Fi, and new technology.
“Some people like being at home, some people like being in a work environment, and this kind of sits in the middle so you can still have your home life, quality of life,” Klingenberg explained.
Dean Iacovetti runs his business hybrid-style using Hangr, with the ability for employees to work-from-home when they need to. He says his work as the president of Vanta Partners, a tech recruiting company, shows him why employers need to offer this kind of flexibility.
“I think that’s what you have to do to not only attract top talent, but keep them,” Iacovetti said.
As 13 Investigates has been reporting that many office spaces in downtown Albany are sitting empty, the Blake Annex is betting that a coworking space will thrive there.
The United Way of the Greater Capital Region opened the space last year. Memberships start at $200 a month, but resources are available to assist with the cost.
Peter Gannon, President and CEO of the United Way of the Greater Capital Region, says the space is home to a handful of local nonprofits, but is open to any individuals or companies.
“We have 19 other organizations working alongside us in this space, the breakthroughs that are happening as a result of it are powerful, and we’re all doing it while saving overhead resources for these organizations and bandwidth for the leadership of those organizations,” said Gannon.
Gannon signed the lease in 2020, and was met with skepticism, he said. However, he’s betting that the hustle and bustle of downtown will fully return.
“Our organization is about people and communities, so you can’t expect to be as effective tucked away in an office park. So for us, it was a no-brainer to come down here and be part of the revitalization of this corridor in downtown Albany,” he said.