UNR professor, grad student open Reno’s newest coworking space, Beacon CoWork
RENO, Nev. — This past November, Dan Oster, a University of Nevada, Reno professor, was teaching a class in supply chain management when the discussion landed on coworking spaces.
Soon after, a graduate student, Nikki McGuire, raised her hand and, emphatically, told the class what she feels is necessary for a successful coworking space.
It was an “a-ha” moment for Oster, a commercial real estate broker who’d been attuned to the rising demand for coworking spaces in Northern Nevada.
“When Nikki raised her hand, I said to myself, this is the right person to partner on,” Oster said in a phone interview with the NNBW.
Six months later, Oster and McGuire are the founders of a newly opened coworking space in downtown Reno: Beacon CoWork.
“The national statistics bear out that more and more people don’t have that traditional office space,” said Oster, a principal and senior VP of NAI Alliance. “And they need options other than going to pick up a five-year lease (on an office space).”
In fact, in 2017, there were roughly 1.2 million people working in coworking spaces worldwide, according to the 2017 Global Coworking Survey.
This year, that number is projected to hit 1.7 million — a jump of more than a million people since 2015.
beyond a beautiful space
Beacon CoWork, located at 140 Washington St., Suite 200, in Reno, is roughly 2,500 square feet and can accommodate around 36 people, said Oster, adding that the space has the option to “expand within the building if the response we’re initially seeing continues.”
The modernly designed space includes soft seating, conference rooms, sit-to-stand desks, a kitchen, complimentary coffee, personal lockers and more.
While Oster and McGuire are undoubtedly proud of Beacon CoWork’s physical space, they are more excited about the atmosphere that it can create for small business owners and independent professionals working in and around the Reno area.
“Instead of just head-down work, I want more of an interactive experience,” said McGuire, who has been a remote worker since 2010. “My vision is to help people grow as much as I have as a remote worker. One of the things that you can miss out in working remotely is the learning experience — learning from other people and being mentored by your peers.
“That’s what I want to offer to our community.”
Oster said that attitude is why McGuire is the right person to lead Beacon CoWork, which officially opened its doors Wednesday, May 9.
“One thing I heard over and over is that great design is important, but it’s not enough,” he said. “It needed to be more than just a beautifully designed space, it needed to include a supportive environment from the people within. You need that person in the middle of the space that makes it more than just an office rental.”
According to a study done by Emergent Research, 84 percent of coworking space members said they were more motivated and engaged and 67 percent said coworking improved their professional success.
Perhaps above all, 89 percent of respondents said they were happier since joining a coworking space, according to the survey.
Beacon CoWork is the latest of several coworking spaces in Reno that aims to feed into those numbers.
“I want to bring people together,” McGuire said. “Building that network within Reno’s community so that everyone — freelancers or entrepreneurs or remote workers — can benefit and have a place to go for all their essential business needs.”
The agreements are designed to split the costs of improvements such as traffic signals between Carson City and developers whose projects generate the traffic increases that trigger the need for improvements.