Houston Is Warming Up to Co-Working
After Hurricane Harvey rolled through town, thousands of Houstonians and homes across Houston were left devastated. Many offices across the city were flooded, as well. This has forced the hand of several companies to turn to growing co-working spaces in their time of need. Particularly at TechSpace in Westchase, occupancy has skyrocketed over 60% since Labor Day.
Prior to the storm, TechSpace Site Manager Robert Spoden only leased 18 suites of the site’s top floor. Now, all 76 suites are completely full. As the demand for working space continues to grow, he expects all 453 seats across 46K SF of co-working space to be fully leased. “There’s a lot of activity going on, my phone’s ringing off the hook with companies calling about hurricane relief,” Spoden said.
Co-working spaces have had difficulty finding their place in Houston’s more traditional workplace culture. “There’s a learning curve, but Harvey, out of necessity, has forced this on people. Now they’re in it, and they see it can work.” Spoden agreed. “Until you’re in it, you can’t experience it,” he said. When a company comes in and sets up shop in less than 24 hours, it hits them that this can actually work. TechSpace’s newest tenants came in expecting a challenging move, but the plug-and-play nature of space just works, says Spoden.
Even when TechSpace’s new tenants return to their offices, their idea of what an office can be will never be the same. Although Harvey brought significant loss, Houston has learned much about itself through it all. Like how resilient and generous its citizens are, and how maybe co-working spaces shouldn’t be so intimidating after all.