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How to Know It’s Time to Move Out of Your Home Office

Starting a business from your home can be a great idea to keep costs, and risks, to a minimum while you build up a client base or find interesting investors. But there comes a point that your operation gets too complex to properly function with the limitations of a home office. 

But how can you know that it is time to move out of your home office? Here are a few things for you to consider that will help you decide if you are at that point. 

You need a more professional look

Moving out of your home office and into a proper office space is the perfect way to improve the perception people have of your company. Once you are settled in an office, potential clients will take you more seriously, and they will be more likely to work with you if they find that you are a reliable, professional company. Having a more professional look can also help you attract better employees than the ones you could get by conducting interviews in your living room or a local coffee shop. And as more and more businesses move online, it is important that your business is associated with a proper office building instead of showing your actual home on a map, this is also much safer for you too. 

Your team is growing

As an entrepreneur or solopreneur just starting out, working from home is easy because you have all the space you need for your whole operation. But as your business gets more complex, you will find that you can’t do everything on your own and you will have to bring more people into your team. And this necessarily means getting them their own office space, which also means that they are most likely to not be able to fit in your home. In this case, moving into a proper office space is inevitable. 

Reduce distractions

Working from home is not always easy. Sure, it may be comfortable and there is never a need to battle traffic, but it is also true that sometimes it is very difficult to focus on your work due to the many distractions around you. This is especially true for people who have pets or kids at home. 

You need a place for meetings

Meeting a potential client or somebody you want to hire for your team at a coffee shop can be the perfect way to completely botch that operation. And meeting anybody at home can not only be uncomfortable but it can also not be the safest option. When you are starting out you only have a handful of meetings, but when your business starts growing you will find that you need a dedicated, professional space dedicated, professional space to have meetings in. This is a sign that you need to get out of your home office.

Faces of Shift with Nate Sullivan of Education Analytics

One of the best parts of our community at Shift Workspaces is getting to know our members. We enjoy being able to learn more about what everyone does not just on a professional level, but on a personal one as well. We recently had the chance to learn more about Nate Sullivan of Education Analytics and we hope you enjoy getting to learn more about him as well – Take a look!

Tell us about the work you do at Education Analytics?

Education Analytics is a non-profit education research company. Our projects are all in the K-12 education field, but we tackle a wide range of topics: growth & proficiency analysis, HR and teacher retention, social emotional learning, college and career readiness and educator-prep program analysis. I manage a portfolio of these projects, conducting a lot of research using statistical programming code (R & SQL) and creating reports and online tools to communicate our findings.

Since COVID hit last Spring, my team has developed an online tool for teachers and various education leaders. Our goal is to help teachers get to know their students during this remote-learning experience. We track student progress and compare their current projections with where they most likely would have been if it were not for the COVID disruption.

How did you discover and begin your own journey with this career?

In college I taught Math and Spanish and tutored struggling grade schoolers, but I knew I did not want to be a teacher. My senior year I started working part-time at Education Analytics and quickly discovered I could use my Economics and Math experience to research a wide variety of education policies. Once I graduated, they gave me a full-time offer and I have been here for over six years! Who says millennials do not stick around?!

What about your job inspires you?

Our mission is to improve educational outcomes for K-12 students across the country by using data and rigorous research to drive policy decision-making. It is a motivating mission and I remind myself of it when day-to-day tasks get mundane.

What is a piece of advice you would give to someone who is just starting out in your industry?

It’s easy to get lost in the world of data analysis and to forget what you are looking for and what problem you are trying to solve. I constantly remind myself what my ultimate goal is, balancing what is worth investigating and what I should set aside.

What do you think has contributed to your success?

My coworkers inspire me and are some of my favorite people. Finding a balance between hard work and relaxation has also been critical.   

What do you all enjoying doing in your spare time?

Cooking, camping, board games, playing the guitar and sports (soccer, biking, skiing, tennis).

As a longtime member of Shift Workspaces, tell us what makes you want to continue to grow here?

I really enjoy getting to know the variety of people that work at Shift. I love to see George & Madison in the gym and chatting with Claudia in the kitchen always brightens my day!

If you would like to learn more about Nate and his company, feel free to visit their Website as well as their LinkedIn.

Overcoming Upcoming Holiday Season Anxiety

The holidays can be a very exciting and happy time, but for some people the holidays can trigger feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression. As we near the end of the year and the start of the holiday season it is important to be prepared in order to be able to overcome anxiety so you are able to focus on enjoying the holidays instead.

To help you get started we have prepared a few tips to help you overcome the upcoming holiday season anxiety.

First it is important to understand what may cause this feeling of anxiety. The most common triggers for anxiety include unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, and excessive commitments, this is especially true during the holiday season. A good idea is to look into the past and identify situations and patterns that have led you to feel anxious before, this will be a great way of preparing yourself for this year’s festivities.

Once you have identified your anxiety triggers, you can plan ahead in order to avoid them this year. So, for example if you find out that you are worried about spending too much money on gifts, you can prepare a budget and a list of the people you want to give gifts to. This way there won’t be any surprises or reason to overspend.

If on the other hand you find that your anxiety stems from having excessive commitments, a great solution is to also make a list of all of the events and activities you will possibly be invited too and select only those that you are comfortable attending. This way you will avoid committing to activities you don’t want to be a part of. Be aware that having to say no to events may also be an anxiety trigger for some people, especially if they feel like they have an obligation to attend.

Then there is the most common anxiety trigger: having unrealistic expectations. This is not only true during the holidays, but it definitely gets more intense during this special season. Expectations in general will inevitably lead you to anxiety because life rarely follows whatever plan you might have.

Overcoming this type of anxiety can be quite a challenge because it requires that you completely change your mindset from one that expects things a certain way, to one that accepts everything as it is.

The best way to achieve this state of mind is to observe your own thoughts and whenever you detect any anxiety inducing expectations arising, your goal should be to gently guide and consciously correct your mind into a more accepting state. As with any skill, this one requires a lot of practice and patience, so make sure to start small and work your way up to the biggest issues.

Another reason why you feel anxious around the holidays may be due to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression. This disorder can affect anyone, and it seems to be caused by inadequate exposure to natural light during the winter months.

The farther you live from the equator, the more common this disorder seems to be. This can be easily counterbalanced with maintaining a healthy diet, going outside, keeping your healthy sleeping schedule, as well as exercising regularly.

Faces of Shift with Jennifer Byrnes

Earlier this year, we welcomed Jennifer Byrnes to the Shift Workspaces team as the new General Manager at our Bannock location. We are excited for everyone to learn more about Jennifer and look forward to what she will be able to bring to the team.

Tell us what excited you most about joining the Shift Workspaces community?

I was excited for a challenge. Coming from years spent in hotels and some time working in corporate housing, I felt my background would help me take on this new chapter. One of my favorite parts of my career has always been learning about the businesses I partner with and growing along with them. This was the driving factor to why I was interested in Shift.

You recently moved from Portland, Oregon. Tell us about your last few months in Denver and what made you move to Colorado.

My husband grew up in the Denver Metro area and we have visited regularly during our relationship. We knew Portland was not going to be our forever home and as we explored areas we wanted to move, Denver stayed on the top of our list.

We love the fact we can be in the city and explore some great food options but then have the retreat of the mountains when you need mother nature’s magic.

You came from a long tenure at Hilton. What have you brought from your experience in the hospitality industry to your new career in managing a coworking space?

Hilton is known for genuine hospitality. I love building relationships and being the trusted advisor to my clients and my team. I am looking forward to learning more about the Golden Triangle neighborhood and building relationships with the neighborhood to better serve our members.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time? Have you had a chance to explore much of Colorado yet?

In my free time I like to travel. Last year we spent a week in South East France and a week in Barcelona. We ate and drank our way thru each country. Anthony Bourdain once said “Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go”. Thus, when we explore new areas, we do so by eating and drinking like a local.

We love talking to the bartender or barista learning about their establishment and where they would visit if it were their day off. This is also how we like to explore our local areas. We love taking weekend trips, exploring different parts of the state by visiting farmers markets, wandering our way thru tiny towns, and finding the towns best eateries.

Feed the Front-Line Denver

As the number of people infected with COVID-19 in the Denver Front Range rises, hospitals across our state are facing an unprecedented challenge — inadequate access to testing, a dwindling supply of personal protective equipment, and a looming shortage of ventilators and beds. After working day and night in this increasingly stressful environment, it’s understandably hard for our frontline workers to find the time or motivation to get in a good meal. We want to help.
 
Shift Workspaces and its 500-member community are teaming up with Denver restaurants to provide nourishing meals for our local healthcare providers on the frontline of the pandemic.
 
Our team is coordinating the funding, administration, safe preparation and delivery of breakfast, lunch and dinner to the doctors, nurses and hospital staff who are working tirelessly to take care of all of us.
 
Show your appreciation for our courageous medical community and simultaneously provide much-needed support to local restaurants and their staff.
 
Every single dollar of your donation will be used to provide meals to frontline medical workers. We will continue supporting our medical community and first responders for as long as this crisis lasts.

Thank you and all of your families for your tireless commitment to our community! 

To donate, visit our Go Fund Me Page.  

Resources for SMEs and Entrepreneurs to Weather the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect entrepreneurs and small businesses in Denver, we at Shift Workspaces have started compiling a list of local and federal aid available to our Members to help them weather this crisis successfully. 

City and County of Denver Small Business Emergency Relief

This city-wide program is aimed at solving the immediate needs of the business community, giving priority to those industries that are most affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Up to $7,500 in cash grants will be made available in monthly phases. Applications for the first phase are due March 31, 2020.

Imagine 2020 Artist Assistance Fund

This fund was created by Denver Arts & Venues to support local artists affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Denver Arts & Venues has allocated $130,000 towards grants of up to $1,000 for each individual artist whose incomes are being adversely affected due to cancellation of events, classes, performances, and other creative work.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

This bill, which became public law on March 18, 2020, aims to help health care workers by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers. 

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act

Signed into law on March 27th, 2020, this bill addresses the economic impacts of, and otherwise responds to, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.  The bill authorizes emergency loans to distressed businesses.  The bill also provides funding for $1,200 tax rebates to individuals, with an additional $500 payments per qualifying child. The rebate begins phasing out when incomes exceed $75,000 (or $150,000 for joint filers).  The bill establishes limits on requirements for employers to provide paid leave

Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources

This government agency provides support to entrepreneurs and small businesses. They summarize their activities as the “3 C’s” – Capital, Contracts and Counseling. 

As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you might want to look into their Disaster Loan Programs, which have been updated to reflect the latest developments with regards to the Coronavirus Pandemic and the impact it already has had on the economy.  

Through their Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, due to COVID-19, every small business owner is eligible to apply for a low-interest loan of up to $2 million in working capital.

The SBA also has several loan resources available, including express loans, microloans, exporting loans, and many more.

Head to the SBA’s website for more information.

 

Introducing Shift Workspace’s Brand-New HR & Healthcare Services

Shift Workspaces members can now save up to 50% on healthcare, payroll, and workers’ compensation. We’ve partnered with TriNet because we understand that in order for a business to be successful, it needs to take great care of its people and because we strongly believe that everyone should have access to big company benefit options.

For a few years now, TriNet has been helping thousands of flexible workspace members by providing top of the line HR solutions to companies of all sizes. Shift Workspaces members can now take advantage of TriNet’s tailored HR solutions.

Each business has unique needs, so it should only be natural for their HR packages to be unique as well. This new program can support your company’s needs, whether you need a team of professional HR experts or people to help you tackle administrative tasks like payroll, taxes, and HR compliance.

The best part? As a Shift Workspaces member, you can save up to 50% on healthcare costs and medical, vision, disability, dental, life, and flexible spending account benefits to all persons in the company.

Getting Started

It’s easy and it’s quick. Just follow these 3 steps:

1.  Make Contact

Drop the TriNet team a note with your name, email, and phone number. They will get back to you within 24 hours.

2.  Start talking

Once a TriNet representative contacts you, you will have the opportunity to ask about healthcare plans, workers’ compensation, payroll regulations, and the benefits they offer.

3.  Review your options

Based on what you ask and share with your TriNet representative, they will provide you with tailored plans and pricing. Then it’s up to you.

That’s it! If you have any questions or would like any additional information, click here.

 

Faces of Shift with Sara Bohks of Shift Workspaces Corona

We are excited to welcome Sara Bohks to the team at Shift Workspaces.  Sara is the General Manager at our Corona location.  Sara comes to Shift with many years’ experience in property management, sales, residential real estate and hospitality. 

During her first week at Shift, we sat down with Sara to learn more about her background, her professional experience, what she does when she’s not working and why she decided to join the Shift team. 

What were you doing prior to joining Shift Workspaces?

I was a Property Manager for condo associations and mixed-use buildings in Downtown Denver.  I have been working in residential real estate for 13 years.  I also spent 8 years living in New York City working for a Real Estate Developer who specialized in converting historic 1920’s office buildings into luxury rental apartments.

What brought you back to Colorado?

Living in NYC was an amazing experience and I think everyone should do it once in their life. After 8 years I missed the mountains and was ready to return to my roots and a more laid-back lifestyle.

As a Colorado native, what are some of your favorite spots that have stood the test of time?

I love live music, so I am glad to see that places like The Bluebird, Gothic Theater and The Ogden have remained the same.  Some of my favorite bars and restaurants that are still around would be Don’s Mixed Drinks, Jerusalem’s, The Cherry Cricket and Potager.  Although Denver is really growing right now, it’s still nice that much of it is remaining the same. 

What are some things that you do every morning to get yourself ready for the day?

I like to wake up early so I can have a relaxing start to my day.   I like to put on some good music, make a healthy breakfast and stretch out on a yoga mat.  Having this routine to my morning helps me create a balanced mindset for the rest of the day. 

What do you like to do in your free time?

I love to hop on one of the electric scooters and explore all the new places Denver has to offer.  I also enjoy playing golf, hiking, live music and spending time with friends and family.

Why did you decide to join the team at Shift Workspaces?

I loved the idea of being involved in a coworking environment and having the ability to provide support to small business, freelancers and entrepreneurs.  I find it exciting to see how a property can be converted and used to create an entirely new community. 

As you start your career in the coworking industry, what is something you hope to achieve?

I am looking forward to learning everything I can about the coworking industry as well as the Shift Community. I am hoping that I can continue to offer the same support to our members.  It’s great that we not only provide a healthy positive work environment, but we also get to be a part of the growth of all different kinds of companies.  I hope to build long last relationships with the Shift Team and all of the Members.

After your first week with Shift Workspaces, what are a few things that you learned about your community?

Everyone that I have met has been so friendly and welcoming.   It’s great to see that some of the members have been with Shift since the beginning. The community members bring a great vibe and energy to the workday. 

Shift Workspaces is Proud to Announce It’s a Certified B Corporation®

Last year, we announced that Shift Workspaces was pursuing a B-Corp Certification to further our commitment to be a socially and environmentally conscious company. In May of this year (2019), we officially became a Certified B CorporationÒ. We are proud to have completed the rigorous process and to be a part of a movement that uses business as a force to do good in our communities and the world.

Shift Workspaces received a B Impact Score of 86.5. The B Impact Score is measured by evaluating a company’s corporate mission, environmental footprint, supply chain, accountability, governance, transparency, and engagement as well as reviewing community initiatives like diversity, inclusion, civic engagement and local involvement.

Certified B Corporations are social enterprises that are certified by B Labs based on how they create value for stakeholders that don’t share ownership of the company, like employees, customers, the local community, vendors, and the environment.

Shift will focus on five main principles as a newly certified B Corp: customer, vendor and employee well-being; company volunteer hours; water conservation; electrical conservation; and maintaining our status as a carbon neutral company.

As I have stated previously, “B Corporations are important today more than ever because they are setting a new standard on how business should be done. It’s no longer about who can do, produce, or operate more, instead it’s about who can do, produce, and operate better. We believe that our efforts to become a Certified B Corporation demonstrate our commitment to our local community, our employees, the environment and our members and we hope that it inspires you to do the same.”

Does it Really Matter if We Buy Local?

Consumers are faced with decisions to purchase goods and services from national chains or locally owned businesses every day. Cost, convenience, and variety often inform us in these decisions. And while we have heard of the intangible benefits of buying local, how do we quantify the specific economic benefits to our communities when we decide to keep our money close to home?

When we buy local, our money stays local, and it strengthens the local economy in two ways. First, buying local keeps money circulating within the local economy. Studies have shown that local businesses recirculate a greater share of every dollar as they create locally owned supply chains and invest in their employees.

Data shows that local retailers return 52 percent of their revenue back into the local economy, compared to just 14 percent for national chain retailers. Money circulating through the local economy benefits everyone who is a part of each transaction. For example, let’s look at a local farmer growing produce.

First, they sell to a local restaurant, which in turn prepares the fresh produce and sells it to local customers. The farmer pays its local employees and the restaurant uses revenue from sales to buy supplies from a neighborhood hardware store. This example illustrates how the recirculation of money in the local economy leads to a stronger financial foundation for our neighbors and communities.

Buying local also fuels new employment and job opportunities for people within our community. Studies show, locally owned businesses employ more people per unit of sales and retain more employees over time. For example, during the previous economic recession, the American Economic Review found that the employment growth rate of local businesses in 2008-2009 fell 2% less than national corporations. Furthermore, the expansion and growth of local businesses help create a more stable, recession-resistant local economy and community alike.

More data to buy local

    • » A local business will generate 70% more local activity per square foot than a big box store
    • » Local shops will produce a net annual return of $326 per 1,000 square foot compared to a net annual deficit of $468 per 1,000 square foot for big box stores
    • » The money we spend locally will generate three and a half times more wealth for the local economy compared to chain-owned businesses
    • » If every U.S. family spent an additional $10 per month at a local shop, the result would be an additional $9.3 billion directly returned to the local economy
    • » Nearly 60% of workers at local businesses report a high commitment score to the business compared to only 39% at chains, which results in better customer service and an improved buying experience
    • » Buying local helps immigrants; 28% of all main street businesses are owned and operated by immigrants and from 2000-2013, 48% of the overall US growth of business ownership was attributed to immigrant business owners

While buying local is financially compelling to our communities; the benefits to our environment are equally impressive. Buying locally reduces the processing of goods, packaging and transportation waste, which leads to less pollution. Each year, the United States transports and ships $2.2 trillion of products which equates to 1.1 billion gallons of fuel and 1 billion metric tons of CO2.

Communities that support local businesses foster an environment that’s characterized by unique, one of a kind business that often provides communities with economic advantage and a unique value proposition. Local ownership also means that community members take part in making important decisions that will affect the community.  They’re more likely to take into consideration how business and investment decisions will impact the entire community as opposed to solely focus on business profitability. Additionally, buying locally means that you are supporting local entrepreneurs and innovation.

Spending locally is a great way to contribute to a friendly and long-term business environment and it can be one of the key engines of community economic success.  Successful businesses greatly influence an area’s quality of life; if there’s more business, there’s more revenue, and there are more job opportunities; all of which contribute to better quality of life for us all.

There’s a massive cultural shift underway redefining the way people make buying decisions.  We’re seeing more individuals concerned about the environment, about how products are made and sourced, where materials come from, and a company’s overall social and environmental impact.

Shift Workspaces believes in the power of supporting one another on a local level, which is why we constantly strive to purchase locally sourced products, partner with local vendors and re-invest the profits from our business back into our community.


Sources:  www.epa.com, www.gsi-net.com, www.newmoa.org, www.clu-in.org, www.itrcweb.org, www.staticticbrain.com, www.census.gov, www.colorado.gov, www.greenstudentu.com, www.amiba.net, www.civiceconomics.com, www.sagepublications.com, www.as-coa.org