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Live From Spark Plaza, A Co-Working Space

Spark Plaza Conference Area

Spark Plaza Conference Area

Good news, I am starting working on my blogs again. I’ve decided to get a little more serious on my web aspirations and start getting my writing in front of people. I’m here today at Spark Plaza in downtown Johnson City. It’s a co-working center. Co-working centers are one of the new office options for freelancers and telecommuters. That’s a rental area that offers shared desk space and facilities. Instead of a complete office, you get access to a cubical or desk, a conference area, and even coworkers to have coffee with. At Spark Plaza you also get wireless Internet, a kitchen, and a classy downtown location. The price for this is dependent on if you want a floating location or a fixed desk. In either case the price is much lower than renting a complete office for yourself.

It provides an inexpensive option for the freelancer who needs a professional office to meet with clients or to get away from distractions at home. You also get a more standard office environment. Since freelancing is typically a very lonely operation, it’s nice to be around people with common background and focus. This helps with a problem that people used to working in offices have. Mainly, people miss the social aspect of their job. At a co-working space you have people working around you. You have someone to talk about business related topics or just the latest family issues and last night’s TV shows.

If you are one who likes to go to the office to work, this can be a good option for you. However, this is a very unstructured work environment. There are no set hours here for any of the members. People come and go regularly. Your ability to stay focused will no doubt be tested. If you need quiet to think and don’t deal well with interruptions, you may want to start with a short term membership to see if this is a good fit for you.

Spark Plaza is run by the husband and wife team of Jose and Shannon Castillo. They are good people who I have found to be very friendly and helpful. Usually they offer one day a month as an open house to allow new people to try out the co-working concept. It gives people a chance to see the facilities and decide if it fits their needs. If you are interested and live nearby I recommend you come by. In any case, you should keep co-working centers in mind if you need an alternative to a home office.


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