Coworks helps city workers leverage local coworking spaces

Coworks and Innovate Durham helped social works leverage coworking spaces as an alternative to going back to the office in between field visits.


photo-1633622248770-ad6b93175a48In the summer of 2021, Coworks was invited to participate in an exciting program: Innovate Durham.

This 16-week partnership program turns the City of Durham and Durham County into a lab to test new ideas, products, or services. Through the program, participants get access to staff, data, and facilities to assist with making Durham more efficient and encourage a culture of innovation at the City and County levels.

"Durham's culture of innovation is vital to our continued growth,” said Interim County Manager Claudia Hager at Demo Day in September. “The challenges we faced in 2020 demonstrated the importance of resilience in government. Initiatives such as Innovate Durham help demonstrate this trend with public private partnerships."

Coworks was tapped to help solve some pressing issues faced by the the city and county. Employees were either out in the field or had to trek back in their Durham office. That meant a lot of time driving back and forth — time that could be better used.

At Coworks, our expertise is helping coworking and flex spaces run efficiently and effectively. And we knew the target user of a coworking space is a professional that doesn’t have to be tied to a specific location. The two seemed perfect for each other.

Our pilot program was mapped out to do the following:

  • Allow city employees to leverage local coworking spaces so they can have a flexible place to work — not at home, not at the central office.
  • Provide safe, flexible workspace with the amenities they needed.
  • Link 17 local, NC-based coworking spaces within a 100 miles radius.

Coworks provided a customized version of our app, as well as a front desk tablet for each location that didn’t already have one. The results were overwhelmingly positive.

"I loved checking out the spaces. Easy check-ins were great! Makes remote work more fun,” said participant Mary Grace Stoneking.

The Coworks team expresses our gratitude to the coworking spaces that stepped up to help us service these public servants, including: Raleigh Founded (4 locations), American Underground, RTP Frontier, Provident1898, Caswell CoSquare, Work Hall, GigEast Exchange, Coworking Station (2 locations), ReCity, Venture Asheboro, Olive Chapel, The Wright Village, and Venture X RTP.

“Some of the locations that signed on with us are competitors,” noted Coworks CEO DeShawn Brown. “But that didn’t stop them from seeing the value in being part of something bigger, something that serves the broader community, and a program that demonstrates what the future of work can look like, thanks to flex work space like coworking operations.”

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