Sharing Space

Somewhere in between the corporate office and the home office is a new workspace option: coworking.

After more than 15 years as sales consultants in the human resources sector, Adam Ramsay and Zach Cox were seeing a trend: More and more offices were downsizing, sending more people to work from home. In their line of work, they’d seen a lot of small businesses go under and they knew the reason was usually tied to startup costs.

It was 2019 and the concept of coworking had taken off in Miami and large metropolitan cities around the country. Ramsay and Cox realized a coworking space in Ocala could help startups, small businesses and remote workers by offering month-to-month shared office space with meeting areas, fast internet connections, office supplies, printing and copying, and mail and receptionist services. In November 2019, with their wives, Ashleigh Ramsay and Cassandra Cox, they opened Workspace Collective in a historic house on East Fort King Street.

With a charming blend of classic architecture and modern convenience, the bright, cozy space has attracted members from real estate and insurance to accounting and bookkeeping, from artists to media professionals.

“It is not industry or age-specific,” Cox says. “It is probably more mindset specific. The people that are attracted to this type of a work environment are typically hard workers; they typically feed off of relationships and seeing people in person and are tired of either working at Starbucks or working at home.”

“The power of a coworking space is the members and the community managers,” Ramsay adds. “So, if you get like-minded people together…and they’re in a place where they feel good and they start communicating and working together, they end up passing business. They end up being more successful. You can get them started for a whole lot less.”

The key is flexibility, Cox says. He calls what they offer “instant legitimacy.”

“If you’re a brand new business you can come in today, right now, and you can have a business phone line,” Cox explains. “We can give you a receptionist who will answer your calls; we can have your calls go to voicemails that are transcribed and sent to your email. You can have a state of the art conference room, state of the art podcast room, coffee, beer, snacks, a cleaning service, fastest Wi-Fi available—today.”

Jocelyn James, owner of CenterState Bookkeeping, has used Workspace Collective’s virtual office service for more than a year, which gives her a physical address in historic downtown Ocala.

“It has really helped me put my business on the map with Google My Business,” she says. “I definitely think that’s been helpful. It’s really nice to have that option to meet with clients, go over and have a cup of coffee. It’s a really nice atmosphere.”

Workspace Collective is getting ready to open a second location on Southeast First Avenue in March, adding more conference and coworking space as well as private offices for one person or a whole team, all with the same collaborative spirit.

“The first and foremost thing is the community and the family atmosphere here,” says Chelsea Siver, Workspace Collective’s community manager. “I make sure everybody’s happy. The most important thing for us to provide to you is the experience.”

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