Is co-working, office rental the way of the future? Beavercreek small-business owner thinks so

Monique Reeves is owner of Beavercreek Office Suites. BONNIE MEIBERS / STAFF
Monique Reeves is owner of Beavercreek Office Suites. BONNIE MEIBERS / STAFF

The pandemic changed the way many do business, including putting co-working spaces and executive offices suites at the forefront of the conversation about what working will look like in the future.

Beavercreek Office Suites, located on Col. Glenn Highway, has found that many businesses planning to expand to work in Ohio or at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base have started leasing office space and the office rental company gained popularity during the pandemic.

Monique Reeves, the owner of Beavercreek Office Suites, said an executive office suite is ideal for a business that doesn’t need an entire building or a mature business that is looking to expand into a new market, like the Air Force base. Beavercreek Office Suites offers internet and administrative services, like mail and phone answering services, when a business rents space.

While many businesses had to alter their buildings and processes to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, Beavercreek Office Suites’ building was already set up to be socially distant and the business model was set up to accommodate flexible or work-from-home schedules.

Reeves said she noticed during the pandemic that their website was getting a lot more traffic.

“People were really Googling us a lot,” Reeves said. “People were asking ‘what is this’ and ‘is this something I can use?’”

As vaccine protection increases and companies are weighing when or whether to go back to the office in-person, some companies are finding opportunity with a more “flexible” approach to the office through co-working or renting office space. Companies like WeWork and Ohio-based COhatch have recently started opening up more locations across the country. In the Dayton-area, several co-working spaces have opened in the past few years, like Dayton Emerging Fashion Incubator or Daywork 130.

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While some co-working spaces are geared more toward supporting start-ups, Beavercreek Office Suites is geared toward more mature, established businesses.

Beavercreek Office Suites offers month-to-month and yearly leases. The most popular lease option is a yearly lease, but those renting enjoy the flexibility given by a month-to-month lease. Many of the businesses that use Beavercreek Office Suites are defense contractors, financial planners or attorneys.

“We’ve been through a lot in the 18 years I’ve worked here. We survived 2008, but this downturn was different because we didn’t know where the bottom was,” Reeves said. “It was hard to project long term what we should and could do.”

Reeves said when the 2008 financial crisis hit, she worried whether a business like hers would be relevant. Before that event, businesses typically rented a large quantity of spaces from Beavercreek Office Suites. After the financial crisis, she found more businesses were using Beavercreek Office Suites and renting smaller spaces.

“We worried after 2008, if we would still be relevant, and it just turned out that instead of having one company have 10 offices we would have five companies that have two offices,” Reeves said.

With the pandemic, Reeves said, people are looking still to have private space.

“They want a space where it’s uninterrupted, the dogs not barking, FedEx isn’t knocking on your door,” she said. “It’s one thing to have your internet bogged down if you’re all just, you know, surfing, but it’s another to have a weak line when you’re on a meeting. And because people are still getting business done, you just have to have strong dedicated internet, and we weren’t necessarily set up at home to do that.”

Executive office rentals and co-working spaces are the workspace of the future, Reeves said.

“People like having the flexibility in home. And they like having this office because they can come do their meetings and they know that they’re going to get a good connection; they know that they’re going to get services and amenities; and so as far as if this is the future — absolutely. Because now you can have an office and it might serve six people on your team, but they each use it individually when they need it. And so now you’ve got a good place, you can work from home, but when you need strong internet, maybe when you need to meet with a team we have access to conference rooms, but also you have a private office. It is doing more with less. That is the future. It has been (the way of the future) since the internet.”