Houston’s Best Coworking Spaces Are Redefining the Office and the Future of Work
Priceless Business Connections, Perks Galore and Plenty to Do Right Outside Your Door
The idea of going back into a staid, tired office space can be depressing. That does not mean people don’t want to work somewhere outside of their home. Imagine a work environment with all the perks of a premium world-class fitness center, modernist Herman Miller furniture and cool flexible coworking spaces that elevate the ordinary office to a new level.
In Houston, there are enlightened work environments luring more Texans back to a collaborative setting. These cutting edge coworking spaces are redefining what an office can be. The dreaded classic cavernous pre-pandemic office space simply won’t cut it for today’s workers.
Life Time Work has rolled out a new coworking space in GreenStreet, the downtown development that’s been reimagined by Midway, the mixed-use pioneers. There is also an innovative Life Time Work coworking space in CITYCENTRE. Add in the inspiring FUSE and SPACES in CITYCENTRE and you have a full range of options. And a fuller sense of why coworking is more relevant than ever.
“My favorite part is that we have an array of people from different backgrounds here,” Life Time Work manager Stephany Ortega says. “We have a lawyer, a marketing firm, a real estate firm, and an oil and gas firm — and they can all network.
“It’s so much so that we know each other on a first name basis. And we’re a little family.”
Special Coworking Perks
Life Time Work’s amenities include a premium health club, private and open-plan workspaces, state of the art conference rooms, tech support, fast and secure WI-FI and an elegant lounge with limitless freshly brewed coffee. There is also free printing, copying and scanning.
The most intrinsically fulfilling advantages of Life Time Work’s coworking spaces are not things though. That comes in the business and social connections fostered at the innovative campuses. Happy hours, guest speakers and member-only workouts are part of the allure of Houston Life Time Work campuses at GreenStreet and in the CITYCENTRE 5 office building.
Forget any visions of boring old offices. There is always something happening at these hubs of creativity.
“Some of them really enjoy the happy hours,” Ortega says. “Some of them like the engagement in the gym. Some of them like the nutrition seminars. So we mix up the type of events we’re hosting.”
The pandemic may have accelerated the remote work movement, but there are serious questions over whether that remains ideal. A new research study from Egress shows that 73 percent of workers reported feeling worse overall as a result of longtime remote working. Many workers want to come back into the office — if they’re going into an environment they’re excited about.
Life Time’s coworking spaces are a testament to this truth. Despite the pandemic, both the GreenStreet and CITYCENRE spaces have seen an uptick in interest, according to Ortega.
“Right when the pandemic hit — because of the uncertainty — we took a little bit of a dip,” Ortega says. “And then it picked up tremendously. There’s been such an increase in demand. It picked right back up.”
Harvard business school professor Bill Kerr maintains that the litmus test for the success of coworking spaces in America will be how well they can deliver a healthy environment for entrepreneurs and employees.
“Some coworking spaces have set themselves apart as having world-class facilities,” Kerr tells WorkTech. “Historically, that’s been defined in terms of computing infrastructure and office furniture and peanuts and perks like that. I think increasingly they will also be defined in terms of the quality and health of the environment.”
Midway’s drive to achieve the latest healthy office certifications for its projects — new standards that largely focus on people, such as WELL and Fitwel certification — gives buildings like the Munoz + Albin-designed CITYCENTRE 6 another edge. Midway’s GreenStreet center just achieved a Fitwel one star rating, a coveted designation centered around things such as walkability, green space and access to healthy food.
Houston-based global account manager Michael Stoeger is an early convert.
“I’ve had a good experience with Life Time Work,” Stroeger says. “You need clean, consistent, comfortable, professional space in order to get your tasks done, and this place does it.
“I looked at some of the shared spaces here (in Houston). Life Time Work was by far the nicest.”
Stoeger knew he didn’t want to work where he slept, ate and relaxed. Separation between his work and home environments help him find a balance.
“I did not want to work at home,” he says. “(Life Time Work) is comfortable, clean. There’s plenty of space to do all of that work — to print out documents, editing. I need a comfortable place to go and work that’s away from home.
“If I’m at home, I like reading the paper, magazines or watching a movie. Or take the dog for a walk. I like to do things that are not work-related.”
The other attractive features for Stoeger include the high-speed, secure Internet, social connections with other business professionals and a nice view of the city.
“The most important thing is bulletproof Internet, and the quality of the Internet here is commercial versus home,” he says. “It also gave me a decent view of the city. If you want to work from a booth, or work from a table or a desk, or a bar — they have a lot of options for you.
“If you want to bring in other people to quickly pitch in, it all works perfectly.”
Another very palpable perk comes in the world-class gym connected to every Life Time Work campus. Life Time Work members receive access to 150-plus Life Time Luxury Health Clubs. Expect cutting-edge fitness equipment, studio classes, even childcare centers.
“One of the big perks we offer is the membership to Life Time Fitness, which are in close proximity, less than a block away,” Ortega says. “Our members can walk right over through the garage and just work out during lunch. Or you can work out after your work day, and let traffic die down and then go home.”
The aesthetic appeal of the Life Time Work campuses is also a distinctive draw.
“Life Time Work is dedicated to the aesthetic feel, the sensory experience,” Ortega says. “So the decor is very modern, sleek, upscale and warm. We add the small things that you wouldn’t notice, but they make a difference.
“The natural lighting and color palette limit distraction — and plant life accenting the emotional connection to nature.”
Conveniently situated in the heart of the GreenStreet, going with Life Time Work means easy access to all the restaurants and shops of the development too. These coworking experts work with a variety of budgets, too. Some much lower than you might expect.
“There’s flexibility and different ranges,” Ortega says. “We provide a lower rate for a longer time commitment. The spaces start at $400 and scale up for a private office.”
Your Complete Coworking Guide
GreenStreet and CITYCENTRE are not the only Midway mixed-use developments home to compelling coworking centers. Here are the cutting edge options worth putting on your radar:
A popular destination for the professional set in Downtown Houston, GreenStreet is conveniently located near Main Street and Polk Street in the heart of the Central Business District. What draws many is Life Time’s new 52,000 square foot athletic resort as well as the 29,000 square foot Life Time Work center.
GreenStreet’s Life Time Work offers private, enclosed spaces for up to 16 people, lounge spaces, flexible 30-day and 90-day contracts, private conference rooms and access to tech support
The breathtaking penthouse views from Life Time Work’s prime CITYCENTRE perch leave an impression. So does the Herman Miller ergonomic furniture, healthy food options and private conference rooms. Of course, having all the restaurants, stores and entertainment options of CITYCENTRE a quick walk away may be the greatest perk of all.
Life Time Work’s 25,000 square foot coworking space offers three types of memberships — private office, open resident with a dedicated desk and lounge membership, which offers more of an open plan flexible workspace.
FUSE Workspace in CITYCENTRE
FUSE Workspace brings another unique coworking center — and a retreat all its own — to CITYCENTRE. Some of the more notable amenities include a dedicated on-site concierge staff, state-of-the-art coffee offerings with a full menu of options, a grab-and-go refreshment center, topnotch business WI-FI, and access to personal trainers and wellness programs. The views from the two different FUSE workspace buildings are unparalleled, especially on the fully furnished rooftop patio.
FUSE offers a wide range of membership plans including private office, dedicated space, coworking, event space and virtual space options.
SPACES at CITYCENTRE
SPACES boasts more than 60,000 square feet of flexible workspaces, including dedicated desk spaces, private offices and seven conference rooms. Other top draws include high-speed internet, 24/7 building access and its unique community of creative entrepreneurs.