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Goodbye WFH

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As we say goodbye WFH (work from home) and hello to our new normals, it is important we take with us the lessons we have learned over the last few months.

Whenever I used to get really busy, I would always think it would be nice to have a couple of months where I could veg out and watch all the Netflix I wanted. You know what they say – be careful what you wish for! I think quarantine gave us all a taste of this and I’m not sure we will ever want quite so much time on our hands again.

The four or so months of staying in emptied the walls of Ment for a while however our members are slowly coming back into the office (yay!). After hearing from them, it is clear to see that while quarantine had its low points it also had its upsides. 

The New Normal

We have all been affected personally and professionally by the outbreak. During these last few months, we were challenged to create a new normal, and still are. For most, work did not stop, but WFH (work from home) meant that the kids had to be taught and taken care of, laundry needed to be done, dinner needed to be made, all while keeping up with our work tasks interchangeably. Thankfully there was camaraderie in the fact that we were all at home. Many of our members decided to create a new dedicated workspace from their homes but said that there were still many distractions. 

Beyond working and doing chores, our members found other ways to be productive with their time. Tim and Keilah from SKY Soccer both did a lot of exercising to keep their mental and physical health in check. The Harris’ spent a lot of time outside with their dogs. Kari spent a lot of time with her dog too (I think we all wore our dogs out with too many walks). Nick gardened and ran. Eric spent time Netflixing and planning for future trips. — these are just some of the things they did to keep happy and healthy during possibly the weirdest 4 months we’ll hopefully ever have. 

We’re All in This Together

Our members work in several different industries which is why work was very different for everyone. As we can see from above though, we all can relate at some point during these strange times. Some of our members saw business as usual, and some, unfortunately, saw a loss. However, everyone took this as a time to reevaluate in some way, shape, or form and slow down. Whether it was with their companies’ futures due to complications from the coronavirus, or their work-life balance routines. 

When it is all said and done, I think we can all agree it is nice to leave the laundry in the basket and step out for a few hours to go to the office, dedicate our time and brain space to our projects, and then be able to go home and feel completely present.

 

*Special thanks to our members with OnTarget Cleaning and Restoration for staying really busy by cleaning and sanitizing to protect from COVID-19! 

Coworking in the Era of COVID-19

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Coworking will never be what it once was, honestly, nothing will be. Coworking in the era of COVID-19 has taught us a lot of things, one thing is that remote working does work. However, we think everyone working remotely can agree that remote work is not as productive as when done in an office environment; you need the socialization provided in the office atmosphere to be your most productive and creative. Join us in watching as we sit down with our owner, JD Haase to learn more about why coworking is a great option even amidst the COVID-19 era.

 

 

After this pandemic, coworking will never be as dense as it once was. We have never believed in the idea of densification as to never take advantage of others. Ment has always been and always will be very flexible for its members.

If you are considering joining the cowork movement, Ment is ready for you! And the best perk: we’re squeaky clean! Our cleaning company is not just making our space clean, they are making it sterile so you can feel safe and comfortable from within our walls.

Sister Spaces

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One of the best things about coworking is that you can do it anywhere! That’s why we have sister spaces to collaborate with at iHub in Louisville, KY, and Center 615 in Nashville, TN.  What is a sister space you may ask? It’s simple! Ment created a partnership with these two spaces for our members that travel. It allows our members to work out of their spaces for free for the day.

 

iHub

iHub, like many coworking spaces, is constantly growing and changing. It’s a few years older than Ment and is owned by the University of Louisville Real Estate Foundation. I like to think Ment is in the perfect location of Bowling Green and speaking as a Louisville native, iHub is in the perfect location of Louisville. It’s a comfy space right off of Main St. near the up and coming neighborhood of Nulu, my favorite area downtown. 

They have 15 members working in a wide variety of fields. (Another reason to love coworking!) Like us, they have a great conference room that the whole community can rent, but they also host a lot of seminars and workshops run by local businesses. 

 

Center 615

Center 615 was founded in 2011 and started out as 1 building with private offices. Since then it has grown to have 60,000 square feet in 3 different buildings. (Maybe that will be us one day!) Their 92 offices are filled with roughly 250 members. They range from realtors to lawyers to accountants to coders and so much more. 

 

How has COVID-19 affected them?

There isn’t one person or company left untouched by the virus and having to adjust their routines.  Our sister spaces are in different cities so we’ve all had to adjust differently. All of us though have taken extra safety precautions to properly follow CDC guidelines over the last few months. 

iHub has been focusing on the highly touched points in common areas. Everyone has been asked to wear masks and check temperatures, as well as having the maintenance crew wearing gloves. They have also been changing out their air filters more often. 

Center 615 has still allowed 24/7 access to its members and the staff has been on a rotating schedule. While members still had access, many chose to stay home and many still are WFH, which actually allowed for repairs to take place after the Nashville tornado in early March. 

Tennessee opened a little earlier than KY did and their staff has been back full time since May 8th. They have taken all of the same steps as Ment and iHub have in practicing social distancing, wearing masks, checking temperatures, and providing hand sanitizer. Additionally, Center 615 has held off on providing their normal services of coffee, tea, and a nap room- can we get one of those? 

The community has been out of our coworking spaces these past few months, but we’re all working to get back together and to fully put the “co” in coworking again soon! 

 

 

*Special thanks to Molly O’Rourke at iHub and Beth Heflin at Center 615 for helping out with this blog! 

 

Working {Not} from Home

As this whole pandemic thing nears an end, it’s safe to say that we all have mixed emotions about working from home… or working {not} from home.

Face it: you’re stir crazy but also comfortable. You want to get out but you don’t want everything to go back to the way it was. We’ve had a taste of this whole modern work-life practice and we’re kinda liking it. 

You’re lying if you say that you don’t enjoy your only morning commute being a walk to the living room, your work attire being PJs, and your office chair being your couch. 

But let’s also not ignore the importance of having some structure in our lives. Having a place to wake up and come to that is your own (and not the same place that’s five feet away from where you sleep) can be a good thing. 

We need a place that’s right for our physical and mental health. Perhaps a place where your kids aren’t screaming “mommy” every five seconds or your boss isn’t constantly popping in your office to ask about that deadline that you’re already well aware of. 

Welcome to coworking.

In case you forgot, we are a modern, comfortable space that gives you the freedom to work how you please. Whether it’s a temporary place to hang your hat on the weekends or a permanent fix to all your office needs, we’ve got you.

 

But how?

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of “what ifs” and “hows” surrounding the coworking industry. So what do we have to say about it? We’re gonna be alright! In fact – maybe even better than before. The important thing is that we are all using this to learn about how we can improve. 

We are coming out of a worldwide pandemic, guys – something that will be in the history books one day. Like all major life events, we must learn and adapt.

Our hopes are that the pandemic may even shape the way we all work in the coming future. 

Working full-time remotely is HARD. Working full-time in person 9-5 Monday through Friday is HARD. It’s exhausting and it leads to quickly becoming burnt out. If we want to succeed…if we want to truly provide the best work environment for our employees, we will need to make some adjustments. If we as workers want to achieve the best work-life balance, it’s going to take some adjustments. 

 

Call it a comeback

With everyone itching to get back out, host those events and workshops they missed out on, and have their meetings IN PERSON we have got a space ready for you! Some of us may be on the hunt for a new job or new connections after being secluded for so long. It’s time for new opportunities right?! 

We’ve got the hookup here with a space that lets you interact with people of all workplaces. You never know who might be in our office from day-to-day. Maybe you’ve been talking to your pets a little too much recently? Come in and talk to us! (Our beloved office Goldendoodle or Bearded Dragon may even make an appearance from time to time.) 

We’re coming at you straight out of quarantine with some even fresher ideas, a positive outlook, and a whole new level of appreciation for our community and the meaning of togetherness. 

We may not have had much of a say…but regardless, we have all tried something new lately. We weathered the storm together and now we can no longer say that we are reluctant to try this new, “unheard” of thing called coworking. Here’s to a new age of working! 

Let’s Move Into May

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From a few backyard workout sessions to a community-wide movement, our latest community partner Allison Millet of Bowling Green Backyard Bootcamp has taken her business from her home to all around the Bowling Green community.

We could all use a little extra motivation right now and that’s where our fitness friend Allison Millet comes in!

“There are ways that we can all have more movement. It’s about finding ways to focus on you.” 

 

About Allison

Allison has been a coach for over 20 years and has taken her passion for fitness to the next level since the start of her backyard workouts in 2010. 

What started as a small group of people began to grow until the lot beside her home was no longer sufficient. She soon found herself asking, “Now what?” 

Millet now holds classes at multiple parks and locations throughout the community and has an inside gym location during winter months. 

Backyard Bootcamp is made up of a team of coaches all offering their own set of classes from yoga and stretching, to classes designed specifically for glutes, abs, upper body, and more, along with mash-up and all-encompassing workout classes. Basically, if you need it, they offer it! 

The classes are focused on helping bootcampers find the best version of themselves that they can be – one that is healthier and happier. 

 

Working out your mind

As we know, it’s mental health awareness month so we’re all trying to focus on our health a little more here lately, right? Did you know practicing a little extra movement can be just the way to do that?! No, I promise this isn’t a gimmick to make you put down the wine glass and hop on the treadmill – it’s me simply reminding you that getting up and getting out (in your front yard or on your yoga mat that is) may be just what the doctor ordered. 

“It’s a stress reliever… working out releases those happy endorphins,” says Allison. 

Studies show that we’re not lying guys! You’re hearing this straight from the mouth of someone who can barely touch her toes most days, so believe me when I tell you that having a little extra time on my hands lately to practice yoga has been an excellent relief for me. The best part is? You don’t even have to be good at it! You just have to do it.  

 

Making it happen

Allison also spoke on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle by doing things such as practicing healthy eating habits and enjoying the simple things in life like spending time with family and being in the moment. 

The local business owner has not let the current circumstances get the best of her. When regulations were put in place, she was quick to adapt and switch to an online format for all of her classes. Allison stays connected mainly via Facebook with a group page specifically for those who are members or what she calls “bootcampers.” All calendars and weekly challenges are now online and can be found on the calendar on her website.

Classes are offered on a 6-week basis allowing people to sign up ahead of time and take part in the bootcamp experience. (Ment members — you guys are in for a treat!) As of right now, all community members are invited to join the classes at any time. Another perk with the new format: bootcampers currently have access to the online “vault” of all previously recorded classes, allowing everyone to work out on their own time. 

For more details (trust me you’re gonna want to see all of the awesome things she is doing) check out her website and start moving toward a better you! 

 

Moving on up (and hopefully outside) 

We’re moving in a direction of our own here at Ment Cowork. One that includes taking steps to get back on track as a bit of normality creeps back into our daily routines. Here’s to hoping, better yet knowing, that our partner Allison can help us out with this one! Whether we’re fighting the daily struggles of COVID-19 or fighting to shed those pesky pounds, success is just a kick, punch, and a few “you can do it!”-s away.

The Perfect Environment – Going Above and Beyond

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We know that environment makes all the difference in your work-life balance and that’s why it’s the second of our core values. Something that we aren’t straying from during these times. 

“So many people are getting caught up in all of the chaos and forgetting to go back to their roots,” Ment Cowork owner JD Haase enlightens us.

That’s why we are sticking true to what we know and bringing you the info that you NEED to hear. We definitely put focus into how we can make our Ment home a thriving community, but it’s also much more than that. 

Our current COVID-19 pandemic has caused many to shift their way of thinking and areas of focus in their lifestyles, workplaces and beyond. Cool hangouts and fun perks are great but now it’s also about looking at “how can this place contribute to my mental and physical health?” While many are now considering how they can effectively make their environments safer and promote healthier living, we were ahead of the game when we started here at Ment. 

The most important thing in time of crisis – preparation. While some simply see these little things as advancements, we see them as precautions and care for our members. Things like touchless lights and faucets to advanced HVAC and cleaning care routines. 

Our forward thinking building owner and real estate developer JD Haase had truly thought of it all before allowing the city’s first ever coworking environment to open its doors. Haase’ prior experience in the food industry made him more aware of the precautions that needed to be taken in the business world today. 

 

 

Going All In

Our staff discovered the potential of Ment Cowork – a true definition of a diamond in the rough, when JD said the building had spoken for itself. 

“The space let us know what it wanted…it sounds crazy but it was just wanting to come to life,” he said. 

New life was breathed into the space over a nearly two year span.

“It was a long process but we wanted to make sure that everything was up to par.” 

The renovations and additions to the building have made it modern, functional and safe and something that our staff believes will outlive us all. 

“I’ve never been one to sweep things under the rug,” said Haase. He spoke on the importance of doing something 100% or not at all.

“I don’t believe in grey. Things should be black or white, not in between.”

 

Main coworking lounge in Ment Cowork – before

 

 

 

Main coworking lounge in Ment Cowork – after

 

Location, location, location

For us, it hasn’t just about what was in our building, but what was outside as well. While many businesses are temporarily closed, we have seen a decent amount of traffic and downtown happenings here near 911 College St. Why is this? Because our area offers the best of traveling, convenience, and proximity to the square, ballparks and other walking paths as well as so many local businesses, shops and restaurants.  

If we haven’t realized by now, mental health is just as important. With Spring having arrived and going green and living healthy being a topic on everyone’s minds, many are finding their own ways to get out without “getting together.” This means taking a walk or simply getting some fresh air. That’s where a little sunlight, downtown views and location can make a world of difference.

One thing that I can almost guarantee we will all be a little more cautious about when this is all over? Distance! Call it luck but we’re not too worried about that either around here. From private office and dedicated desk options to our open coworking areas and floor plans, we’ve got this stuff down pat! *sigh of relief* 

 

Our Advice

Stay ahead of the game. Research. Find out what people are looking for in their ideal place of business.

Learn from the past. The mistakes of today will be the lessons of tomorrow…is that not a famous quote yet because I feel like I just made one?? This pandemic will change how we all operate our business models when doors are opened again. 

Stay aware. Keep your eyes and ears open to what people are talking about. Listen to what people want. Our needs and wants are shifting and will continue to do so. 

Most importantly – stay true to who you are. Are we perfect here at Ment? Well of course not but we are {ment} to adapt. We are taking notes and keeping up our usual creative flow of ideas to bring you all even more than we had before.

 

We can’t wait for you all to be back. See you on the other side! 

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Tips for How to (Sanely) Work Remotely

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For some of us, working remotely has already been a thing for years, but for others it’s a whole new concept. Many are now transitioning to a new way of working due to the rise of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and the precautions being taken. From major companies, media sources and universities world wide, we are being encouraged to stay home. While freelancers and digital nomads have been practicing social distancing for years, some of us are finding it challenging to be productive within the walls of our homes.

So what can you do to work productively from home? We want to share a few tips that we use in our coworking space that are easily adaptable to you in your home right now.

 

Be Aware

If you’re like us, you’ve probably felt as though you live behind your desk most days. Now it will be even harder for you as you navigate how to divide your home life from your work life. The key is to be aware of where you are doing your work, when you are doing it and how often you are doing it. Keeping this separate from your home life as much as possible will keep you from going stir crazy. 

Going Off the Clock

While it is necessary to be available when needed, it’s also important to make sure we know the importance of being away from our work when we need to as well.  This means fighting that urge to check those work emails when you’re “off the clock.” Studies say this can lead to further work anxiety and we have enough anxiety going on as is. Those emails can wait, because sometimes your sanity cannot. Take care of yourself first so you can do a fantastic job later.

Take Breaks Often

This could be when you break to eat or when you need to just get a breath of fresh air. (Also we would like to point out – please break to eat. Sometimes that is a forgotten necessity.) Eat lunch away from your work spot. Whether this is your at-home desk or your couch, step away from your work while you eat. Trust me, your crumb-less keyboard will thank you and so will your mind. Get outside, exercise in between Zoom meetings or even take your laptop (if you must) to your back porch while the kids plays outside for a change.

Switch It Up

A key factor in getting work done that we focus on is being comfortable and productive. Chances are if you’re working in the same spot day after day, you may lose inspiration or start to feel burnt out. Being told you have to remain at least 6 feet away from others and preferably stay in your home only adds to the feeling of “burnt-out-ness.” Get creative. Set yourself up for success and designate a few work spots for yourself and your spouse. Most importantly, make sure they are not the spots where you relax or spend time “off the clock.” 

Practice Self-Care

Probably most important of all, take care of yourself. This is what all of these tips boil down to. Simple things like taking a shower, creating more than complaining, drinking water, getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep and so on… These few simple improvements are what is going to get us through this time. Do it for yourself, your career, your family and your sanity.

 

 

Some could look at this time as another roadblock in the world of business. We choose to look at it as a push in the direction toward restructuring and adapting to modern practices. Coworking has been a leader for years in the societal shift to working remotely. Although the current circumstance is not favorable for many reasons, we are still staying here and being a resource when needed.

Best of luck to you in your work journeys remotely!