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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! 

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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Sticking True to Our Core Values

We made sure that we had a set of clearly defined core values in place for Ment Cowork before opening our doors to the public nearly two years ago. Without them where would we be? Probably still struggling to figure out exactly how we need to cater to our members and community. …ugh how awful that would be!

So in the midst of all the madness, we are reminding you that we haven’t forgotten what we are all about here.

Our Four Core

 

1. Membership: To place emphasis on people and their opportunities to interact with one another

Without our members, we wouldn’t be where we are today. As a member, you are more than just a customer, you are a part of a growing community and we aim to put value in that. We are a space that allows you to meet others, interact, work, attend and host workshops and events (and drink unlimited coffee!) all in the center of the city. Now that is a membership worth committing to (unlike my gym membership…RIP).

 

2. Environment: To harvest and focus on cultivating the totality of members surrounding conditions, friend to friend

Bringing Ment and community members together for fellowship and work spaces means they are getting a one of a kind (literally – we’re the only ones in Bowling Green!) experience. We continue to offer consistency with an eye pleasing aesthetic and office style that allows you to choose the best work area for you.

 

3. Nourishment: To provide an open space to live, create and thrive

Just like everything else in life, we need the time (and the place) to create, grow and thrive. Encouragement goes a long way, as does a smile and an uplifting atmosphere. A space that connects you with people and opportunities just might be what you need to nourish your mind, soul and career.

 

4. Commencement: To be a community where members self-select to begin each professional endeavor

At Ment, we know that you are {Ment} for great things and that’s why we started this place to begin with! Working shouldn’t have a specific set of rules – it’s all about freedom to do what you need to do in a way that best works for you. Doing so sets you on a path that allows you to make and build connections and become more productive. We can’t wait to see you succeed!

 

 

Sticking True

Not losing sight during this time is important. Make sure you know how to keep your company values inline. Here’s what we’re doing during COVID-19:

-Maintaining communication. We are staying in contact with the public and our members to keep them updated via social media, email and newsletters…did we mention virtual happy hours with our members? Yes please!

-Offering community support. It is our job to support and uplift other small businesses during this hardship. We are checking in on our local friends and even planning a virtual meet-up and collaboration session! (more details to come).

-Keeping our facilities clean. Safety is number one and that’s why we have cracked down on cleaning and reducing use of community shared products and items. One of our own members and favorite cleaning companies On Target Cleaning has been working extra hard for us lately!

-Continuing membership perks and community partnerships to allow us to keep bringing the best of Bowling Green to our Ment community (even from a distance).

-Adapting to changes and making the best of our situation with a smile on our faces and giving out tons of virtual hugs along the way.

-Most importantly, we are encouraging others to be as productive as possible while working at home and helping others realize that remote work has its perks. We know you don’t want to be stuck at home forever but also don’t want to go back to the office, so we’re reminding you that we are here when this mess clears up!

Why

Researcher and business consultant Jim Collins speaks on the topic of creating the right values. His blog talks about the importance of sticking true to your values even in the time of (for example) an economic downturn. Sound familiar? During the current COVID-19 pandemic, we want our values to reign true and be both timeless and sustainable. How do you do this? By looking at what is really important in your business and make sure that you are focusing on your audience.

“It should be about what you can do for others, not what they can do for you,” says Leona Morelock, branding specialist and our current community partner.

Core Values are important and we are not straying from them anytime soon. Remember to stay positive, stay authentic and stay educated during these times on what you can do to continue to serve your clients, customers, members, etc. during these trying times.

Big for Branding

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Whether it’s branding, designing, marketing or planning your next wedding, Leona Morelock is the guru behind it all! She is also our community partner for the month of April. 

Being a fresh, new company to Bowling Green just nearly two years ago, we quickly found out how important it is to have a name, image and plan down pat for our business. 

Too many people mistake a brand for an option rather than a necessity and that’s why we wanted to make sure we bring this amazing service that she provides to our members and community. Heck, if we could shout it from the rooftops we probably would. On second thought… social distancing doesn’t have any rules against that right? 

About Leona

Leona started with a love for social media and the urge to always be “in the know” on the latest and greatest. After working with friend’s social media pages, Morelock said the business started coming to her and it’s been only up from there. Today, she is a social media manager and brand strategist, maintaining her own blog and working with professionals in the wedding industry to style shoots and design weddings. 

Morelock has been in the field with her own business professionally for a year and is looking forward to the things she has planned in the future. She offers social media masterclasses to the public and is also planning her first ever personal branding retreat for those wanting to get an in-depth look at how to take their brand to the next level. Like many, with our current life situations, Morelock is making the best of it by maintaining contact with her clients and working on a webinar with the release date yet to be announced (stay tuned!). 

Why branding?

Without a brand, you simply cannot start a business. Read that again. Your brand is who you are; it represents what you stand for and how you plan to provide your products or service to others. 

When we sat down to talk with Leona, she spoke on the importance of being yourself in the business world. She says that as a customer, you are not just buying the product or service, you’re buying the person behind it. 

And. That. Is. Important. People want to know who you are, what you stand for and what your business looks like. 

“Your brand is what people say about you when you walk out of the room,” Morelock says. 

What’s the timeline?

There’s not one! Her advice: Know as much as you can know, learn as much as you can learn and do as much research as you can.

The good part: Then you just have to jump in and start doing it before you think you’re even ready.

I know I struggle with this one and you all probably do too. You will never be ready if you keep waiting for the right moment. When it comes to all things social media related, you simply must be social (hence the name) and up-to-date on the happenings. You also must be active. So get out there and make it happen! We will be here (remotely) but HERE working with Leona all month to bring you the best ideas and advice on all things branding. 

So make sure to get people talking, and even more importantly, make them want to get up and say, “I want to work with (insert your business name here).” Leona took the leap, Ment Cowork took the leap, and now it’s your turn! 

Bringing Life Into Your Workspace

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Social distancing doesn’t include plants am I right?! We love our green friends now more than ever! Whether it’s for the little extra mood boost that they are giving us, the improved air quality and immune system boost or the new home projects we can take on with them, they have become our new favorite thing.

Did we mention it’s officially spring? Unfortunately, some of the joys of our beloved season have taken a backseat to the issues surrounding our current COVID-19 pandemic…but let’s not forget the importance of making the best from our situations. 

And let’s also not forget – creating your ideal work space is key in having an environment that motivates and inspires you. If you are not happy in your workspace, then chances are you are not producing your best work. 

Kicking it back

If we take a look back on that little danish lifestyle term “hygge” and our previous theme from February, we can find that plants are just one of the many ways that you can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere (and one that allows you to be more productive). It’s all about finding those little things that bring us joy and comfort – something that has become a must here lately as we could all use a little extra hygge right about now. 

 

All about the Biophilic Design

When it’s hard to get outside – bring the outside in! Don’t just take our word for it, there is an actual term for this practice and one that Ment has 

greatly taken into consideration with the design of our coworking space.

“Biophilia refers to the fact that as human beings, we have an instinctive bond with nature and our natural surroundings.”

The use of Biophilic design has many benefits including enhanced wellbeing and boosts in worker morale. Research shows that flowers generate happiness and reduce stress related depression while also improving memory and concentration. 

 

Health Benefits

There are some crazy cool benefits that can come from plants. Did you know air quality is actually a major problem? Even more so in your own house than in the middle of a city! This is because air pollutants make their way into these places that we call home and many times don’t make their way out. This leads to increased chances of bacteria and viruses…sound familiar? 

Let’s not forget about how big of a role mental health plays in our wellbeing. It is important more so now than ever before that we don’t take this for granted. Simply being around a plant, whether looking at it, smelling it or just working around it can lead to positive effects on the brain, boosting your moods which in turn boosts your immune system and relieves stress. What don’t these little guys do?! 

 

Redecorating time is here

If you’re looking for a way to fill an empty corner or add some color then of course Plants are the perfect way to do that as well. With the extra time on our hands, it could be the perfect opportunity for us to all do some much needed redecorating. Turns out theres even a science behind it. Using the techniques of Feng Shui can move you in the right direction towards using them effectively. 

 

Get creative

You know you’ve been looking at those home projects and wishing you had the chance to do them yourself – chances are you do now. Get creative with nontraditional ways of displaying your florals and greenery such as on carts, benches, shelves, crates, or even a ladder (per my next home project for my own house). Limited on space? Get a little crazy and hang them around! Hanging plants are always a unique and fun way to show off the life of your plants! 

Still wanting to stick with your roots of desk and table plants? No problem – get crafty! The amount of cute and creative plant pots that I have come across recently is enough to make you want to buy a plant anyways. Paint your own and make it your next DIY project – this way you can make sure that your pots and decor match your space in a way that you want them to.

 

 

Get floral

If you thought this was only about green, think again. Flowers are just as important and if not more aesthetic than your ordinary plants. Not to mention, they add an extra pop of color while giving you many of the same benefits that your greenery provides. Many local shops are finding ways to remain active with customers, so contact your local florist to see if there are options for you to get your hands on some florals during this pandemic. 

 

Fake it till you make it

Sometimes, for many reasons such as allergies, workplace restrictions, (or in this case, the unfortunate times of a Coronavirus outbreak) we turn to using man made greenery. This a perfectly acceptable (and honestly smart in my opinion) way to bring the outdoors in without all of the hassle and heartbreak of having to depart from your once full of life peony. With the latest announcement made by Governor Beshear, it’s harder than ever to get out and buy local products, so this may be your best option at the moment. It’s the cost effective gift that keeps giving! 

 

 

Asking our partner

We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ask our community partner Jules Sandlin, owner of Jules with the Flowers and current community partner, for her take on this. Sandlin says that using unique things found in nature such as twigs, leaves and even moss can be unique ways to add a personal and natural touch.

“These things just add an extra element of texture and nature and that’s always a good idea.” 

Most important: have fun and create a space that is truly your own! Use this time away to make your work or home environment the best that it can be. No matter the budget or style that you’re going for, there is a design that works for you and we can guarantee that it has some greenery and color with your name on it. 

We simply have to give a shoutout to our partner Jules for the added beauty this month around our offices and for not letting the unfortunate circumstances stand in the way of our partnership. We are thankful to have such an amazing workspace that captures the feels and vibes that we aim for. From the exposed brick and perfectly placed greenery, (all thanks to Sarah Smalling Interiors), to the skylights and windows galore, we have captured the essence of nature in a way that makes us Ment and we hope that you can do the same for your workspace. After all, there’s just something about that natural life that we just can’t get enough of these days!

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!

The Green Dream

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Our favorite color for the month? You guessed it! We’re bringing a whole new definition to the idea of “going green” this month at Ment. 

With our community partner for March being Jules with the Flowers and spring being upon us, we couldn’t think of a better time to talk about this theme. Not to mention, I am super psyched about all of the (punny) floral wordplay that is about to happen. 

So what exactly are we talking about? Going green in every aspect of your life. Yes, this means doing your part in the community to reduce, reuse and recycle, but also means thinking outside of the box and finding ways to incorporate a little more green (literally) into your life. You can do this by decorating with plants and sprucing up your work environment or maybe focusing on healthy eating habits by adding a little more green in your diet. All of these are awesome ways to consider helping yourself stay on track to be a better you. After all, we didn’t set those 3:59s at the beginning of this year for nothing right? 

Ment to be Green

I know what you’re thinking but the coworking world is no exception to the green movement. There are so many ways to be more conscious in the workplace and here are 5 we partake in:

1. Recycling. Did you know that Ment recycles? One of the easiest and most important ways to do your part was just a given for us! We also use Land Shark Shredding, Bowling Green’s leading green and confidential paper shredding company.

2. Coffee. We practically live off of it here so why not try to save on the amount of cups that we are using for this drink that we call our lifeblood. And as if you needed another reason to use your favorite mugs, but we are all about it here! Our cabinets are overflowing with a selection so take your pick or bring in your own. 3. Natural light. No, I promise not to talk about how great it is for photo ops this time, but guys it is a money saver! Research shows that you can cut down energy costs by up to 75% by using natural light. If you don’t need the artificial light don’t use it – simple as that! (But okay I mean the at-work selfies are a plus as well). 4. Going Paperless. We may not be completely paperless here at Ment, but we aren’t far from it. With our website, advertising and outreach efforts being almost solely digital, we don’t find the need to use any more trees than necessary! Not to mention our monthly newsletters are always sent out through email.

5. Lighting. Another simple energy saving practice – using energy efficient light bulbs and simply turning off lights when you leave a room. For businesses like Ment that allow 24 hour access, this can be tricky, but we try to do this as much as possible and make sure that we can educate our members and employees on how to be more conscious of their use. 

Stay tuned to see how your local florist shop (and our latest community partner) is going green in her own life and how you can take advantage of greener practices here in your community.

The Art of Coworking

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Since starting my internship, I can safely say that Ment Cowork has become a safe haven for me. A place in which I can be myself, express myself and simply “be.” Ment has mastered the art of coworking. Not a thing? We think it should be! 

The ability to bring together people from different backgrounds, companies, walks of life, and work in the same space with the same end goal in mind: to Get stuff done. It takes a special set of skills, that’s for sure. 

How we do it

Maybe it’s the awesome interns we have, the owners that first saw potential in this 130 year-old building, the ever-growing and supportive community in which we sit upon or the amazing members that have set up a “home” here at Ment. 

Not to mention, we have this whole community partner collaboration thing on lock. Didn’t know that we provide event space as well? You do now! Even more so, we are fans of local art and have nothing against housing work here at Ment. Just ask our community partner for this month – Slow as Folk!

Amenities

We know what people want and we’ve got it down to a science. Member perks, discounts, coffee, parking passes and aesthetics – just call us the masters!

We are also super in touch with the concept of hygge here at Ment – something that we believe is an art of it’s own. We have learned to incorporate this feeling and lifestyle practice into our workspace…and the feedback has been nothing short of great!

Success!

We took a chance when we started with an empty floor and created something truly inspiring. Only a few years under our belt and we have become a masterpiece standing tall in the center of downtown Bowling Green. Ment represents so much more than just a space to work, we are an integrative community that advocates for all workplaces and individuals to do what they do best in a place that allows them to reach their potential. 

At Ment, we believe in the importance of art and want to provide an atmosphere where people feel invited to work in. Whether you’re inventing the next code for NASA or creating your latest masterpiece, we support you and all of your endeavors. You are {Ment} for great things! 

Want to know more about our story? Check out our blog on how community manager Hayley knew it was Ment to be. 

Goodbye Menternship

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As I spend one of my last days here at 911 college street, I am able to reflect on my time spent at Ment. Coming into this internship, I was unfamiliar with the coworking industry and the community that came with it. From the inspiring space to the empowering people, my time here at Ment has been nothing short of amazing. 

 

Between content creation and management, to organizing events and keeping in touch with other professionals in the community, I feel I have gained real world insight about the public relations industry as a whole. Being a mentern has given me knowledge that I can’t learn in a classroom and I am so thankful for the experience! I want to give a special thanks to Hayley, Valerie and JD for providing me with this opportunity. 

 

In just a few short weeks, I will be graduating and making the move back to Lexington, Kentucky to pursue my photography business full-time. I plan on implementing social media and creative writing skills that I have gained here at Ment into my own business. If you want to keep up with me, feel free to follow my social accounts at @abigail.e.photography. 

 

I hope that you all have enjoyed reading my blog posts over the course of the semester. I have loved being a part of this community and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for Ment Cowork! It’s not a goodbye, rather a see you later. 

 

I’m coming for you, big girl world.

 

 

Ment Insider Tour

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If you follow us on instagram, you are probably familiar with what our space looks like by now, However, several people who wonder to our blog have no clue who we are or what we offer as a coworking facility. Head to the link below to check it out and feel free to leave a review on what you think of our space in the comments!