PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- At the start of the pandemic, businesses across Arizona sent employees home in a hurry. Some workers are still there today, more than a year and a half later. But if you're craving human interaction and want to work outside your home, coworking spaces are making a comeback.
"It was really hard for me to concentrate," software engineer Ryan Amirahmadi said, explaining why he, like many, got tired of working from home. "I was so used to being around people," he said. A year into the pandemic, he went to CO+HOOTS, a coworking space in central Phoenix. Now more and more people are joining him.
"It really started picking back up this past May," co-founder Odeen Domingo said. "We've welcomed like eight new office members in the span of five weeks, which has never happened before."
With 9,000 square feet of shared space, CO+HOOTS, which Jaime Cerreta featured in her Local Love segment in 2016, has plenty of room for people to set up shop. "We have event space, meeting rooms; we have phone booths. We have a podcast studio that they can use," Domingo said.
Prices start at $99 monthly for a flex membership. If you want your own dedicated desk, that goes for $325 a month and up. An enclosed office starts at $700. Wi-Fi, utilities, and supplies are all included. "When they come in, we take care of everything .... All they're doing is paying for their monthly membership," Domingo said.
"I just show up, do my work, and if something goes wrong, I tell them, and they handle all of it," Teresa Marzolph said. Marzolph owns Culture Engineered and has been using space at CO+HOOTS for several years. She recently upgraded her membership to a dedicated office. "That way, we have more privacy [for] confidential meetings; it allows folks to feel a little bit more relaxed, I think, in those environments," she said.
Domingo says CO+HOOTS attracts workers from a variety of industries.
Software engineers, graphic designers, lobbying firms, tech startups, accounting firms, staffing firms, IT companies, and more have memberships at CO+HOOTS.
Marzolph thinks this flexible option could be a model for workspaces of the future. "This is phenomenal, and a lot of the clients that I work with are trying to find a place to set up in these types of groups," she said.