The Boardroom at Home coworking spaces take flight

By Susan M Boyce
July 09, 2020

Telecommuting: it’s the new norm for a rapidly expanding segment of the working population. Even before Covid-19 sent thousands of people into their home office full-time, working remotely had been gain popularity among employers and employees alike.

Forward-looking developers were already finding creative ways to make working at home more appealing and comfortable by adding a new feature to their amenity areas: the trend for co-working spaces was underway.

In Port Moody, Panatch Group’s 50 Electronic Avenue turned heads when their freestanding amenity building included a comprehensive, inviting business centre.

“Co-working space works well for a broad spectrum of people,” says Kush Panatch, president. “For young people starting out, it means they don’t necessarily have to go to a coffee shop with their laptop if they want a change of scenery. But there’s also an increasing number of people who are semi-retired and now doing part-time consulting from home. Being able to just pop downstairs and have access to things like a photocopier and boardroom is perfect.”

Jeremy Towning, vice president of SwissReal Group, agrees. “We know more and more people are working from home, and that trend will continue to grow. But sometimes you just want to get out of the house and be with other solopreneurs. So at ERA, our master-planned community in Maple Ridge, we’re creating a series of co-working stations and boardrooms — great for making a strong impression when you need to schedule a business meeting.”



In Vancouver’s venerable Kerrisdale neighbourhood, Gryphon Development has plans underway for a sophisticated residents’ business centre in their upcoming Gryphon House midrise — co-working stations, boardroom, plus comfortable business lounge.

“Globally, co-working is already a proven trend,” says Cody Ma, Gryphon Development’s director of marketing. “WeWork spaces are happening all over the world, even more so with Covid. Vancouver has also seen a huge boom in the tech industry: for these people it’s all about flexible hours and flexible workspaces. We see this as a good alignment with the new style of working.”

Many believe onsite co-working features will become ever-more important to potential purchasers. Simply having the ability for one partner to head downstairs for a two-hour Zoom conference or a client meeting it a huge convenience, especially now many couple are both working from what’s often a less-than-ideally-spacious condo. Sometimes even the change of scenery alone can recharge, motivate, and increase focus.

So when the Covid-19 threat leaves us, as it will, telecommuting will remain business as usual in these comfortable, flexible co-working spaces.

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