By Ione Villegas, Innovation Coast Staff Writer
Space designed to facilitate work through social interaction
With its endless supply of caffeine, free Wi-Fi and opportunity for social interaction, local coffee shops are favorite workspaces for budding entrepreneurs, consultants and web developers. But a new co-working space in Pensacola is transforming the workplace landscape by integrating the relaxed atmosphere of a coffee shop with the amenities found in a typical office.
Founded by local entrepreneur and Innovation Coast executive board member Pete Nowak, the 10,500 square-foot building on L Street was designed to facilitate work through community-oriented social interaction and collaboration. The facility recently celebrated its grand opening Oct. 21.
David Musselwhite, community manager at Socialdesk, said the goal is to attract people with diverse skills and backgrounds, such as expertise in technology, creative, nonprofit, financial or legal.
“We want to curate a well-balanced community where social interactions lead to project collaboration and innovation,” Musselwhite said. “Co-working space members are not just going to work; they’re part of a social movement who strive to improve their community.”
Socialdesk boasts a fully equipped business center, free coffee and espresso bar, outdoor patio and recreational areas, monthly social events and gigabit internet.
The first floor features flex desks, dedicated desks, conference rooms and relaxation areas interspersed throughout the open-office layout.
The second floor has a fully equipped multi-purpose classroom with audio-visual and conference phones that can be used for large meetings.
Depending on the needs of the business, there are different month-to-month memberships available, ranging from $45 to $350 per month. For $125 per year, an associate membership is available for individuals who want to be part of the community but don't need the workspace.
With more people working from home, Socialdesk may be tapping an unmet need in the area, said Rick Duke, founding director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of West Florida. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 percent of employed people did some or all their work at home in 2015.
“Co-working spaces like Socialdesk are changing the social experience of the workplace by blending the amenities of an office with a place where people can gather and relax,” he said. “It’s a natural fit for entrepreneurs who are energized and inspired by being around other like-minded individuals.”
Socialdesk by the numbers:
Unlimited – Coffee and espresso
Infinite – Great ideas
10,500 –Square feet of the Socialdesk building
8,760 – Total hours available each year
5,716 – Total event space
4,680 – Square feet of co-working space
1,050 – Square feet of outdoor patio
1,036 – Square feet of classroom space
1,000 – Megabits per second equals superfast Internet speed
126 – Convenient and free parking spots
55 – People that can fit in the multi-purpose room on the second floor
44 – Flex desks seats
22 – Original works of art on the walls
7 – Large screen TVs
8 – Dedicated desks
4 – Conference rooms
3 – Professional cameras in classroom, collaboration areas
2 – Day use offices, write-on walls, coffee bars
1 – Kitchen, bank vault, pingpong table
For more information on Socialdesk or to request a tour, go to pensacolasocialdesk.com.