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Alternative Workspace For The Non-traditional Worker

Downtown Kalamazoo

Assuming you actually use it, a gym membership is good for your health, but what sort of membership is good for your creativity and wallet? The Bureau's co-working space is.

The Bureau is Kalamazoo's alternative to the physical constraints of the 9 to 5 doldrums or the meditative visits to the corner coffee shop. Located at 321 S. Kalamazoo Mall, it is not a typical office; it's a modern workspace for a modern professional.

"In comparison to a traditional office, The Bureau is much more social," said Eric Schmidt, independent artist and owner of Frogsplash LLC. "The open floor plan allows for easy conversation between like-minded folks; they are almost all sole entrepreneurs that used to work at home."

Schmidt has used the space as part of his Monday routine, including plotting out the rest of his week, cleaning out email, building checklists, and updating his calendar.

He also admitted to being drawn to conversation with other Bureau users.

"The Bureau's real strength is not productivity, but the chance to socialize and network with people in the same boat. I've met people from all walks and that's ultimately how business is done," Schmidt said.

Amenities of the "co-working" space include lounge spaces, private meeting rooms, free Wi-Fi, 200 square feet of whiteboards, unlimited free coffee, and an inspiring view of the Kalamazoo Mall. Memberships range from a one-time visit to daily use.

The Bureau also offers private, traditional office leases on a month-to-month basis and meeting spaces for small groups and presentations.

"The other thing that probably isn't mentioned often enough is The Bureau's leadership when it comes to bringing people together after hours. They have been the host to hackathons, StartupZoo meetings, and many other social activities. It's not what people traditionally mention when talking the benefits of a co-working space, but The Bureau's value as a social gathering place has been incredibly valuable for building relationships in Kalamazoo."

Based on Kalamazoo's diverse, yet talented population, a myriad of connections and conversations could originate from casual encounters at The Bureau. Who knows, maybe the next Google-like idea will be born overlooking the Kalamazoo Mall rather than in someone's basement or garage. And maybe you'll be a part of it.

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