Post-pandemic co-working space

Office Oasis replaces open cubicles with an enclosed modular office for private, productive work. The NIIC’s custom configuration is designed for post-pandemic businesses looking for affordable, high-quality space.

If working in a Cabana conjures up images of sitting on a chaise longue at the beach, gazing out at the beach between Zoom calls, you better adjust your thinking.

The Northeast Indiana Innovation Center (NIIC) announced June 1 the introduction of a new Safe Spaces Program, an innovative, flexible workspace design for area entrepreneurs and startup businesses seeking a safe and productive office environment as the pandemic subsides and beyond.

NIIC’s new Safe Spaces Program transforms traditional cubicle design in one of its co-working areas into modern, customized office pods to protect individuals and their business assets. In collaboration with local partner YOURspace, The NIIC brings Northeast Indiana’s entrepreneurial community two new innovative office experiences.

Cabana is one of them. It provides a professional alternative to informal workspaces, such as coffee shops, public places, or the garage. Cabana is Wi-Fi enabled to offer a flexible hourly option.

The second new experience is called Office Oasis, which replaces open cubicles with an enclosed modular office for private, productive work. The NIIC’s custom configuration is uniquely designed for post-pandemic businesses looking for affordable, high-quality space.

“The NIIC is committed to creating more options and choices to support the demands and requirements of post-pandemic entrepreneurs. Through a partial grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, The NIIC is excited to offer new and flexible place-making options for entrepreneurs to grow and build their businesses,” Karl R. LaPan, president and CEO, The NIIC, said in an announcement.

“Now more than ever, entrepreneurs and small businesses want to get back to a safe, productive work environment. They miss the entrepreneurial community, connectedness, and culture of working with and interacting with others. These innovative experiences offer more options for returning to an office environment,” said Mike Fritsch, director of revenue and senior entrepreneur in residence, The NIIC.

YOURspace, a provider of modular office pod solutions for workspaces, is based in Fort Wayne.

“We selected YOURspace because of their customized and flexible solutions based on deep industry expertise and their high-quality product, which meets the demands of our entrepreneurs. We are thrilled to have a company that pays attention to the ergonomics, flexibility, sound-dampening, and innovation in removing the open office feel to address the safeguards and concerns of returning workers,” LaPan said in the announcement.

David Faust, CEO and founder of YOURspace, said in the announcement, “Our products are produced by long-time Fort Wayne structural designer and manufacturer Highmark TechSystems. YOURspace is a startup, and we appreciate both the high-quality resources The NIIC provides for startups as well as the entrepreneurs’ need for productive, safe, flexible, and affordable space to conduct business.”

Innovation is a core principle of the new Safe Spaces at The NIIC. “These three Northeast Indiana organizations — The NIIC, YOURspace, and Highmark— have innovation in their DNA. Innovation is at the heart of The NIIC. YOURspace takes an innovative approach to private workspaces. Highmark’s modular proprietary components are based on innovative systems technology. This collaboration should be inspiring for companies on the rise and a source of pride for the Fort Wayne business community in general,” said Debbie Parrott, CEO of Highmark and YOURspace partner, in the announcement.

Cabanas are available with the Oasis opening June 1. To reserve space go to https://theniic.org/start/flexspace.

Office Oasis replaces open cubicles with an enclosed modular office for private, productive work. The NIIC’s custom configuration is uniquely designed for post-pandemic businesses looking for affordable, high-quality space.

Cindy Larson is a longtime Fort Wayne journalist and is a Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly reporter. To submit items, send email to clarson@kpcmedia.com or call 260-426-2640, ext. 3369.

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