At SHIFT Workspaces in vibrant central Denver, the yoga is free, the coffee is hot, and the beer is cold. There are even complimentary massages and an herbal tea bar.
Why? In the 24 available hours per day, Monday through Friday, the average American spends one third of his or her time working. Grant Barnhill, founder of SHIFT Workspaces, asserts that the environment in which we work can make all the difference between grinding drudgery and creative flow. Co-working space, private offices, meeting rooms and even a virtual office are all options for members who get their work done at one of two SHIFT locations.
Grant landed on his winning workspace plan quite by accident. When he was developing boutique apartments a few years back, he describes his office space as horrible. He put out a questionnaire to his team asking what the ideal workplace would have. The answers? Lots of light, a place to work out and a full kitchen and bar as a start.
“We incorporated 100 percent of their suggestions,” Grant said. “Initially SHIFT was a head office for us, then evolved into a shared workspace for our company and others.”
High-speed internet is just the start. The environments are light, bright and welcoming. The appointments are unique, with cozy furniture and one-of-a-kind artwork. There are outdoor workspaces and even some shared bikes to use for errands or just take a break.
“We have a lot of members who are coming out of corporate America. It’s really interesting to look at their body language and energy when they come,” Grant said. “After about six months, they look like new people.” The first SHIFT location, a building on Corona Street, was purchased with its inventory: It housed stacks of decades-old electronics and machines.
“We need to consider the needs of the environment and the community. We need to take care of our employees and our members.”
-Grant Barnhill, founder of SHIFT Workspaces
“We picked out what we thought were the coolest electronics and made art out of it,” Grant said. These relics are a part of SHIFT’s décor and help maintain the history and sense of place of the old brick and timber building. The holistic view that launched his innovative workspaces also permeates his business philosophy. “The days of just being concerned about the quarterly earnings are over,” he said. “We need to consider the needs of the environment and the community. We need to take care of our employees and our members.”