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.”
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