New co-working spaces changing look and feel of work in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As a new crop of college graduates head out looking for that first real job, many will report to work at any home office that’s close to their home.

And it definitely won’t look like the office where the previous generation kicked off their careers.

“The workforce in America is changing,” said Chris Brown, who launched his law firm, Venture Legal, five years ago.

Brown’s headquarters are at the WeWork building at 18th and Walnut in Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District.

With nearly 400 locations worldwide, WeWork is the nation’s largest company offering co-working space for everything from start-ups to larger, traditional companies.

By leasing office space at WeWork, Brown saves money he would’ve spent on renting an office and the rest of amenities needed for a law firm. In addition, he has unlimited access to professional resources and new clients -- all in one spot.

“It’s moving to more of a freelance marketplace,” Brown said. “And in about seven or eight years, half the workforce will be freelance. Those freelancers can much more easily set up a business in a location like this.”

He's not the only one.

Jess Spalding is the founder and CEO of ELUX, a local real estate development company. With a membership at WeWork, she can make use of conference rooms, WiFi and all of the amenities of a traditional home office.

But in addition, she can quickly manage business in other states, at other WeWork locations.

“Let’s say we go to LA, and we’re meeting clients,” Spalding said. “We’ve got an office there, an office presence because we’ve got our WeWork membership.”

“People recognize the fact they can’t do everything by themselves,” Eric Wullschleger with WeWork said. “And getting them together with other people who complement their skills helps them grown their business faster.”

Membership packages start at $250 per month and are adjusted based on a company’s needs at WeWork.

“It’s really bucking what people think of as a workplace,” Wullschleger said. “They don’t  have to go sit and stare at a cubical wall for eight hours and go home.”

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