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Co-working spaces – the future of remote work

Hybrid working option coming to Kaukauna with the soon-to-be-open CO4 Workspace

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January 12, 2023

KAUKAUNA – Allie Thiel – owner and founder of CO4 Workspace – said one thing she learned from the COVID-19 pandemic is that remote work is here to stay.

“With all of this post-COVID shift to a remote hybrid kind of position instead of having to go into a corporate America kind of setting every day – I think that theme has expanded into many different roles,” she said.

And while Thiel said this has become reality for many – making it work can sometimes be difficult.

“Not everybody is comfortable working from home,” she said. “Not everybody has the space in their home to create a workspace. Not everybody can concentrate at home because you’re surrounded by chaos. Some people like to separate work and life and try to find the balance between the both of them.”

Thus, Thiel said, sparked the idea for the CO4 Workspace.

“Creating a space where you can come and get your heads-down work done and leave it there, and then come home and enjoy your family was one of the driving factors,” she said.

The idea
Thiel said the CO4 Workspace – currently under construction at 390 W. Farmland Dr. in Kaukauna – was created out of the desire to provide the space in her rural community to dream big, incubate new ideas and collaborate with other like-minded entrepreneurs across a broad range of disciplines and work experience.

Generally speaking, Thiel said people who jump into ventures, like she did with the creation of the CO4 Workspace, are fueled by a need they have for themselves, initially.

// rendering shows what the shared cafe area at the CO4 Workspace will look like when construction is completed. Submitted Rendering

“Not only did I have that need for myself, but I feel like there’s a lot of people in the community based on the feedback I’ve gotten that are super excited about this concept coming to Kaukauna,” she said. “So that’s where the idea was born, and then it snowballed from there.”

Thiel said CO4 Workspace aims to provide people a place to get the best of both worlds.

“Where you can be isolated if you need it to be isolated to concentrate, but also have a space where you can meet people or be around people,” she said.

Thiel said she’s excited to launch the concept and see where it goes.

“I’m excited to provide a space that mutually benefits all the community and the friends and neighbors of Kaukauna,” she said. “We’ll be hosting events – community Lunch and Learns and different things the community can participate in. I’m excited to launch this concept and see where it goes.”

Rural location
Thiel said co-working spaces aren’t new.

“The hybrid workspace model has been around for about 15 years, primarily in large cities like Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Dallas or Atlanta,” she said.

As of late, Thiel said, these spaces are “starting to pop up all over the place,” including in rural locations, like Kaukauna.

“I saw that need emerging and reaching even into the suburbs, and I wanted to get ahead of it so when it becomes fully realized and understood in rural America like Kaukauna, we would have a space ready to receive those who need it,” she said. “Given the infrastructure and technology to get connected to the global marketplace, even small towns can now sit at the table formerly reserved for Corporate America.”

Thiel said as part of the process toward CO4’s opening, she visited several of the co-working spaces around the Kaukauna area.

“I interviewed various people that were members of the spaces and even the owners of the spaces and asked them, ‘what was your theory in setting your space up, and if you could do it over again, what would you do?’ And the common theme I heard from operators and members alike was ‘we need more offices; we need more office space.’”

Another part of her process, Thiel said, included researching office space for rent in Kaukauna and Appleton.

// CO4 Workspace will have a variety of workspaces, including coworking desk kiosks. Submitted Rendering

“The majority of the spaces that are available are 1,000 square feet or more,” she said. “There is not a model or place where you can really get just one office.”

Thiel said some small business owners, traveling salespeople or other professionals don’t need a 1,000-square-foot space where they have to also pay for utilities.

“I feel like there’s a need for just one office, that’s one monthly fee that covers all of these operating expenses that would be incurred,” she said. “Then there are shared spaces so if you want to oscillate between being in your office or coming out into a more engaging environment where you can socialize with other people, you can do that.”

Space offerings
Thiel said the CO4 Workspace is made up of a variety of different spaces of varying sizes and capabilities, including:
CoStore – a 24/7 coffee-shop-type space offering coffee, snacks and food options.Podcast Room – a space specifically designed for audio recording.Zen Den – a space to relax, refresh and reset. “I’m interviewing some massage therapists right now to see if they’d like to offer services out of that room,” Thiel said.Executive suites.Private offices.Reserved desks – semi-private desk space with reserved, secured storage.Opening seating.Team offices – workspaces to accommodate small group gatherings and offices designed to suit two to four team members.Conference rooms – “The meeting spaces were fueled by people that need to meet clients, but don’t necessarily want to meet them in a coffee shop – they want a more professional environment,” Thiel said. “So, there are conference rooms available for people to rent, even if you’re not a member of the space.”Zoom room – equipped virtual meeting rooms.Event space – customizable space to accommodate any event of up to 60 people.Co-warehouse space – heated storage options from small, secure shelving units in a shared co-warehouse bay to 1,200-square-foot individual warehouse units.
Thiel said memberships are geared toward each person/businesses’ individual needs – with full-time spaces, month-to-month, day offices, opening seating and social membership options.

She said all memberships include 24/7 access, high-speed internet, free drip coffee, access to and member pricing for shared amenities (cafe, private zoom rooms, podcast studio, zen den) and a fitness center exclusive membership rate.

“Instead of being in a place where you have to leave to go and get those things and then come back, I tried to bring them all in a one-stop shop,” Thiel said. “The idea is to bring a workspace conveniently located close to home, errands and kids’ activities, because in the 21st century, people want to be closer to home.”

// Thiel said drywall work is ongoing in the space, with hopes of construction compilation in the next 45-60 days. Submitted Photo

Space and price specifics are available on the CO4 Workspace website at:

It’s all in the name
Thiel said the name of the space tells the story of what its purpose aims to be – co-work, co-store, community, collaborate – CO4.

“Inspiration was to tell the story of the purpose – to enrich the community by providing a place to work, have access to segregated warehouse storage, be a part of a networking community and collaborate with one another,” she said.

Thiel said she’s always been sensitive to the needs of those around her.

“The ‘see a need, meet a need’ type, as one might say,” she said. 

Timeline for opening
Thiel said construction continues on the space, with a hope of opening in 45-60 days.

“We’ve got to finish up the drywall, which is the biggest hang-up at the moment,” she said. “Once the drywall is completed, we can zip through painting flooring, finishes, fixtures and then get our occupancy inspection from the city and we’ll be able to open the doors. I’m hoping those items can be wrapped up in the next 45-60 days.”

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