During my first week working at Amata, we had a saleswoman come up to our floor. The most I could offer was to take her card and give it to a manager, but before she left she asked exactly what kind of business we did here and I explained Amata the best I could. Her response included a word I have only heard in such context on HBO’s Silicon Valley.

Oh! This is an Incubator.

To be clear, Amata is not an incubator. A business incubator is a completely separate mechanism from a shared office space. Yet that word being used in reference to the floor I just signed up to spend half of my waking hours. That word made me excited.

No One Is an Island in CoWorking

Human beings thrive in co-working spaces, not just because we are social creatures in need of community, but because ideas thrive in co-working spaces. Whether or not we all admit it, we depend on one another for inspiration, to be pulled from creative blackholes, and to approach concepts we feel we know so strongly and surely, from every angle, that we are drowning in information. A single person can hear our ideas and say “have you thought of it like this…” and a new pathway of discovery is born. Crick needed Watson to soundboard his ideas long before DNA was discovered. And both of them needed the information only x-ray diffraction expert Rosalind Franklin could provide to be inspired to search for a double helix form at all. Co-working means innovation.

Various lighthearted conversations often heard in the hallways vary from the value of degrees to where to buy the best tea in Chicago, while more intense topics are preceded by a door slam and followed by a coffee or a coffee break. Here, I have access to family lawyers, risk management companies, corporate lawyers, IT companies, psychologists, marketing support —the list goes on. And not one person has turned down the chance for conversation as I greedily ask exactly what they are doing in the conference room today that has so many people drifting in and out. While distributing mail I trim the wicks on members’ candles when I see they are too long (a quarter inch is ideal for the most fragrant burn) and I know how to take care of virtually any plant they may get as a gift from a client.

We may not work for the same companies, but we are all part of the community which makes up our floor. Lawyers will contact one another to arrange referrals, group meetings occur where virtual businesses get together to discuss what they have learned in the past quarter and what challenges they have overcome. The café offers itself as a socializing and work environment when open space helps open the mind, and the cognac room is available for celebrations and comfort in learning experiences. We all seem to take advantage of the connections that can be made in our environment, both professionally and personally. People thrive at Amata because ideas thrive in shared spaces and mutual respectful. After all, we are mostly social creatures.

Learn more about Kristen Mayfield, Director of First Impressions of Amata Office Solutions.