She co-founded Work Petaluma with her tech-savvy husband, Matt, in 2012. The Petaluma operation has about 200 members at varying levels and expanded nearly a year ago to an “Uptown” location with seven more private offices and two additional meeting rooms.
“The other area we’re trying to grow right now is meeting-room usage,” Juliana said. “We thought users of the rooms would be members, but often they’re businesses in town that might want to get out of the office or have teams working remotely and want a place to get together once week or month.”
Rob Budny started the RBB Engineering consultancy (rbbengineering.com) four years ago in March. He advises on rotating equipment to maximize reliability and performs gear and bearing failure analysis.
“I used a home office for a little over three years,” Budny said. “I occasionally used Work Petaluma downtown, but I frequently need the ability to close an office door and concentrate on my work.”
He jumped at the chance to secure a private office when Work Petaluma Uptown opened. He said the cost was much less than a traditional office lease, the increase of productivity justified the added cost, and the space comes with benefits such as conference rooms and a downtown location.
Budny noted one aspect that is a hallmark of co-working and maker spaces vs. executive office suites: inspiration that comes from daily interaction with other entrepreneurs. And some of them become vendors, such as Budny’s bookkeeper, graphic designer, web designer and copywriter.
“I also am able to leave work at work, which was difficult when I had a home office,” Budny said. “… My business is much more professional now than it was before I took an office with Work Petaluma.”
Laura Neitz, a senior brand strategist for Syracuse, N.Y.-based internet engagement marketing firm Terakeet, recently moved to Petaluma because her partner took a job in Rohnert Park and partly due to Work Petaluma’s affordable and flexible rate tiers. Collaborating with the East Coast team three hours ahead means she works at home in the morning, then uses her “lite” membership at the co-work center in the afternoon.
“This is my first experience working remotely,” Neitz said. “I was extremely concerned that working remotely would be isolating when moving across the country. I considered a variety of options: working exclusively at home, coffee shops, libraries, etc.”
The dynamic of working with people in different industries and having a dedicated office made a co-work facility the better option than a public venue, she said.