Boosting Community: The CyberTECH Approach to an Enhanced Workplace

The NEST CoWork space is home to a slew of tech start-ups, entrepreneurial efforts, and non-profit organizations looking for a supportive, yet independent work space. CyberTECH and NEST are sibling companies working together to build a better workplace model here in San Diego. CyberTECH has recently hosted a series of planned and impromptu events that build and enhance an environment of innovation at 1855 First Avenue.

The (unofficial) fun began with a weekend painting party as NEST expanded on the first floor of the First Avenue space. After breaking down some walls, the original CyberHIVE space quadrupled in size. Members gathered together on a Saturday to paint, drink lattes, and interact while taping and painting. By the end of the day, the halls and walls of the new offices transformed into a colorful array of warm spaces and airy collaborative offices.

Next up – sliders and fries. Thanks to a food truck parked out front, CyberTECH was able to offer new and future members great food. Plus, on the side patio, resident businesses participated in a speed networking event. With just 60 seconds to pitch, each business owner had the chance to talk up their daily efforts to more than 20 other businesses operating within the same building. That night ended with an extended concert of local artists performing on the interior patio.

With so many new members moving into the NEST spaces, CyberTECH knew it would take a few events before all faces became familiar ones. And nothing brings people together like ice cream (or beer). But ice cream was on the menu for a last minute, Thursday afternoon social on the patio to celebrate the warm summer days.

Fast forward a few weeks, and CyberTECH brought everyone together for a spaghetti dinner complete with garlic bread and Caesar salad. Shortly thereafter on the same night, another speed networking event meant those who had missed out on the prior roundup could pitch their business plans. And those who had met during the last networking roundtable had the chance to delve a bit deeper. Finally, the evening ended with cigars around firelight on the back patio.\

CyberTECH seeks to build a deeper meaning for CoWorking with its events and comfortable atmosphere. On any given day, you can find workers taking a break from the glare of a computer screen to chat at the coffee bar or outside on the patio. With big TVs, comfortable chairs, and a killer WiFi signal, the NEST CoWorking spaces have set a new standard for coworking in San Diego.

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Good to meet you, what do you do?

The Grand Opening of iHive @ NEST, now one of San Diego’s largest CoWork spaces with 16,000 square feet, was celebrated the evening of July 28.

It was a lively, fun night of CoWork space, sliders, sundaes, summer sounds, and speed – networking, that is.

First, the space: It’s a colorful, contemporary array of incubators, shared workspaces, temporary workspaces and co-working spaces.

The delicious sliders were prepared by the food truck InSlider, with sundaes courtesy of Baskin-Robbins.

The sounds of “Summer Strings Open Mic” that filled the Manpower courtyard were provided by an array of top local musicians, all presented by Ken Rexrode Productions.

As for Speed Networking, more than 30 guests got to know each other better – both professionally and personally – in a series of two-minute “chat sessions,” seated at a long table across from each other.

“It was wonderful to get to know so many interesting people who have such innovative ideas,” said CyberTECH member Lorna Ramos, an account executive with NCW Staffing. “I loved it!”

Judging from the many smiles, laughs and freely exchanged business cards, the first-time event was a huge success.

The next Speed Networking event will be held Thursday, Aug. 11, 4:30 to 7:30 pm – iHive @ NEST, 1855 First Avenue, Suite 103, San Diego, CA 92101.

All CyberTECH members, prospective members and guests are always welcome!

Nights and Weekends Offer Some Great Quiet Time

If you walk into a co-working space on a Monday at 10 am, the place is buzzing. The conference rooms are filled; the phone booths are buzzing with business calls; and the private offices are teeming with enthusiastic entrepreneurs. But by Friday at 4pm… it’s slow. And by Sunday at 7pm… it’s nothing but crickets and tumbleweed.

But that doesn’t mean that no one is busy working on the weekends. In fact, most small business owners are working out of a garage, basement, or spare bedroom on nights and weekends. And if you add in established, small businesses that support the round-the-clock industries (healthcare, hospitality, etc), there’s no reason for those co-working spaces to be quiet; they should be thriving during traditional and non-traditional hours.

So why are they so quiet? Generally, co-working spaces are rented through word-of-mouth. And co-working is very popular among young, techy entrepreneurs. In short, the only people who know about the vast number of empty co-working spaces are busy hiking and drinking craft beer on Saturdays.

And more than the small business start-ups or 24-hour service providers, artists, writers, and arts organizations are missing out on a huge opportunity. Writers crave quiet; no one successfully wrote a novel or play with noisy kids and a hungry spouse interrupting every five minutes. And theatre companies are constantly looking for a small workspace with a big rehearsal room. Co-working offices might not look like the traditional artist studio or black box theatre, but for those in need of space, co-working offices offer a perfect fix for their problems. Plus, artists add a cool vibe to the overall feel.

Realistically, the major, national co-working companies aren’t likely to negotiate too much on price based on weekend and nighttime use. However, the smaller, boutique co-working companies are eager to fill up their square footage with as much activity as possible. Quiet time means lost revenue. Plus, the more activity (at any time of day), the more word-of-mouth about these great working spaces.

Take advantage of the lesser-used hours at a co-working space. If you’re not working, it’s still a great way to enjoy a bag of chips while watching Netflix on the common room couch.


IBM Turns to WeWork

In a massive deal for co-working giant, WeWork, IBM just rented the entire 70,000 square feet of WeWork’s University Place in New York City. So the looming question is why? As a major leader for more than a century, shouldn’t IBM be able to manage its own office space? Sure. But it’s not 1945, and WeWork is offering IBM a few systems that the company can’t ignore

Flexibility: While we don’t know the terms of the deal, it’s likely that WeWork is offering significantly more flexibility to IBM than a traditional commercial lease. In fact, co-working is based on flexibility. So if IBM has to move a department out of NYC or lay-off 200 workers, they aren’t stuck with the cost of an empty office.

Talent: Young employees don’t want to be stuck in a dull, grey cubicle. And while those workers in their 40s might still tolerate the traditional office setting, the millennials simply won’t. They know that companies like Google and Uber have slick, comfortable working spaces. And if an employer can only offer bad coffee under fluorescent lights, the new and eager workers will go somewhere else.

Productivity: Yes, co-working spaces like WeWork can seem like a distracting environment. But the environment is also comfortable. So instead of stopping at Starbucks before work, employees will show up to the co-working coffee bar and get settled faster. And if they like where they work, they are much, much (MUCH) more likely to stay an extra 20 minutes at the end of the day to finish a project. Even better – the kids like to come in with Mom or Dad on the weekend because the office is filled with couches and café tables. (Plus great WiFi for Netflix.) Think about productivity hours for a company like IBM. If everyone starts to average an additional 25 minutes of work per day, then the 600 people in the WeWork/IBM building are cranking out 250 more work hours per DAY. That’s like 31 free employees working for the company simply because the employees like lemon water and soft lighting.

Co-working companies have begun a revolution. A century ago, businesses needed to eliminate harsh factory conditions and develop concepts like Lean Thinking to compete. And while the office cubicle of 1992 is hardly harsh, co-working is proving that desk-bound workers need an improved workplace to drive business forward.


What are the best CoWorking office spaces near me?


Looking for that perfect CoWork tech space?

We’re pleased to offer “ONE DAY FREE” at NEST CoWork @ CyberTECH, in San Diego’s Bankers Hill, a few blocks from downtown. Offered in partnership with LiquidSpace.

1855 First Avenue, Suite 103

San Diego, CA 92103

Sample space:

1 unreserved desk w/ private kitchenette, modern feel, part of 16,000 sf NEST CoWork space. Included: broadband, utilities, security, conference room, workout gym, coffee service. No hidden fees!

Contact Darin Andersen:



What’s Good Etiquette in the CoWorking Space?

Etiquette in the CoWorking Space

With some predicting a freelance workforce at 50% by 2020, co-working etiquette is quickly becoming a defining component for any co-working space. And etiquette isn’t just about how the members behave, but also about how the co-working management sets expectations and upholds those standards. From loud phone calls to garlic shrimp at lunch, workplace behavior is about to get a whole lot trickier.

Let’s start with phone calls. With cell phone reception still far behind land line clarity, scream-talking is fairly commonplace. Plus, 95% of co-working members will be cell phone based. Phone booths are now standard for most co-working spaces, but they don’t solve all problems. For example, a quick phone call to a client can easily turn into an hour-long discussion. And if you need to be in front of a computer while talking, a phone booth or patio might not be a viable solution. Moreover, even those who occupy an office can be a bother if scream-talking with their door open.

This is why strong, gentle management is critical. Co-working contracts need to specify some basic expectations. “All calls longer than 3 minutes need to take place behind closed doors.” Then, when someone is scream-talking in the open or in an open office, the on-site manager can quickly step in and relieve the frustrations that the other workers are feeling.

Food is another major issue. As is slurping coffee. And chewing gum. Even someone clicking a pen or playing with their long hair can be enough of a distraction to drive hard-working members to find another location. The current generation of millennials isn’t known for their selfless lifestyle, and they will be the ones working freelance jobs at co-working offices.

Establishing a Code of Conduct is key in keeping co-working members happy. Enforcing the code means having an on-site Emily Post who can keep a reign on behavior. Ideally, your on-site manager would come with the inflexible gentility of a Savanah librarian. “Keep quiet or get out, sweetie-pie.”

Managing people has always been the most difficult part of any business. So, managing a collection of people who have no employment ties to each other or the office space means having a well-worded contract and a strict manager to enforce the rules.

(And everyone over the age of 25 will quietly say, “Thank you.”)

Business Insider Proclaims WeWork is Tremendously Overvalued. Is it?

Business Insider Proclaims WeWork is Tremendously Overvalued. Is it?


In a video about overvalued companies, WeWork made the top of the list. The current valuation equation puts the value of each WeWork customer at more than $550,000. In other words, WeWork is operating as if each client will generate over half-a-million bucks for the company. That’s like every client paying $5,000 per month in rent for nine years.

Realistically, that’s not going to happen. So why is WeWork riding so high? In short, trend.

Right now, WeWork spaces are generally expensive, and the company has very low vacancy rates. With this kind of money coming into the company, someone will have adamantly pointed out that WeWork is likely operating in a bubble. And all bubbles pop. (See: Housing, 2007)

However, WeWork is leading a trend. For example, right now several large companies are utilizing WeWork instead of managing their own office spaces. (That’s gunna shift.) Plus, WeWork is capitalizing on venture capitalists who want to see their money at work in super-trendy workplaces with free lemon water. (Is lemon water really worth $5,000 per month?)

Coworking is growing – very quickly. So it’s highly probably that WeWork has created several contingency plans to adapt when there’s a shift in coworking demand. At these rates, big companies will eventually see coworking as wasted money. And venture capitalists might stop investing in companies with less than five employees and shift to more established operations. (See: Tech Industry, 2001)

When the winds shift, WeWork will adapt. They likely have five and ten-year commercial leases, so if IBM moves its operations out of WeWork New York, WeWork will have to fill that vacancy with someone.

And it all comes down to the little guy. At $250 or $300 per month, coworking spaces can quickly fill its vacancies with general and “hot desk” members. The real trend is not in coworking, it’s in the entrepreneurialism of the gig economy. It’s the American dream to be your own boss.

The coworking companies are here to stay. They are becoming our second home – our oasis in a life of soccer practices, mean bosses, and in-law visits. All of those employees showing up for work at a WeWork coworking space are the future tenants for the company. And that is worth $5,000 per month.

Coworking Spaces Act as Anchor

Think about the American worker in the 1950s… or the Japanese worker in the 1980s… the workplace was a reliable haven of productivity. Sure, there must have been long hours, office politics, and noisy coworkers slurping soup at lunch, but the office was always there. Today, the vast majority of that reliability is gone. Layoffs, cutbacks, and outsourcing has become commonplace. And even in a big city, finding a cushy replacement when you’ve been laid off from your Fortune 100 job isn’t easy. Plus, there was a time when you and your employer made a pact: you show up to work hard and the company wouldn’t fire you. Today, a bad supervisor can put you out on the street with a few well-crafted emails to HR.

With today’s expensive lifestyle (where hors-oeuvres and a drink can cost $50), most of us need a side hustle. There are likely some mid-level executives flipping on their Uber app while they drive home from work to pick up some extra money for Christmas. And blogger-moms staying up late to get sponsored dinners for a date night with hubby.

So coworking spaces are not just for the full-time entrepreneur. In fact, anyone looking to work a few hours on a blog, ebook, or part-time coding gig needs a desk and a cup of coffee away from the house. Even if you’re a full-time employee, maybe you have a desk for the days when you want to avoid the commute and “work from home.”

Thus, the coworking space becomes the new workplace anchor. It doesn’t matter if you get fired, laid-off, or quit. You keep going to the familiar coworking space, shifting your time and energy to the project at hand.

Coworking spaces have become key for personal productivity. When your employer no longer sees you as a necessary asset, you simply flip the switch and do more work as an independent contractor. In fact, coworking spaces, along with the gig economy, are a tremendous threat to corporate productivity. Coworking offices have leveled the playing field, offering workers the chance to remain productive and happy regardless of where the work is coming from. And the more you are in a coworking space, the more you learn how to source and duplicate work as a contractor.

Take that, corporate America!


Why the Gig Economy Isn’t Going Away

Most presidential elections come with rhetoric about jobs and the economy. And while the majority of jobs that come with an improved economy may still look like a traditional 40-hour employment agreement, freelance work is on the rise. And it’s not going anywhere. Whether you are a self-employed programmer, part-time graphic designer, or a member of an app development team, you will need a community of like-minded professionals seeking the same professional satisfaction.

The Workers
The up-and-coming workforce is against the idea of a traditional job. Millennials, as a group, are far more interested in life experiences like camping, travel, and leisure than they about having a house, a car, and a high credit line. Corporations are finding that freelancers, while expensive on the hourly end, are more motivated and efficient that full-time employees.

The Benefits
Health insurance was one of the driving forces for finding and keeping a traditional job. And while it’s likely that health insurance will change over the next four years, universal healthcare is likely here to stay. And if you are in a liberal state like California or Massachusetts, changes in federal healthcare laws could be offset by changes in state laws. So if you can get health insurance on your own, a traditional job comes with more restrictions than benefits.

The Workplace
As the US moves towards a knowledge-based economy (as compared to a manufacturing economy), the average worker won’t need more than a cell phone and a laptop to be highly effective. Corporations are seeing the cost-cutting benefits that come with workers who pay for their own workplace (and health insurance).

If you’ve ever worked from home for long stretches of time, then you know that the isolation and quiet can be unsettling. And if you’ve ever worked from a coffee shop, you know the sound of blenders and screaming children is less than professional. Coworking spaces are a key component in the gig economy. Collective workplaces offer the human interaction we need to feel connected day-in and day-out. Plus they offer a brand of professional flexibility found nowhere else.

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The Digital Nomad and the CoWorking Space

Gig economy… Side hustle… Digital nomad… The face of the workplace is changing. In an effort to attract talent and reduce costs, employers are utilizing coworking spaces to allow distance workers to work in a professional environment. And individuals are no longer looking towards traditional employment for part-time and full-time work. These workers now crash together in coworking spaces around the world, grateful that they aren’t relegated to a kitchen table or crowded Starbucks to get work done.

For nearly two decades, traditional employers have struggled to manage good employees who opt to work from home. With good employees difficult to find and expensive to replace, most employers have bent strict rules to allow some to work from home. Supervision, productivity, and insurance conflicts arise as (unlikely) problems. Thanks to coworking spaces, however, more corporate employers are allowing employees to work at desk outside of the house, but away from the corporate hub.

Even for those with a full-time corporate job, a coworking space can be a great way to build up a freelance portfolio, work a digital side job, or just get out of the house. The days of working one, full-time job are practically done. Regardless of how full-time employment meets (or fails) modern financial demands, more workers are seeing entrepreneurialism in their future. Coworking spaces are incubators; emerging tech, service, and business ideas come to light thanks to the inherent interactivity of coworking spots. Between the casual coffee pot conversations and the official networking dinners, coworking spaces are the new “garage office.” In other words, the next Apple (Facebook, Google) is probably under development in a coworking space as we speak.

And finally, the digital nomad. Why bother paying rent or a mortgage if you can roam around the world, working digitally every day? For the true tech worker, a network of coworking spaces, coffee shops, and AirBnB apartments can serve as the basis for a nomadic life. See the world and earn a living… what could be better?

Even the face of the coworking office is changing. At one time, shared offices and executive suites were open Monday through Friday, nine to five. But today, the urban coworking space is a 24-hour operation as part-timers, freelancers, and all-nighters come together to feed off each other’s ideas and build momentum towards a more satisfying work-life balance.