Office Depot Pilots Workonomy Hub, a Coworking Space in Stores

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Editor in Chief
Jamie goodman
In partnership with Proximity, Office Depot has introduced Workonomy Hub, a new coworking space

On the heels of soaring revenue, Office Depot CEO Gerry Smith noted the company's brick and mortar retail footprint is still an important part of the retailer, providing it a key asset that differentiates it from competitors. Its buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS) sales are growing at almost 30% year-over-year and now the retailer is turning its sights to new ways to utilize the store.

"Longer-term, we are evaluating other innovative ways to use the store footprint, including piloting a shared workspace at our new Los Gatos store," Smith said. "All of these efforts are ultimately designed to increase traffic conversion and average order value within the stores."

In partnership with Proximity, Office Depot has introduced Workonomy Hub, a new coworking space with rates ranging from 40$ for daily drop-ins or lowest level membership, to $750 a month for private offices. The pilot is taking place at the Office Depot store located at 15166 Los Gatos Blvd, in Los Gatos, CA. 

Perks for coworkers include super-fast Internet; free refreshments;  App-based space booking and access to other Proximity locations; business services including printing, shipping and tech support available; mail and package handling available; and of course, easy access to office supplies.

A flyer obtained by RIS reads, "Calling all freelancers, remote workers, and small businesses," and invites people to come in and take a tour.

Remote working is on the rise, in 2012, Gallup data showed that 39% of employees worked remotely in some capacity, by 2016, that number grew to 43%. Industrious, a New York City-based coworking provider, just partnered with mall owner Macerich to add flexible-office spaces to mall properties around the country. Restaurants have been adding coworking space before the dinner rush rather than offering lunch service.  

At Office Depot's pilot, a daily drop-in to the space for $40 includes a "Hot Desk" for the day. Hot Desk membership includes a guaranteed space to work in the common area. The lowest priced membership ($40) includes access to a common area, two-day Hot Desk access per month, one 30-minute Conference Room per month and 20% discount on subsequent drop-ins per month.  

Conference rooms can also be rented at $45 per hour and include wireless high-speed Internet, and phone and video conferencing access.

For workers looking for an office outside of the home Office Depot offers a dedicated desk. "Bring decorations and store your belongings in a locked file cabinet," the flyer reads. The $400 monthly fee includes four hours per month in the conference rooms.

One step up and workers can nab a private office for $750 a month, which includes one seat, a whiteboard, guest seating, and a locked office door with custom branding options.

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