Starting a business is no small feat. Getting that business fly, is another deal altogether, especially if you’re setting up a whole new office. Workplace Solutions is Fully’s streamlined and friendly commercial connection for all the desks and chairs you need to get your office up and running in a jiffy. We got to hear from Simien Parr, owner of Baltimore co-working space Homebase Works, about his experience getting his active co-working office set up.
The beginning of Homebase co-working spaces
My name is Simien Antonis Parr. I was born in Baltimore. I've lived in many parts of the world, at all ages, and everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve always been creating something. While in college in Florida, I was a freelance designer. After graduating I moved to New York and began designing for RevolverNY, in the hospitality industry, developing digital micro-sites and interactive platforms. Then I moved to DC as the Creative Director for transportation software startup, Transit Labs. We visualized public transit data for efficiency, funding, routing, and planning smart cities.
While these jobs were all different, an underlying constant between Florida, New York and DC (even in-between) was that our teams worked from shared workspaces. I've worked in so many different spaces, with a variety of experiences. When a good friend wanted to open a coworking space in my hometown, Baltimore, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. By then I felt like a shared workspaces expert.
I wear a few hats now, creative and operations - producing our brand development, digital experience, and physical workplace.
Baltimore, my hometown
First and foremost - I love Baltimore because this is my hometown. I also have family and friends who raised families here, built businesses here, who’ll grow old here. There are little things, like the smell of bread baking from the H&S bakery, making sure you don't trip over the cobblestone in the Inner Harbor, and the artwork/murals from local artists. I know you guys at Fully like sandwiches a lot. Baltimore is not known for its sandwiches, I think, but we have no shortage of amazing delicatessens. You’ll come to Baltimore for the culture, you’ll stay in Baltimore for the delicatessens.
Shared workspaces and standing desks
I did a lot of work researching coworking spaces, searching for a modular setup. I've worked in too many spaces that were draining after only a few hours: desk edges that bruise my forearms, non-adjustable desk heights, an uncomfortable chair I can’t move in, or needing to charge my phone on the other end of the room because there are no outlets close by.
Everyone has different work tendencies and a static desk/environment doesn't retain people. I want our members to feel like the space is worth it and Fully’s desks were instrumental in that design. We wanted our office environment to inspire a healthier, active work-style, allowing our clients to build on what we introduced. If a member wants to add a computer tower rack or add a treadmill to their space - it's available through Fully. The last coworking space I was at was 1776 in DC - they had treadmills and a few standing desks that were constantly being utilized. Providing these options doesn’t just makes sense, it gives Homebase Works a competitive advantage. Our core principal is enhancing our members personal space.
Getting the active workplace setup
I had a great experience getting our office setup. I must have requested 5-6 quotes from Fully with different configurations until we settled on the color, size, and quantity. We soft launched into 2,000 square feet and we’re already expanding our space into a second location.
Once all of the boxes arrived I put together four desks to get an idea of the set up and the time needed. The first of these desks was a little difficult. But once I understood which screws went where and the process of parts, it became easier. I hired a tasker with TaskRabbit to help with the rest. His name is Jerome, and I highly recommend him for anyone in Maryland who purchases as many of Fully’s Jarvis as I did. Jerome is a Jarvis expert now.
One thing I’d do differently, we didn’t attach the wire management trays until after the desks were all set up, when they should've been attached in the beginning. I should've caught this when I first set up those initial desks. That’s the only thing that held us up—adding the accessories in the end of the build. There is also a YouTube video, done extremely well, that helped both myself and Jerome with building the desks. If Fully has the chance to create more of those videos - I strongly support that. That’s the best pro tip I can suggest—to watch the tutorial video on YouTube. Rewatch it, and then watch it again, pay attention to the way that all the parts configure together and take your time. Of course, if you’re not getting it from the video (it may not be for everyone) I suggest calling in and getting help from one of Fully’s customer service members.
Try a Jarvis standing desk for yourself
For anyone else considering an office overall, if you've never experienced a standing desk, I would highly encourage you visit a local Fully showroom and work the day. Fully will be able to determine the size of the desk, the surface material, and the accessories you may need to improve your day-to-day work. If you’re local, in Baltimore, I would highly encourage you to work from our space for the day, for free.
For myself, I've been working at a Jarvis desk every day and I can't imagine working on any other desk. When I'm at home, without my Jarvis, it's just not the same. Every so often I adjust the desk so I can work and stand which helps mix up that energy as I move around all day. It helps to lower the desk when I'm sitting in a position where my knees and arms are at 90°. Other desks require me to raise the chair too far up for my arms to be at 90° and my legs are dangling. The Jarvis allows me to find that sweet spot whether I'm sitting or standing, and I can work for hours without adjusting.
We plan to use the Jarvis and other Fully products as we expand in all of our locations. Even the parent company of our properties wants to set up Jarvis desks in their offices. We can't thank you enough for producing an amazing product we love, and one our members will build amazing businesses with.