Don’t Be a Hermit: Bell Works’ Coworking Space Gets You Out of Your House
The office space that Denny Testa moved into last year in Bell Works seems at first glance a lot like his style, with his dark hair brushed up about four inches off his head and decked out in a dark blazer and green suede high tops, they’re both a little bit showy and eye catching with a super sleek, sophisticated edge.
Testa, co-owner of Off BEET Productions, a one-stop-shopping source for capturing candid and lighthearted wedding videos and photos, says he and his partner (and wife, Kate) snapped up the space after taking a tour of the complex and seeing all the amenities that would be available to them. Their office is a corner of a larger coworking space that’s partitioned by glass walls to make a big glass box, which they customized with funky industrial shelving and tables and shiny brass seating to accommodate their growing team. Testa, a self-proclaimed introvert/extrovert who also offers DJ and entertaining services to future brides and grooms, says one of the things he loves about what Bell Works calls a “team pod,” or larger private office space, is that it gives him the opportunity to have some privacy while not feeling isolated.
“We were in an office space in Fair Haven before and that’s just what it was: office space,” he explains. At Bell Works, he can edit wedding videos on one of the several large screen monitors in his office, while just outside the space are other tenants working in the more open coworking space, and across the hallway are windows overlooking Bell Works’ lush campus and fun roof deck.
Testa says he loves all the amenities available to him at Bell Works — like the shared conference spaces — but especially has his eye on a 300-seat amphitheater in the building’s lower level and event spaces that back up to a pond and landscaped grounds, which are the perfect spot for a wedding reception. “There’s just so much opportunity here for us,” he says. In the meantime, Testa is loving working in the Bell Works metroburb. “It’s like a little city,” he says, “and it’s one of the big reasons we wanted to come here.” He likes that there are always new people to meet and says he’s started developing a project with another cinematographer who’s set up shop at Bell Works. “We get bored fast,” he says, “so this is perfect for us.”
When he’s not traveling to cover a wedding (they’ve done 90 so far this year), Denny says Off BEET uses their Bell Works space to meet with potential clients. It’s also big enough to accommodate various interns and photo assistants who work in the office. While he still does a lot of his editing at home, Testa, who also jumps in as DJ at events, and says the Off BEET Bell Works space gives him a place to get out of the house and interact with other people.
Which is what appeals to a lot of other tenants who lease coworking space in the former Bell Labs building in Holmdel, NJ, says Sean Donohue, who’s been managing CoLab — Bell Works’ coworking spaces — for about three years. “A lot of tenants get lonely working from home, with no interaction or feedback during the day,” he says. “CoLab lets you get out of your own four walls.”
Many of the tenants leasing more traditional office space in the building started out in a shared space situation, says Donohue. “It kind of lets you test drive the whole Bell Works facility and decide whether it works for you,” he says. Opting for coworking space also lets you expand along with your business and grow your space. “It’s a great place to get your startup off the ground.”
Considering a move to CoLab at Bell Works?
Potential tenants — many of whom work remotely for corporate businesses or are entrepreneurs trying to get that start up off the ground — can dip their toe in the coworking water with a spot a day or two a week and see whether CoLab is a fit. No matter how many days a tenant chooses, Donohue says they have access to amenities like conference space and a kitchenette.
Graphic designers, app developers, real estate professionals, marketers, photographers, business coaches, they all find a home here at CoLab. And the industries they work in are diverse: farming, human resources, non-profit, education, legal, and more.
Membership packages are as varied as the types of companies represented at Bell Works and all present the opportunity to grow your space along with your business. Whether it’s an unassigned “hot desk,” dedicated workstation or full-fledged private office, there are memberships to match your business needs. Some of the most popular, according to Donohue, are:
- Daily drop in: for $25 a day you can dip your toe into the pool of shared work space and see if it’s for you.
- Part-Time starter pack: 5 drop ins a month gets you basic membership amenities (wifi, kitchen, full office) at a great price
- Full-time shared/hot desk: 24/7 access and 6 hours of conference room time a month
- Dedicated desk: All of the above along with exclusive desk space and the use of the Bell Works mailing address
- Single private office: Priority use of the conference room and the right to store items in the space.
- Multi-person private offices (team pod): Lots of different sizes plus a multi-desk option that could be customized depending on team size and part- or full-time status
Depending on your company’s needs, Donohue says he can customize a workspace. “There are a lot of flexible options,” he says. “There’s always a way to tailor space to fit an organization’s needs.”
Donohue thinks that’s the biggest draw for CoLab is that tenants become part of a whole network of other tenants. “There’s so much potential to interact and share ideas,” he says. “This is the new future of work.”
In the near future, Bell Works will expand its coworking to a new 26,000 square foot community.
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