Growing Pains: Finding the Space to Keep Growing

When it comes time to make a jump to a new space, there are many things to consider. The potential for future growth, amenities and location are just the beginning. We spoke with Don Ball, co-founder of Fueled Collective, and Julie Burton, founder of ModernWell, to get some insights into finding the perfect space for your business.

What are important factors to consider when choosing an office space?

Ball: You really have to think about the hidden costs of leasing, things like facilities management, high-speed internet, and the cost of build-outs and furnishing. Moving based on growth is about more than just increasing space, you have intangible variables to consider. These are based on your workforce, culture, flexible working solutions and keeping your staff engaged and entertained. The reason many businesses are turning to coworking or collaborative workspaces is that the hidden costs are handled by someone else and there are many opportunities to network and socialize to find new ideas.

Burton: The physical variables of a space are very important. Factors like natural light, the flow of the space and how an office is divided greatly affect the energy and inspiration of your staff. Open concept offices aren’t right for every business.

But giving options of different workspaces to your employees lets them work in an environment that suits their individual work style. People do their best work when they feel inspired; your office space plays a huge factor in that.

What are some commonly overlooked office features?

Ball: The location of an office is sometimes overlooked. If you have a really cool office but it is located in a boring neighborhood, that can make it difficult to attract talent. Think about how the commute to your office is. Can you get there via public transit? What kind of restaurants and amenities are there in the neighborhood? These are important questions to ask.

Burton: A large factor for us Minnesotans is how long the winter is. The long grey days can get you down, having a space with ways to relieve stress or provide self-care can go a long way. At ModernWell, we not only have quiet rooms but an on-site yoga studio to give people a chance to stay fit and take a step back from a hectic day.

What is a sign that collaborative workspaces are right for a business?

Ball: For companies with a younger staff, collaborative spaces are really beneficial. These environments are engaging and entertaining, which is great for all ages. Employees in the beginning of their career can learn a lot about networking and how their skills mix with a team when working in collaborative spaces.

Burton: Collaborative workspaces offer a sense of community that goes above and beyond the businesses they house. Even if you are from different industries, sizes, or focuses, the opportunity to learn from others and pass on knowledge is incredible. I believe that the flexibility that collaborative spaces offer has a direct correlation to results. People who are comfortable and inspired are more productive. It may take time to adapt but your employees will be energized.


Don Ball is co- founder of Fueled Collective, coworking and collaborative space, with 5 locations in Minnesota and Chicago. Previously known as COCO, Fueled Collective is a hybrid social-club/coworking model that is backed by the private equity firm TPG and just opened its prototype location in Cincinnati. Launched in early 2010, COCO was a pioneer in the coworking arena.

Julie Burton has spent the past two decades working as a freelance writer, author, fitness instructor, and creative writing teacher while raising her four children. Co-founding the Twin Cities Writing Studio in 2015 and publishing The Self-Care Solution: A Modern Mother’s Guide to Health and Well-Being in 2016, Julie experienced firsthand the true power of women supporting women. Julie combined her passion and creative energy and founded ModernWell, the first co-working space for women in Minneapolis.