Out of power but need to get back to work?
Some Miami-Dade businesses and workspace firms are opening their doors to workers in need of Wi-Fi and air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out power and cable lines across the region.
Jason Hagopian, principal at Tsao Design Group in Miami, sent out an email blast last week to about 4,000 friends and colleagues, inviting them to use Tsao’s office. “We have power, WIFI, water and parking,” the email read.
“Our office never lost power. We felt like we were miraculously operational. We had air conditioning, WiFi,” Hagopian said. Tsao, an architecture and interior design firm based in San Francisco and Miami, was up and running only a couple of days after the storm because it has two internet providers, Comcast and Birch, the latter of which was never went out. The office is near Miami’s Upper East Side and Belle Meade neighborhoods at 7636 Northeast Fourth Court.
A few took advantage of the offer. Hagopian opened up two conference spaces and some desks for clients and colleagues, some of whom typically work from home. In South Florida, 4.4 million FPL customers were impacted by the storm, and by Monday morning, only 65,730 homes and businesses did not have power in the tri-county area.
Co-working firms like WeWork and Regus also welcomed those still affected by outages – giving potential members a free trial in times of need.
WeWork opened its Lincoln Road location to companies and entrepreneurs free of charge, according to community director Anna Prisse. Amenities at the four-story, 40,000-square-foot Miami Beach location include lounges, conference rooms, phone booths and a kitchen. WeWork’s South-of-Fifth and Brickell outposts were all up and running, but the 350 Lincoln Road building was the only one offering free workspaces, according to a spokesperson.
Flexible office provider Regus is flexing its muscles – all 1,000 locations across the U.S. – in the wake of hurricanes Irma and Harvey. In South Florida, that includes offices in Coral Gables, Miami Beach and Brickell.
The shared office company is offering free business lounge access to individuals or firms whose businesses were interrupted by the hurricanes, according to a spokesperson. Those affected by the storms can work out of any of Regus’s locations to get back online and recharged.
Help even comes from the other side of the world.
Servcorp, a virtual and flex office company based in Australia, announced it was offering virtual office services and flexible workspaces to workers in Florida following Irma. Its virtual offices provide alternate mailing addresses and phone numbers that are answered by receptionists and rerouted as needed.
For businesses that require a physical space, Servcorp was also providing offices and conference rooms out of its Miami location at the Southeast Financial Center in downtown Miami, free of charge.