Hopefully its an optimistic harbinger for things to come. New business ventures are popping up all over Rye. The next big thing is an innovative business service concept with a whimsical name that contrasts its strategic goal of changing the paradigm of business center services.
"The most talented workers are knowledge workers. They have the most flexibility, they're trusted and they are able to work when and where they want." said John Arenas, founder of Serendipity Labs. "Rye is a place with a lot of people with [that kind of] flexibliity who work from home."
Serendipity Labs- a telework center and coworking facility- is a timely solution for knowledge-based workers who aren't tied down to a traditional commute to a corporate office setting. Simply put, Serendipity Labs will offer flexible office space, technology and support services on a membership structure for business professionals.
The Theodore Fremd location is company owned, but Arenas says Serendipity Labs has candidates that will franchise in 5 states- bringing their business model to cities rom Boston to Washington D.C. The venture is preparing for an October opening on the site of former car dealership Biltmore Auto Sales at 80 Theodore Fremd Ave. Serendipity Labs will make its corporate home at 411 Theodore Fremd Ave.
Formed last year, the new company has a relationship with Steelcase- leading manufacturer and designer of office environments.
The model innovates an industry that Arenas thinks has plenty of room for new ideas.
"The genesis [for Serendipity Labs is] for the last 25 years, [the business center industry has] tried to emulate the old paradigm of office headquarters," said Arenas. "In our research and experience, individuals are choosing the way they work and the old ways are not that attractive."
Knowledge based workers, according to Arenas want to control their own schedules and maintain control over their work environment- working when and where they choose- but still have access to the benefits of an office environment. That's where Serendipity Labs comes into the picture.
"Working from home can be very isolating," Arenas observed. "The opportunity for distractions are large. What's missed most…people feel they don’t have the peer equity gained from working with people in the office."
The atmosphere at Serendipity Labs will bring that element of "peer interaction and stimulation" back, but only to the degree the individual member wants it.
Depending on their needs, members may choose access to dedicated space enclaves and office services like video conferencing and meeting space or flex-time space for use as needed per month.
Arenas said the mobility plan- which offers flexible access five times per month- will cost $199, "about the same as a gym membership" and as little as $49 per month for a 'once per month' level membership that offers access as needed.
And in Rye, a community where sustainability is so important, the concept gives a nod to those values as well.
The service should appeal to those who like to bike or even walk to work instead of commuting by car or train to an office or traditional meeting space.
"Why drive to the office everyday?" said Arenas. Staying close to home means less resources and time used on commuting and more time connected to the community. "I think people are interested in that."