By VINCE MEEHAN | Downtown News
Briana Tovey is the senior campus manager of Cross Campus, a coworking hub located in Little Italy where professionals can rent workstations or offices by the hour, day, week or even longer. She serves as the point person at this brick building that used to be a major furniture warehouse on India Street near Laurel.
The concept is simple; working professionals can have access to workstations and conference rooms without having to commit to a long-term lease.
There are a growing number of coworking spaces in San Diego and the nation. “Coworking paces are set up for a lot of different reasons, one being smaller commitments for office space,” Tovey explains. “And there are also options for people to drop in and use us once a week, or a couple of times a month, so it’s flexible office space. We cater to startups who are growing and don’t know exactly where they’ll be in a year and don’t want to commit to a long-term lease, and we also cater to a lot of remote workers.”
These remote workers can be in San Diego on a business trip and need to book a conference room for a few hours or can be consultants that need a fast and easy workspace for the day. Many find these coworking spaces through phone apps such as Deskpass, which recently added San Diego to its network.
Sam Rosen is the co-founder and CEO of Deskpass and says that San Diego is a perfect target for his company due to the influx of professionals who come to the city and prefer coworking set-ups. His site takes the legwork out of searching for a meeting room in an unfamiliar city and makes the reservation process fast and easy.
Tovey agrees that Deskpass is a key tool for travelers to locate coworking spaces and works well in directing people to Cross Campus. “It’s great for us, because if people are traveling and they want to do coworking, they can set it up on Deskpass. And they can even bring a guest if they want, so it’s more exposure for us, and serves as another platform that draws people into our space.”
Cross Campus features various amenities that young professionals gravitate to including wall-mounted bicycle racks, a fully functioning kitchen and dining area, and even beer on tap. The ambiance is fun and casual with many professionals choosing to work together at large tables as opposed to hiding in a cubicle.
The workers must provide their own computer, so the work tool of choice for the clients are typically laptops. However, if you require multiple monitors, Cross Campus can provide you with them. Tovey elaborated on how easy it is for workers to do this. “We don’t provide computers – most people work off their laptops – but we do lend people monitors. So if you come with your laptop, but you’re a graphic or web designer and you need two screens, you just check one out – it’s free – you borrow it for the day, you bring it back when you’re done.”
Tovey definitely enjoys her job at Cross Campus and her enthusiasm is infectious as she roams the large workspace. She checks in on people and makes sure that everybody is happy. She enjoys the camaraderie that Cross Campus intentionally generates for its workers. Large common areas bring workers together and creates a prime environment for collaboration. She adds that this brings a smile to her face when she sees it happen. “It’s a great place for cross-pollination because there are people here who do a little bit of everything. There’s a very wide array of ages and backgrounds represented here; I love it when I see people working together – it’s my favorite!”
— Vince Meehan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.