BI coworking space grows despite COVID

Larger spaces are available for group meetings.

Larger spaces are available for group meetings.

While other businesses have struggled during COVID-19, Bainbridge Island’s OfficeXpats—the first coworking space in Kitsap County—has grown.

Part of the reason is more employees than ever are permitted—or even required—to work remotely. Coworking offers an alternative to working from home.

To take advantage of more remote working, the business has added new private offices and more common space. While the private offices were taken quickly, OfficeXpats may add more in coming months.

One of those new private offices was taken by a startup called Ignik, “the outdoor heat company.” Graeme Esarey’s inspiration for Ignik came during an adventure with his family to sail around Alaska and on to Greenland. Along the way, they discovered that equipment for heating and cooking didn’t work well in extreme cold. Esarey saw the need for products that worked for all ages, to let people get out earlier and stay out longer. He also saw the damaging impact to the environment that many other products caused.

Their trip eventually pivoted to Hawaii, and then in 2018 Esarey started Ignik. He hired a couple of employees and started shipping product in 2019. That was also the year he became a member at OfficeXpats. He now has over a dozen employees scattered across the globe but is committed to keeping Ignik as a BI company.

Author Paula Holmes-Eber also has excelled in the coworking environment. She appreciates the “water cooler effect” with random interactions in the office creating social bonds and aiding professional development.

She wrote a book called, “Breathtaking: How one family cycled around the world for clean air and asthma.” OfficeXpats is being dedicated in the book to debut in May 2022. Holmes-Eber states, “Writing a book can be a lonely and never-ending project. Enter the amazing concept of coworking.”

Monday morning check-ins the past five years kept Holmes-Eber accountable to complete the chapter drafts she promised. She also became a charter member of the OfficeXpats Writers’ Group, a COVID-adapted virtual meetup effort that supports member writers.

The coworking space also offers amenities for body health that include a choice of standing or sitting desks, a treadmill walk/work desk, a cycle desk and a sitting elliptical. Always available 24/7 is choosing a desk and connecting to hi-speed fiber Wi-Fi. Prices start at $35 for a day pass.

For details email co-owner Leslie Schneider at leslie@officexpats.com

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