Vaccinations are well underway and dare we say it; the world feels like it’s finally opening back up. While many workplaces have resumed in-office activities, some have maintained remote policies, and others are operating under a hybrid model.

What the pandemic has shown us about the in-office vs. work from home debate is that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Many employees are thrilled to have the ability to conduct meetings garbed in business attire on top and athleisure on the bottom. In contrast, others are eager to dress in their professional best every day again.

So, what if your workplace has maintained its remote policy, yet you have been itching to return to an office environment?

In May 2021, the coworking space was used to host a small business roundtable led by VP Kamala Harris' husband, Douglas Emhoff.

Professional and Casual Space

You spent the past 15 months fighting off your crazy cats, hiding in the laundry room to focus, and frantically turning off your zoom camera to avoid having your children’s antics displayed for all of corporate. It turns out the rise of the home office is not for everyone.

Maybe you’re feeling isolated with only a furball to interact with all day. Adorable, yes, but let’s face it, they don’t offer much in exchanging creative ideas. (If Fido does, in fact, respond with more than just a head tilt, we’re requesting you send us a follow-up email immediately sharing all of your training secrets!)

Or the increasingly common scenario; you’re an entrepreneur who enjoys the freedom of remote work but occasionally requires a business environment surging with energy.

At AEDC, we get it. Enter: Coworking. Imagine regaining a few minutes of solitude en route to your place of work, listening to your daily podcast, or preparing your mental to-do list for the day. Consider having the ability to arrive at a designated office building. You set up among coworkers, who are all there for the same reason: to be productive in a dynamic office environment that’s professional and casual at the same time! Coworking spots are mixed throughout flex office space and down the hall from incubation client suites. You can work efficiently and uninterrupted in one of the conference rooms, or you can hang out in the common area and strike up a conversation with fellow coworkers, office tenants, and manufacturing entrepreneurs.

There is never a dull moment at the Bridgeworks Enterprise Center!

The Many Benefits

Longtime coworking user Gary Schall appreciates the benefits and flexibility that coworking offers. He runs a consulting business that helps individuals and companies get connected by improving their LinkedIn and networking skills. While he doesn’t need a big office, he learned early on that he did need a professional space to meet with clients. Coffee houses and restaurants proved no longer appropriate for his expanding business.

“The coworking space is perfect for my needs. I can hold workshops with just a few people or a larger group in the conference rooms. It has allowed me to present a higher level of professionalism and has given me the opportunity to experiment with various networking methods. I’ve been using AEDC’s coworking space for close to 5 years now and look forward to many more years in an excellently run facility.” -Schall

The coworking space is run by the staff at AEDC, who own and operate the Bridgeworks building and also have offices inside. Because the facility is a former Mack Trucks plant in South Allentown, maintaining the historical aspect was a vital component when repurposing the space.

During renovations in 2015, AEDC’s facility team purposely salvaged and incorporated various Mack Trucks paraphernalia to add character to the space and pay homage to the building’s long history of a hard day’s work. Today, the coworking atmosphere at Bridgeworks encourages professionals to get work done and meet with colleagues and clients, while also providing a reminder of the businesses that have paved the way for Allentown’s economy.

At AEDC’s coworking space, you’re in good company, surrounded by fellow entrepreneurs in the Flex Office space and manufacturers in the incubation program. And desk space costs less than your monthly coffee budget! Benefits include unlimited use of the open area and amenities.

  • Monday – Friday access from 8 am – 5 pm.
  • Fiber-optic broadband internet.
  • Shared office machine (print/copy/scan).
  • Two “phone booths” to take/make private calls.
  • Two conference rooms available for use, one with the capacity to hold up to 25 people.
  • Kitchenette with microwave, coffee maker, full-sized refrigerator, and dining area.
  • On-site storage lockers to keep personal items in the building.
  • Lounge area for casual meetings or a quick break.
  • Convenient location: Bridgeworks is close to U.S.22 and I-78, and within walking distance of downtown Allentown.
  • High ceilings and copious natural light.
  • Friday Happy Hour! Access to multiple beverage manufacturers’ tasting rooms located inside Bridgeworks for libations after work.
  • Accessible parking- no garage parking or long treks required.
  • Come and go as you please; No reservations required.
  • Bonus: The ability to socialize with fellow human beings again!

Use of the shared space costs just $60 per month. If you would like to try coworking for a day or two, free of charge, contact David Dunn – or call 610-435-8890.

Lauren Matthews