This month’s Centerco Featured Community Member is Page Melton Ivie, a career woman who works remotely and found the perfect place to do business at Centerco Office Suites. Page works with SourceGroup/StateTracker, a company that provides legislative and regulatory tracking and compliance support for companies, nonprofits, national membership organizations and public-private partnerships. Although she does have the option of working from a home office, Page discovered the many benefits to working at Centerco and has been here for years. We got the chance to catch up with Page and have a quick interview with her. See what she had to say about Centerco below!
Why did you decide to get an office away from your house?
I was able to work out of my house for years productively, but then I moved to St. Louis a few years ago and the room designated for my office was right off the kitchen. It was harder to be productive, especially during summers and school breaks with the children in and out of the kitchen. My work involves a lot of writing and research and conference calls, so peace, quiet and a comfortable setting are critical.
As my children got older, I also wanted a space entirely devoted to work. I needed to be able to spread out a project, meet with clients or just have long stretches of time to concentrate. Even with my pretty disciplined family – my children grew up knowing that when mom went into her office, she was at work – inevitably my office became a place my husband escaped to for watching a ball game, where I wrapped the Christmas presents and where the dog liked to sleep in the daytime. It was too much, especially as I looked to expand my business.
We think your office has a comfortable “home” feel to it. If someone wants to make their office feel more like home, what would you suggest they add?
Think about how much time you spend at work – and then make your office a place you want to be! The beauty of working for yourself, and by extension, running your own office from a building like Centerco, is that you have great freedom to create a space that’s most productive for you. I wanted an office I’d be happy to come to, and I do look forward to weekends when I can slip away from the crazy home schedule and roll up some work hours in my office. I’m not crazy about overhead lights, so I added some lamps that make the room a little calmer for me. I added a rug from home, an easy chair, an indestructible plant and of course some personal pictures. I can’t sit in the same place for hours, so I might use the chair to catch up on reading, just as a change of scenery or to think great thoughts. I thought about trying to squeeze in a sofa, but feared I’d be too tempted to take naps!
Why did you choose Centerco?
I know Debi, President and COO of Centerco Office Suites, because we have daughters the same age and she told me about the office suites plan when she first started. As a longtime small business owner, I’m fascinated by anything entrepreneurial: there are great challenges but also great rewards of being your own boss. But sometimes you feel like you are going it alone and it helps to be around others who are navigating the same challenges and rewards.
When I needed a space, I visited Centerco and was impressed with the professionalism of Tricia and the whole Centerco staff. The entrepreneurial spirit – and frankly, the sense of fun – drew me in, too. It’s great meeting other folks who primarily work for themselves or by themselves, at the monthly Centerco events or even in the kitchen. I love hearing how people can take a skill or an interest and then build their own business. I leave my door cracked sometimes, just to hear what’s going on around me, and through all of these interactions, I’ve made some friendships I might not otherwise have had.
Having the workout room is a bonus: it’s great to be able to blow off some stream or stretch during the day. Likewise, the meeting spaces can come in handy for clients or even for some nonprofit work that I do. We’re in a good location, too, accessible to lunch spots, the post office or groceries after work, and we can hop on I-270 in five minutes and be anywhere.
All of this creates an atmosphere that increases my productivity and makes me feel good about going to work, which is a bonus, since I’ve been in the same business for a long time and have benefited from the positive change to invigorate my work.