Only a few years ago, shared working spaces were relegated to start-ups, freelancers and entrepreneurs. Now, as remote working becomes more and more the norm for so many, escape from the isolation of home offices and the impracticality of café-surfing is more important than ever. That’s where Fueled Collective comes in. Fueled Collective was created in the Twin Cities in 2009 as a shared workspace with a focus on flexibility and community. I sat down with President and COO Colleen Moselle and Director of Marketing Tom Clemens to get a better idea of just what Fueled Collective is and does.
Fueled Collective is an event venue, meeting space, and shared workspace that caters to workers from solo entrepreneurs and freelancers all the way to rental offices for entire businesses. “We have coworking space where all levels of membership can work together, and then we have dedicated desk and open-air offices, and private offices,” says Colleen. Fueled Collective has two locations, one in downtown Minneapolis and the other in Northeast Minneapolis. Each location is available to all members and offers similar shared working spaces from open floors and dedicated desks to team access and private offices. But unlike the glass walls and harsh lights of other shared workspaces, Fueled Collective strives for “a warm environment that feels like an extension of home, so the finishes are more like leather and velvet and warm wallpaper than glass walls.” Says Colleen.
What sets Fueled Collective apart from many other shared working spacers, however, is their focus on culture. Each month Fueled Collective selects a theme and provides programming based on that theme. “We try to pick things that coincide with the month as well that are topics that are interesting to people.” Colleen cites ‘Independence’ and ‘Work/Life Balance' as recent themes. “We try to mix it between individual or company professional-type development events and fun things that support and bring awareness around it.” Those events can range from improving LinkedIn profiles to bringing in cellists to play. A perennial programming winner, however, is food: “If it’s food, people always love that,” says Colleen.
Along with programming, Fueled Collective makes a concerted effort toward building community. A key part of that community building is, “integrating social events, happy hours, and recognizing that there is more to a workspace and a work environment than just work.” Says Colleen. From Tom’s experience of both working as a member and later as Director of Marketing, “What’s also remarkable to me as a community member is the way people from separate companies and communities come together to support each other.” That accountability and support is a key aspect of working life that is missing from fully remote work: “They don’t have the day-to-day interaction of colleagues in the hallway or the cafeteria.” Says Tom. Fueled Collective works to fill that gap.
During the pandemic, Fueled Collective, “rode the waves with everyone else, but we didn’t really pivot our model.” Says Colleen. The major change that occurred during that time was the increased normalization of remote working. The base clientele that primarily worked remotely has shifted from solely start-up employees and freelancers. “It is just not like that anymore,” says Tom. Despite the fact that this trend has been growing for decades, Covid forced companies to change their model overnight. Since 2020, more and more companies became attracted to the flexibility and lower cost per square foot of shared working spaces: “It is a really interesting mix of small to mid-sized businesses that utilize this space to supplement what they cannot deliver in a hybrid work environment,” says Tom. Additionally, the full service of Fueled Collective offices is a draw: “You don’t have to worry about servicing the office because we clean it, we provide coffee, that kind of thing,” says Colleen.
The renewed wave of remote working leaves Tom with a big question: “One of the things that I wonder often is for people who are working from home predominantly, how do they assess they are thriving in that environment. And do they understand what options they have outside of their current environment?” Many find working remotely a respite from commuting or the inflexibility of an office, but the isolation and work/life balance can quickly become serious issues. Fueled Collective offers a third path to, “supplement whatever it is that’s missing from their work.” Says Tom. So, whether that’s an escape from your home office or even simply a community to work in, Fueled Collective is here to offer balance.
To learn more about Fueled Collective, visit fueledcollectivemn.com or call (612) 800-8424. 400 S 4th St., Minneapolis or 1400 Van Buren St. NE, Minneapolis.