With a newly renovated and beautifully decorated space, Railyard Offices is changing the way that work happens.

What do a published author, an attorney, and a software programmer have in common? They all work out of Railyard Offices, an 11,000-square foot coworking space just west of downtown Fargo.

Coworking spaces have experienced a surge in popularity since the early 2000s; from their origins in cities like New York and San Francisco, these communal, flexible office spaces have begun popping up in smaller communities across the country—including right here in our own backyard.

With the increased attention, coworking spaces (and the people who occupy them) have also taken on a few stereotypes. It is often assumed that coworking spaces are reserved for Millennials, typically in tech or creative fields, and that a coworking space is merely a stepping stone on their way to occupying a “real” office. 

Fargo developer, visionary, and architect Kevin Bartram had seen spaces like these while visiting cities across the United States. He was inspired by the creativity and community they fostered; but when he decided to transform an abandoned warehouse into Railyard Offices, he wanted to do things a bit differently. 

“It’s not just a temporary space for growing companies,” said Lori Bartram, General Manager of Railyard Offices and Kevin’s wife. “We want this to be a place that people of any age, in any field, would be proud to work out of and have represent their brand.”

Railyard Offices has created an environment that combines the comfort and flexibility of home with the amenities and professionalism of a traditional office—without all of the overhead. Membership at Railyard includes 24/7 access, free parking, utilities, office equipment, and bottomless coffee.

“So often, companies have to outfit their own space,” Lori said. “They have to come up with the furniture, the office equipment, and have multiple monthly bills, including wi-fi and utilities. Here, all of that’s included in their monthly membership fee.”

Railyard offers a variety of membership options, from daily punch cards to monthly rentals. One of Kevin and Lori’s priorities was creating a variety of spaces under one roof, where solo workers and organizations alike can work comfortably.

Private offices and dedicated desks are perfect for small businesses and independent contractors in need of a more permanent space. Communal spaces are a great resource for those who are working from home and want to recharge in a professional environment with a community of like-minded people.

“Innately, coworking is about bringing different people into one space,” Lori said. “It really does make for a healthier environment for everybody to network and collaborate.”

They also wanted to provide a variety of seating options to accommodate members’ changing needs throughout the day. Railyard Offices enlisted the help of their neighbor, InterOffice, to furnish the space. To ensure the comfort and productivity of all members, Workspace Expert Levi Hanson selected an assortment of ergonomic furniture and height-adjustable desks.

“When you’re just catching up on emails or phone calls, you can grab a cup of coffee and sit in a Stickley Odessa chair, which I think is the most comfortable chair on the market,” Hanson said. “If you travel a lot and need somewhere to touch down, there are OFS Heya booths where you can plug in and work all day. If you’re meeting with a group of people, you can sit at a high top table or reserve a conference room. There are so many different areas where you can work, making it inviting to a lot of different people.”

Because Railyard Offices is open to members of all ages and industries, it was essential for InterOffice to help create a space that everyone, from photographers to financial representatives, can be proud to show off to clients. 

“It’s not just eclectic tables and chairs thrown together, but it’s also not just a stuffy office with a bunch of the same furniture repeated over and over,” Hanson said. “It’s quality furniture in a quality community.” 

Upon first glance, the members of Railyard Offices may not appear to have anything in common; however, everyone who enters the space shares a sense of creativity and a desire for community. And now, they share an office where artists, attorneys, and authors alike can thrive.

“Our people obviously are willing to think outside the box,” Lori said. “So when they come in here, they’re sold.”