Oak Harbor welcomes collaborative workplace

The Collective is a coworking space that had its grand opening on March 1 in Oak Harbor.

Being a working parent of two young children, Dannah McCullough knows how hard it can be to stay focused and get work done from home, especially in a city where, as she found out, there is a “drought” of child care.

For some people, regardless of whether they have a child or not, working from home comes with plenty of distractions, or poor stimulation. While a coffee shop can provide some fuel for the mind and body, it does not guarantee a space where like-minded individuals can connect.

Wanting to provide a space where people could uplift one another and get productive without worrying about their children, McCullough created The Collective, a coworking space that had its grand opening on March 1 and is located at 31780 Highway 20, Suite 1A in Oak Harbor, next to Jumbo Burrito.

The Collective is open to anyone, from elementary school children who need to get homework done to adults in search of a place where they can work and get inspired.

“It’s going to be a space for everyone to really engage with one another,” McCullough said.

Though interacting with others is encouraged, introverts who simply wish to mind their own business and listen to music are also welcome to join. For some people, especially those dealing with executive dysfunction, simply sitting by someone who is working can significantly help with focus.

“Spaces like this are very attractive to people with a certain level of neurodivergence,” McCullough said.

The Collective offers a variety of spaces to get the creative juices flowing.

Guests have unlimited access to the large communal space, which offers tables of different sizes, a couch and comfortable chairs. If guests need a private and quieter place for in person meetings or video conferences, they can use the conference room, which also has a TV screen for presentations and white boards, or the smaller offices.

One of the rooms may be used by community members who need a studio to take photos or videos.

For those who wish to start a podcast, McCullough came up with the idea of a fully equipped podcast studio, which she expects will be available about a week after The Collective’s grand opening.

Memberships and services are purchased through an app named Optix, which also works as a social media platform where members can message each other and find like-minded individuals to work on projects together or seek advice from.

The unlimited membership offers unlimited access to the communal area, three hours in the private conference room or the podcast recording studio each month, up to 100 pages to print, access to the member network and VIP registration access for events. It’s a monthly commitment of $195 for six months, but there will be special rates for students and nonprofits, according to the website.

For $95 per month for six months, the hybrid membership offers four days of monthly access to different workstations, VIP registration access for events, access to the member network, priority booking and discounted rates for the conference room and the podcast studio.

Businesses and professionals that don’t need a workspace but want to stay connected with the community at The Collective can purchase a social membership for $30, which offers invitations and special prices for monthly networking events, priority access to reserve the conference rooms and the podcast studio and access to the member network.

Memberships come with a one-time registration fee of $75.

People can also purchase a day pass, or use a guest pass to bring a friend.

Through Optix, guests can buy snacks and drinks, while water and coffee are included in their membership. The Collective also allows bringing food from home.

For parents who need to get work done without distractions, the Collective offers on-site child care.

Being a member of Facebook groups for moms and military spouses on the island, McCullough noticed a prevalence of people in need of child care.

“It’s a major challenge, and I personally know the guilt that kind of lies with that,” she said. “You’re feeling like you’re not able to bring your best self to your work, or you’re not able to bring your best self to your children.”

For up to four hours every day, parents can bring children ages 0 to 5, who will be supervised in the on-site play room by two staff members. This service costs $10 an hour for a child and $7 for each additional child.

McCullough plans to bring a variety of events, including a LinkedIn workshop led by an expert, and is working on bringing a producer to help aspiring podcasters with no experience.

Part of her vision also includes a big focus on mental wellbeing. On Mindful Mondays, guests can take a moment to set their intentions for the week, practice some breathing exercises and find inspiration in provocative questions and quotes.

“I’m really, really excited for what this space is going to mean for our community, businesses, entrepreneurs and creatives,” McCullough said.

For more information, visit gatheringforgood.org.

People can also opt to work on the couch or chairs in a cozy corner of the Collective. (Photo by Luisa Loi)

People can also opt to work on the couch or chairs in a cozy corner of the Collective. (Photo by Luisa Loi)

McCullough grabs a snack from the pantry at the Collective. (Photo by Luisa Loi)

McCullough grabs a snack from the pantry at the Collective. (Photo by Luisa Loi)