Our mission is to bring out the best in our members.
We do this by caring about each other,
maintaining a healthy work environment,
and providing opportunities to learn and share.
We are a community of doers. We respect and value each other by engaging in conversation, celebration, and discourse. We are quick to lend a helping hand. We are actively making our community, city, and world a better place. We care about our work environment and are considerate of each other’s needs. Most importantly, we are here because we want to be. We show up every day for ourselves and for each other. We are Groundwork!
Here are some of the ways we do this on a daily basis:
- We are aware of volume control. While calls and conversations are entirely appropriate, we are conscious of speaking too loudly or listening without headphones.
- We clean up after ourselves. This includes the kitchen, conference rooms, and shared work areas.
- We hold space for all viewpoints. We respect the opinions of others and listen attentively. We don’t use offensive or hateful speech.
- We share resources. We reserve conference rooms and cancel un-needed reservations. We are conscious not to run over time.
- We respect personal space. Headphones are the universal “office door.” We don’t interrupt people who are working.
- We are open and welcoming. We go out of our way to welcome new members, participate in events, and bring suggestions and ideas to the table.
The Groundwork Story
Groundwork was founded in 2014 by myself (Sarah Athanas) and Dena Haden. At that time I had returned to live in Massachusetts after spending a few years in South America. Specifically, I spent a year in the Patagonia region of Chile as a volunteer English teacher. Later I returned south to direct a web and marketing team and ended up spending three years in Buenos Aires.
While living in South America, particularly in the large and crowded city of Buenos Aires, I became accustomed to living in close proximity with strangers. I found people there to have less personal boundaries, which was alarming at first but soon became the new normal and something I learned to enjoy.
I returned to the United States as a marketing freelancer working from home and quickly felt depressed from loneliness and isolation. I realized that we have so much personal space in our country that we have forgotten how to relate to each other. Add our increased daily screen time and the polarizing effects of social media, and you have a serious loneliness epidemic.
Groundwork is an effort to counteract that loneliness by encouraging face to face interaction. I believe that we as a people are happier, more empathetic, and more productive when we work alongside others. It has been a challenging and rewarding journey to start a coworking space here in New Bedford, a re-emerging city with a lot of heart and great potential. I am grateful for the Groundwork community and everyone who has helped us along the way.
I hope you will come visit us sometime soon. If you don't live locally, go find a community in your city or town that makes you happy!
Sarah Athanas, co-founder
Sarah founded Groundwork in 2014 after living and working in South America for several years. She settled in New Bedford for its cultural diversity, beautiful old houses, and welcoming people. She loves running Groundwork because she gets to meet intelligent and hardworking people every day.
Lynette Ayala, Administrative Assistant
Lynette was born and raised in New Bedford. She joins Groundwork after a career in patient care that taught her to be compassionate and nonjudgemental. She loves our multi-cultural community and its local art and talent. She appreciates the people who make a difference every day for our city.
See for yourself
Schedule a 15-minute tour to check out our space and get your questions answered. Stay for a trial day after your tour.
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