Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.
  • NYC Tech Firm Embraces Remote Work in Brooklyn Apartment Building

    By Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Co-working from your apartment building could be part of the post-pandemic hybrid workplace.

    Remote work may be here to stay, but Metro Tech Services has put a new spin on it by operating out of a new co-working space in a Brooklyn apartment building.

    Tony Dopazo’s Williamsburg apartment building Level converted party rooms on the first and ninth floors to fully functioning work spaces with desks, computers and private conference rooms that are free for those who live there. Dopazo also pays about $80 a month for space on the balcony that offers picturesque views of the city and meets the technology standards of a growing New York tech company.

    “Signing that long-term lease, the huge capital outlay to design and build out your office space, I think, that people are thinking long and hard about that now,” Dopazo said on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank.

    He calls co-working in apartment buildings a “piece of the puzzle” for hybrid work that will enable companies to minimize the risk of signing long-term contracts for corporate office spaces when it may not be necessary anymore.

    “Other enterprises right now are really looking at that as a good model for them in the near-term,” Dopazo said.

    The Brooklyn tech owner told WCBS 880’s Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso that downsizing made sense for his firm to cut costs and he’s enjoying the flexibility, but he noted some workers are not well-equipped to work from home. He’s been getting calls from employers who hire Metro Tech Services to outfit their employees’ remote work spaces to avoid any disruption of their operations.

    “Everyone is moving to voiceover I.P. because it allows you to bring your handset to your home, plug it into your router, and make and receive phone calls from your regular handset,” said Dopazo.

    Metro Tech Services has about 90 clients across various industries.

    Embracing remote work has made Metro Tech and its clients more nimble, but in reducing managerial oversight, it has opened the door to allow talented workers to pursue new opportunities at the same time. Dopazo realized this after turning a couple workers into contractors. One moved to California and the other started his own business.

    “They’re now contractors for me so we maintain that relationship, but I’ll also say, projecting now that things are getting a little hectic, I do need to bring in full-time folks now so this is the next challenge,” he explained.
    “Unfortunately, they’re great, but I don’t see them as full-time. In other words, they’ve gotten spoiled and good for them. I think they’ve both done well.”

    Dopazo now discourages his workers from moving out of New York to work remotely.

    See the co-working space in Dopazo’s Williamsburg apartment building on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight video above.

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