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Do you have a community? Who's in it?

As we increasingly live our lives through a virtual sphere, the notion of “community” has shifted. Are you closer to your neighbors, or to people on Facebook?

Do you interact more with family, or with an online community of people with shared interests?

Virtual relationships aren’t inherently lacking. In fact, the Internet in general—and social media in particular—have enabled people to reconnect or establish connections with people who would otherwise be too far away. And there’s something for everyone. Fascinated with 17th century Belgian poets? There’s a group for that online, surely.

The problem, however, comes when the internet offers your primary—or only—community.

What other communities do you have?
How about people in your neighborhood?
Do you have a neighbor whom you’d trust to watch your house?
How about one whom you’d trust to watch your children?

Do you meet up regularly with a book group? People from work? Other parents at your kids’ school? People from your institution of faith?

Study after study confirms the importance of real, face-to-face, in-person interaction and community support. But what if you don’t have a strong community? Perhaps you’re retired or your co-workers or neighbors are private (or unpleasant). Perhaps your family lives far away.

If you don’t have a built-in community around you now, it’s never too late to find one. And community comes in many variations. We’ve made a conscious effort to cultivate community at Commonwealth Properties. We set the stage, but the people who enjoy our properties are the ones who bring community to life. With happy hours, member nights, clubs, classes, and space for grand parties and intimate gatherings, your new community is waiting.

Achieving your New Year’s Resolutions

The statistics on New Year’s resolutions are dire. We start out the year with great expectations, but the majority of us have abandoned our best-laid plans by mid-February.

Are we really all that unmotivated?

Or are we simply making it too hard on ourselves?

It’s important to put ourselves in environments that facilitate our resolutions. Make it convenient. Make it pleasant. Make it easy.

It helps to make our resolutions concrete and actionable.

A few ideas to get you started:

Instead of simply saying: “I want to work out more,” join a fitness facility that you enjoy spending time in. Hire a personal trainer and schedule regular appointments.

Instead of saying: “I want to spend less time behind a screen and re-ignite personal relationships,” get out of your routine and start scheduling plans to meet up in person.

Instead of saying: “I want to learn more,” join a club or a class that aligns with your interests.

Resolutions don’t have to be earth-shattering. Small adjustments add up. What will you change this year?

The Balance of Office Space

Increasingly, business isn’t conducted within formal office environments on a traditional 8-5 schedule. Perhaps part of your team telecommutes. Perhaps your company supports flexible work schedules. Perhaps your company relies on a lot of contractors and specialists who come and go as needed.

More and more business leaders are discovering that it doesn’t make sense to hold on to a large, exclusive office space, let alone a standalone building.

Perhaps you’re an independent specialist who tries to work from home—or whatever coffee shop is most likely to keep noise levels to a dull roar.

Are you ready to rethink?

If you’re a business leader who’s spending too much on a large office space that doesn’t make sense anymore, you don’t have to abandon the office environment entirely and send everyone home. You have options.

And if you’re an independent professional who needs a better place to conduct business, you have options, too.

Spending focused time together, in person, is still important. Why not choose something flexible, that’s more formal (and less distracting) than your living room, quieter and more professional than the neighborhood coffee shop, but without the commitment and overhead of a traditional office building?

The University Club and Saint Paul Athletic Club can accommodate everything from an informal coffee meeting (without the hubbub of a crowded coffee shop) to a formal meeting complete with A/V and catering.

Impress your clients. Bring your team together for some focused, collaborative time as often as you need to. And if you do still need dedicated office space, Commonwealth Properties has options in a wide range of sizes.

Let’s meet to talk about it. We know a good place.