UO alumnus to open a new shared workspace in Portland

University of Oregon alumnus and entrepreneur Oliver Alexander is about to open another new business aimed at an underserved population: a remote working space for students, professionals and business owners.

Remote.ly, which opens its first co-working space in mid-February, aims to provide an affordable and comfortable working office space in Portland at daily and monthly rates.

Alexander got the idea to open the startup after struggling to find functional and professional working space as a young entrepreneur starting Orchid Health, which brings affordable health care to rural communities. After a particularly bad experience working in a coffee shop last year, Alexander began looking for a solution to uncomfortable coffee-shop work spaces, and the idea for Remote.ly was born.

According to Alexander, working remotely is becoming a far more popular option with the growing presence of technology in the workforce. This leaves people with three options: working from home, working in a coffee shop or making long-term and expensive commitments to co-working or private office spaces.

“The more I felt this problem while running my first company, the more it became really clear to me that there needs to be an intermediate solution between a $3 cup of coffee at a cramped coffee shop and a $300-a-month commitment to a co-working shop,” he said.

Alexander graduated from the UO in 2014 with a degree in business administration from the Lundquist College of Business.

Remote.ly offers day pass access to its workspace for just $15 a day for students and $20 a day for nonstudents. This price includes guaranteed seating, outlets at every seat, free in-house barista, fiber-optic Wi-Fi, free printing, bike parking and more. The company will also offer an app that allows customers to order from the in-house café.

Meeting rooms, a presentation room and mail service are available for an additional fee. Individual and group offices also can be rented by the month.

Customers can rent a space at the Remote.ly office Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to the amenities, the 8,500-square-foot space on North Mississippi Avenue will provide sweeping views of downtown Portland and house more than 700 live plants.

“Once you get past the learning phase of checking in and the visual appeal and actually get to work, people will feel much more productive than they’re used to because we take care of all the details that usually get in the way of prime productivity,” Alexander said.

The business has a guaranteed space policy, meaning that day passes will not be sold once capacity has been reached. Alexander encourages people to book online ahead of time at www.workinremote.ly when possible. To learn more about the Remote.ly work space, visit its website.

By Bryan Dorn, University Communications