Ferndale's Folio provides workplace for those toiling remotely who don't want to be at home

During Covid lockdown working from home, some went from convenience and fun to frustration and too much isolation.

"Separating home life and work life is key. not everyone can have their cat or dog running all over the place. their kids screaming," said Dan Stakhiv.

It just so happened that Stakhiv, an architect, was in the middle of transforming Ferndale's Old White Heather Club on Vester into a solution for remote workers.

"I looked past all the mold the bad the leaks in the roof, I looked past all that and see corn shell what we can do with this place," he said.

He turned it into Folio. a contemporary co-working space with conference rooms, an open kitchen, and 23 offices. you can purchase a membership for a one-person space or an office that fits up to eight.

"It helps prevent - what do I call it - slipping into slackerville," quipped Tracey Zambeck.

Zambeck, who works remotely for Michigan State University, says her booth at Folio offers a great balance.  

"People say, ‘You are so lucky,’ I say no I always want to put in a little laundry (or be tempted by) the distractions," she said. "Here, it gets done.

If you get a membership, you work here in the open in a booth. But you are like Zambeck and you need a little privacy and you need to make a phone call or Zoom call - you can hop inside a phone booth they call it. It's soundproof and it's quiet so no one can hear you.

"I think co-working is still new for people," said Stakhiv. "We are a member-based office with no long-term commitments. If you join long-term commitment, you can get a better discount.  People are still (asking) ‘What is this? Is this a coffee shop?’ Well, we have coffee, we have snacks, and all the amenities. It's just a little drop zone where you can get out of the house."

Dan, who has another location in Berkley, says Folio memberships range from $200 a month to $3,000. 

For those who are suffering from Covid fatigue., a clean, functional and welcoming workspace steps from downtown is priceless.

"We want people to feel inspired," he said.