We have the ongoing pleasure of working on the third floor of the Russell Block. Every day, we crank out tasks in our quirky, historic office that is perched above one of Muskegon’s most popular watering holes: Unruly Brewing.
The obvious benefits are… Obvious. They sell beer.
But that’s not the only thing that makes this such a fantastic place to work. It’s a whole lot more than IPA and pizza (though those things certainly help), and the longer we call this building home, the more we seem to get out of it. So, in true blog form, let’s make a list!
1. A Sense of Community
The people that work at Unruly (and all the other businesses here) are my acquaintances, and some of them have become true friends. Just by proximity, by passing each other on the way in and out of the building, we’ve gotten to know one another. Because most of the companies – and thereby, the people that work for them – are cool, forward thinking, and friendly… We just all get along!
This helps the LongerDays team feel even larger, and less isolated up here among our headphones and monitor fortresses. More so, it makes the whole place that much more comfortable to be around, whether it’s during working hours or not. It’s a place to hang for a bit after work. You build connections with people whose breaks line up with yours…
The whole thing feels like a hub of interesting, kindhearted people who show up to Russell Block to earn a living day in and day out.
2. The Taproom Network
You never know who you might run into at a bustling brewery. Whether it’s after hours, or during a meeting (where we typically hang out on the couches in Unruly), people are always coming and going. It’s not uncommon for local entrepreneurs, city leaders, traveling business people, and all kinds of movers and shakers to stop in for a drink or use the space for strategizing.
There’s a combined atmosphere of fun and work, and that’s just how we like it.
Simply by spending time in the taproom, we have the potential to connect with prospective clients, business mentors, would-be joint venture partners, and so much more. Our current SIMPLE IRA program stems, at least in part, from conversation had with a financial advisor located in the neighboring building – who also frequents the Unruly taproom for meetings or socializing.
The random encounters, off the cuff conversations, and casual introductions that happen in a place like this can go an awful lot farther than expected. We all know how important our personal and professional networks are, and this place is practically an incubator.
3. Local Economics
This extends beyond Unruly, and into all of the other wonderful businesses here in downtown Muskegon. LongerDays has clients from around the world, and the dollars they pay us for our services translate directly into our wages…
Those wages pay our rent and bills, of course, but a decent chunk goes toward food, entertainment, and yes, beer.
Because Unruly is “home turf” for so many of us, that we means we spend our money right here in the building! A slice for lunch here, a pint there, a coffee from across the street, a dinner date at the restaurant/distillery at the end of the block… All of that money is being funneled DIRECTLY into our quickly growing local economy – especially the blossoming downtown.
Now… Our team has to be a bit careful. The tasty beer, smoothies, snacks, salads, lattes, sandwiches, tacos, cocktails, sweet treats, and more – all available within walking distance of our office, sometimes without even going outside – are pretty dangerous to the ol’ pocketbook. If we indulged all the time, we’d all be broke! Still, it’s wonderful to have all of these options at our fingertips, and even cooler that when we spend our hard-earned cash, the money goes right back into Muskegon.
These aren’t chain restaurants of big corporate interests. We know the people that run these businesses, and we’re proud to support them. In turn, they help make our downtown the vibrant place it has become – and that makes working for LongerDays that much cooler!
I don’t necessarily want to encourage drinking… But there’s something pretty special about sharing this building with Unruly Brewing. In fact, I think I’ll celebrate our special relationship with a Revel Rouser as soon as I’m done for the day!
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