Be kind, serve others, and do the right thing. That’s the filter Juri Miller uses to make all decisions; the one that guided her when she had to make changes at Balance RVA, a wellness-based co-working center, after COVID-19 hit.
Miller wanted members of the center to feel secure in knowing she was making decisions in a safe and health-conscious way. When the pandemic started, she gave clients the opportunity to renegotiate or cancel their Balance RVA contracts and that “has shown them we will work with them,” she says.
Other changes include requesting that members and guests wear masks in common areas, cutting capacity by half, and adjusting workspaces to be six feet apart.
“We offer free one-time use masks for guests and we provide free, reusable masks on lanyards for members,” Miller says. “We also have medical-grade air filtration systems in all common areas and clear cough and sneeze guards in all conference rooms and individual workspaces. We have taken a lot of extra steps to make sure we are COVID-19 compliant and then some.”
And while some companies have seen clientele decline during the pandemic, business has increased at the center. “We have never been busier. I have had to turn down some memberships, because I don’t want to overwhelm the facility and create extra risks,” Miller says. “I want clients to feel safe and that they can count on that as they walk through the door.”
Figuring Out What Works for Working Families
A mom and entrepreneur, Miller opened Balance RVA in June 2019 after working in corporate America for twenty years. The center is tailored toward working parents.
“Working parents rarely take care of themselves,” she says. “The concept [of Balance RVA] is to bring all the wellness resources parents need into the same place. This is for anybody who believes in self-care. The population that benefits the most is the parent population.”
The center offers everything from private offices and shared co-working desk areas to fitness and meditation rooms. Other perks include a member massage day and wellness seminars.
“We tried to think about what everyone needs to be the best versions of themselves; take care of yourself and everything else you need to do,” Miller says. “We also have onsite childcare.”
Members can also receive discounted services from a variety of doctors, wellness coaches, dieticians, and other resources.
A Model that Works for Parents and Kids
Looking toward the fall, Miller has created four classrooms to serve virtual learning. “Parents can work while their kids are working on schoolwork down the hall,” she says.
Miller’s own blended family includes five children, two of whom are her biological children. Ages of the five range from nine to thirty. Her kids have been involved in the center since it opened. “They like to do jobs to help out,” she says.
By opening Balance RVA, she hopes to show her kids that “you can do what you are passionate about and help other people and still make a living,” she says. “I want my kids to grow up knowing they have the ability to do whatever they want to do and be able to help others with less fortunate situations. Helping the community is far more valuable than any paycheck I have drawn.”
She wants to teach her kids that life isn’t “all about the money,” she says. “We live in a materialistic, monetary society, and I want to raise my kids to be more conscientious. The focus should be on helping other people.”
Learn more about Balance RVA here.