Has the co-working craze hit your city yet? It’s definitely become a mainstay of the DC Metropolitan Area. Although the concept began back in 2006 with CitizenSpace, it’s definitely entering it’s glory days now. As commutes get crazier and company budgets get cut, the idea of sharing a workspace with other entrepreneurs and one-(wo)man shows is becoming increasingly attractive. So what exactly is co-working anyway?
According to Wikipedia, co-working is defined as:
Coworking is a style of work which involves a shared working environment, sometimes an office, yet independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values,and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.
The more I talk to fellow professional mom bloggers and hear about their challenging work-from-home environments, the more I think that our communities should explore the benefits of co-working spaces. First off, some of the ones I’ve heard of are just plain rad:
Independents Hall (Philadelphia, PA). Perks: Xbox360 (for when you need a, ahem, break), La-z Boy chairs and a library.
Strongbox West (Atlanta, GA). Perks: Free coffee and Sirius Satellite Radio.
Affinity Lab (Washington, DC). Perks: “Mandatory” Happy Hours (!) and cultural events.
And then there’s the benefit of keeping overhead low by avoiding the costs associated with renting and furnishing an office, and working next to other entrepreneurs which can foster creativity and combat isolation. Some co-working spaces rent for as little as $5/day. And some are even FREE! On the higher end, I’ve seen up to $35/day for fancier setups. Spaces usually include services like: wifi (obviously), mail services, fax, reception, presentation equipment, printer/copier, conference rooms, and some even provide free coffee and bagels. Sounding better than your cluttered couch?
Ooooo, I can see it now: a national chain of co-working spaces just for professional mom bloggers to work, meet and collaborate. The world might not be ready.