Have you noticed that more and more co-working spaces are popping up all over cities lately? If you're wondering what I'm talking about, I mean those big buildings with "WeWork" or "CrossCampus" or "BlankSpaces" plastered on the sides. You may have heard of them from your tech-y friend or your colleague who works from home. They're revolutionizing the freelance and "work-from-home" culture, because now these people have a common area to stay focused and productive, and even hold meetings of their own. And by "these people", I mean me, too.
As a freelance speaker/actor/producer/etc, I am constantly looking to get out of the house and find a productive, quiet place to work (with good WiFi) (and free parking) (and accessible outlets for charging). Nahhhh, I'm not picky at all. But really, these are basic necessities that people in offices take for granted. Sometimes the Wifi at my apartment is terrible (most of the time), sometimes cafe's get overloaded and can't load your basic Google page (every day), sometimes your computer dies super fast and there's only one outlet in the whole room (cue Chariots of Fire theme song). These are struggles my fellow freelancers will understand all too well. Finding a solid place to get your work done every day is much harder than you may think.
But NOW. Now is a great time to be alive. Because someone genius (obviously) came up with the idea of a CO-WORKING space, filled with everything anyone would have in a typical office, but not taken over by one single company. Finally, a place that understands the freelance life, or even just the company that is too afraid of commitment to rent out an entire office for themselves.
As I write this post, I am currently in one: Village Workspaces (www.villageworkspaces.com) on the westside of LA. It is wonderful. It gives the impression of luxury, yet is still super casual. They give you everything from espresso to coffee to snacks to beer on tap (yes you read that right) to comfy couches for sleeping. They even have cute comfy telephone booths for those of us who want to take a phone call in private. Not to mention AH-MAZING views of the city all over the place and only window-walls for more inclusivity. And no, they did not pay me to write this (but I'm not opposed...)
It's fabulous to have a nice, comfortable, friendly, well-connected, light, outlet-friendly place to work each day. And I'm not saying I work here every day because I'm not currently lucky enough to afford to be a full-time member but HEY, dreams (can) come true right??? I'll keep hoping. And it's funny, because, as I'm sure you might have guessed, I would say 90% of the clientele here are Millennials. BIG SURPRISE, I KNOW. This is the office space we like. This is something we can get behind. An open layout, flexible desks, lots of windows, snacks, beer (hehe)...who wouldn't want to come to work each day?! I can tell you, I am excited to be back here. And hey, maybe I'll even meet someone from SoundCloud (yes they are based here) or Vox Media (also have an office here) and build my network (another perk- network building every day!).
So next time you hear about co-working spaces...don't just zone out. They are amazing for freelancers and non-freelancers alike. Bring your startup company here for a less-committal, fully-furnished, fun office space, or let your employees who "work from home" use this as their productive workspace. Trust me, they'll be thankful...and I bet you they will work harder and be more efficient for you. Give it a try.
And yes, the WiFi (and cell reception) is fantastic.