Coworking Communities Are Disrupting (and Improving) the Way We Work

 WeWork lounge at the Wonder Bread Factory; Photo credit:  Daniel Lombardi

WeWork lounge at the Wonder Bread Factory; Photo credit: Daniel Lombardi

When I’m not working out of the Peer Insight office, I’m a coffee shop drifter. I’ve been working in this manner for over five years. I love it! Your local café can be Where Everybody Knows Your Name. My extroverted personality thrives in this environment: coffee grinding, baristas pulling shots, and getting a heart in my latte makes me feel all warm-and-fuzzy inside (I know, I know, they do it for everyone). But, it’s definitely not for everyone. And sometimes I sit next to someone who derails this atmosphere. You know who I’m talking about! Coworking has given me another office, and what’s more, access to a vibrant community. I’m falling in love all over again.

I admit, I’m late to the game—Brad Neuberg coined “coworking” in 2005—but I dove in headfirst and I’m hooked. A coworking space solves the issue many, if not all, freelancers and remote workers experience: isolation. It’s as much about the community as it is about the space. Members of a coworking environment have a connection well before they join. They need a break from the home office or café, and are desperately seeking a social atmosphere. A coworking space usually houses freelancers (i.e. creatives, writers), entrepreneurs, and growing startups. Don’t confuse these with accelerators or incubators. That will be the topic of a future blog post. 

Peer Insight’s office is setup similar to a coworking space. It’s an open-office environment, and instead of assigned desks, we use lockers. We live to collaborate, and strongly believe in a studio culture. This has made the transition to coworking spaces so easy for me. When I’m not in the office brainstorming with my teammates, DC’s coworking community fills in.

Over the past month, I’ve joined two different coworking communities: cove and WeWork. Why two? Remember: I was (and still am) a coffee shop drifter. Like many creatives, I need constant change. They also have different business models: cove uses an hourly model with tiered plans, and WeWork offers desks or private offices for a monthly fee. Both give me access to a different community. And both have improved my productivity. As my wife put it, “they’re bringing the fun, collaborative offices of Google to everyone.”

Have you joined a coworking community in your city? With over 700 in the United States alone, you’re bound to have one right down the street!

Message me: @danieldzn