No More Coffeehouses!
Collaborative work spaces let you get more done, while saving the planet
Let’s face it, working among other like-minded folks is more inspiring than working alone at home, at a café, at your local library, or anywhere else devoid of people.
Aside from helping to negate the loneliness (and proximity to the snacks and unfinished laundry) working in a collaborative space can be just that… collaborative!
Your typical co-working space is home to all different types of freelancers in sundry related – or unrelated – fields, all of whom are generally happy to be a sounding board, give a quick once over on your proposal, or lend advice, which often leads to future collaborations on projects, because the “networking” is natural and on-going, thus building relationships.
As a Millenial, “Thirty Something”, GenXer, or Baby Boomer, every cohort group needs some level of work-life balance. By doing your “work” in a shared space, you’re not just getting the additional thought space and focus you need, you are keeping work life and personal life separated from each other.
At the very least, you’re not in your PJ’s while you write that proposal or take that Skype call (throwing them off with the scarf only works so many times!), but at the top of this spectrum, you are operating from a stronger place by situating yourself in a distraction-free environment surrounded by entrepreneurial-type folk, who are also getting things done.
By creating an efficient work schedule, good routines are solidified and your work day runs smooth so you can spend that extra time with the kids, your spouse, the dog, or take that needed run or yoga class, because you are no longer heading back to the Home Office after dinner.
Save Money and the Planet
In addition to separating home and work and minimizing distractions, working from a shared space is also about saving money and saving the planet.
When you use a coworking space instead of your home, not only can you write the entire cost off at tax time (unlike a portion of your home office), but you are not turning on the AC for the whole day just for you, making a whole pot of coffee, using up your toner, or in some cases, renting an office with overhead like insurance, utilities, and furniture and furnishings.
Coworking spaces offer flexible plans that typically run from $35-$300 from once a month to unlimited M-F, 9-5:30 desk time with options for 24/7 access. By being in a collective space that shares amenities, aside from never running out of toner, you are helping to reduce the impact you have on the planet by reducing waste and pooling resources.
Professional Business Address
Most coworking spaces offer flexible cost effective plans with no contracts designed to make it simple to join and become part of a family of other local professionals.
For someone just needing a professional business address and access to a conference room, there are a variety of virtual plans that can be offered, which include some additional services.
If you have wanted to try coworking, but are still hesitant to “sign on”, W@tercooler in Tarrytown gives you the chance to Try it for the Day. Laptop and ideas required, they’ve got the rest covered! You can even bring your well-behaved dog.
Their plans start as low as $35 per month for one desk day per month, and go up to $300 per month for unlimited desk time during business hours (M-F, 9-5:30). W@tercooler also has full time dedicated desks for $475-$550 per month in which the member has 24/7 access, a locking file cabinet and use of their professional address to receive mail.
The Virtual Plans start at $35 per month which entitles the member to mail delivery, light printing and faxing, discounted conference room rates, and mail forwarding for an additional $10 plus postage. All plans are detailed on their website, with links for registration.
JENIFER ROSS is a co-owner and founder of W@tercooler, a collaborative shared work space located in the heart of Tarrytown, New York. Plans range from $35-$475/mo with part-time and full-time options as well as access to conference room and event space rental as a member or non-member. Member perks include Wifi, light printing faxing and scanning, access to a shared kitchen with snacks and locally roasted coffee, a free intern and of course, community. W@tercooler also offers Virtual Services if you just need an address!
Photo Credit: Margaret Fox