There’s No Shortage Of Shared Office Options. Here Are Some Of The Most Popular.
Not long ago, working from home was the new American dream. A ten-second commute from your bedroom to your home office. Kicking back with your laptop in your PJs. Seriously, what’s not to love?
Well, the haunting feelings of isolation, for one. The excessive time spent talking to your cat maybe. And don’t forget the wordless judgment of delivery people.
Fact is, home is no longer where the heart is for the professionally mobile. For more and more freelancers, small business owners and members of the gig economy, setting up shop at a coworking space has become a happy medium between the loneliness of home, the chaos of a coffee shop and the stresses of a corporate office. And the numbers prove it.
There are now 14,411 coworking spaces across the globe, according to stats compiled by AllWork, an on-demand workforce management platform. That number is expected to rise to 3.8 million by 2020 and to 5.1 million by 2022. It’s estimated that the U.S. will have over 1 million coworking members by 2022, with 40 percent being freelancers or contractors.
But with so many coworking spaces to choose from, which ones are actually killing it? From perks to tech support to seminars—and, yes, those ping pong tables—here are some that might fit your ever-flexible lifestyle.
These days you can’t swing a WiFi password without hitting a WeWork location. Launched in New York’s tony SoHo neighborhood back in 2010, WeWork has since expanded to over 10 million square feet of office space, nabbing a valuation of $47 billion along the way. With 583 offices spread across 100 cities all over the globe (though that number probably just went up today), the company is built for everyone from work-from-homers to entrepreneurs to small startups. Membership costs depend on what you’re looking for—and where you live. For example, searching in L.A. will find you a hot desk in Hollywood that will set you back $450 per month or a one-seat private office starting at $800 per month. In Chicago, the WeWork near Greektown will cost you $350 for a come-and-go hot desk and $790 per month for a one-seat private office. For a whole lot of laptop-lugging professionals, the price is obviously worth it. Becoming a WeWork member means you can take part in social events, professional workshops—even health care discounts. With hotel-level amenities and aesthetics, they have a variety of options to get you started, including membership plans that can extend to other WeWork locations if you travel.
Serendipity Labs doesn’t have quite as robust a national or international network of offices as other coworking spaces, but they’re growing fast. Currently, you can find them in 18 states with 32 locations (and another 125 spots in development), with each location offering flexible options that meet you where you’re at professionally. So if you only need part-time space, they’ve got you. One coworking visit per month starts at $49 and goes up to 10 visits at $299 per month. Prefer unlimited coworking access? Shell out $499 per month, and you’ve got it. Want a private office full-time? They can do that too, at $1,500 per month. And night owls can benefit from optional 24/7 access. Not only do they have stylishly slick offices—a great perk if you’re holding on-site client meetings and need to have a particular image—but they also have a Hospitality Team on-hand to help you plan larger meetings and events.
Another rising star in the communal workplace game, Hera Hub launched as a coworking space and business accelerator for women in San Diego back in 2011, and has since expanded to six locations—branching out into Arizona and even Sweden. There are another three on the way, including spots in Washington D.C. and Atlanta. They’ve received tons of love from press outlets like Inc, the BBC, Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine and the New York Times, and it’s not hard to see why. HeraHub prides itself on being more than just a coworking space for women entrepreneurs, with programs designed to help members thrive and make business contacts in disciplines like marketing, business structure and financial support. In fact, Hera Hub has a goal to support over 20,000 women in the launch and growth of their businesses by 2020. Before you commit to becoming a member, Hera Hub encourages a two-hour test period to make sure you’re in love with the space. After that, rates range from $129 to $369 per month, depending on your chosen city.
There are several smaller coworking franchises hot on WeWork’s heels, including the engagement-oriented Impact Hub. Initially launched in Austria back in 2005, Impact Hub is now available in 92 locations and counting (plus more in the pipeline ready to launch). Their community is made up of 16,000 members across 81 cities in more than 50 countries across five continents, with a special focus on building entrepreneurial communities dedicated to solving the world’s biggest problems. Not only do they offer ample workspace, but community members in startup mode get special support, including programs like the Impact Hub Fellowship, a yearlong incubation program that gives budding entrepreneurs face time with key mentors in their industry. While they don’t offer public pricing information (and didn’t respond to an email), they do state that all members benefit from specialized programs and events designed to foster socially minded innovation. So if you’re on a mission to change the world while you work, this might be the place for you.
Way before coworking was even a thing, there were rentable corporate offices—and Regus was the granddaddy of the game. Launched back in 1989 in Belgium, Regus now sports 3,000 locations in 120 countries. And what they might lack in techie amenities like ping pong tables and craft beer nights, they make up for with a global network of support and long-term stability. With flexible terms that work with your budget, you can commit as much or as little as you like: pay as you go or sign on for a long-term contracted space. Business lounge access starts at $93 per month, co-working spaces kick off at $112 per month, and private office space begins at $207 per month. And don’t worry if your aspirations grow to encompass other employees; Regus will expand to meet your needs, and go above and beyond the call of duty with options like Workplace Recovery for professionals whose business may be impacted by some manner of disaster. Plus, Regus gives you international access to their business offices around the world, and the opportunity to have a virtual office that you can manage from an app, with a “professional address” and receptionist and that can give clients the illusion that you’re running your own multi-national conglomerate.
Sorry, y’all—this one’s just for Los Angelenos. Still, Blank Spaces is quickly establishing itself as a player in the coworking world on the West Coast. Launched in 2008, Blank Spaces has expanded from its initial Santa Monica location to three others in Culver City, Pasadena, and Larchmont Village, with another set to open in Long Beach soon. Blank Spaces also sees itself as more than a coworking space, calling on its community members—made up of freelancers and entrepreneurs—to collaborate in its slick but relaxed work spaces. Each location has its own special calendar of events, ranging from writing workshops to product management seminars, and everything in between. Membership options range from a virtual office option starting at $90 per month, to a dedicated desk starting at $350 per month—and you can rent meeting spaces for $35 per hour. The communal WorkBar is a great place to get things done without the unprofessional annoyances that go along with working in a coffee shop. Not sure you want to make a commitment up front? Try a two-day trial pass to get your feet wet, or opt for walk-in rates and pay as you go.