Editor’s note: This is part one of a three-part series on coworking in New York City. A link to part two may be found at the conclusion of this section.
As freelancing and remote work grows in popularity, the U.S. is on pace to see a majority of U.S. workers freelancing by 2027, according to projections in the Freelancing in America Survey. Naturally, coworking and alternative workspaces have grown rapidly in popularity, providing alternatives to working from home. The reasons to consider coworking range from the networking opportunities and community perks, to health and productivity benefits.
In this three-part series, we’ll share some of the best alternatives to working from home in New York City, including traditional coworking spaces and alternative and atypical coworking environments in New York.
What is a coworking space?
Coworking is a type of work where workers, who are typically not members of the same organization, gather to work in a shared office space. Typically, a coworking space offers two arrangements. First, open seating or “hot desks” that are usually first-come, first-served and might feel more like seating in a library or university building than a traditional office. Second, dedicated office spaces which are private offices accommodating individuals or small teams. Some coworking spaces, like WeWork, are now offering larger spaces too, and global companies like Spotify, BlackRock and Dell have opted to have some of their employees work in these larger WeWork spaces.
The Global Coworking Unconference Conference (GCUC) recently released their 2018 Global Coworking Forecast, that predicted there would be more than 30,000 coworking spaces globally and at least 5 million members by 2020. These dizzying numbers represent growth of about 20% annually for both coworking members and spaces.
Compared to working from home, coworking offers the ability to separate work and personal life; and for many workers, leads to more productive workdays.
Traditional, large coworking networks
The coworking spaces most people might be familiar with are networks like WeWork, The Yard, Greendesk and others that offer large office spaces throughout the city (and in some cases, the world). As an alternative to working from home, any of these options provides the benefit of having a large community of coworkers that you will experience as a member. This can be a great benefit if you are looking to grow your business through networking and want to meet potential clients or collaborators at your coworking space.
The larger networks tend to be pricier than some alternatives to working from home, but offer many perks like 24/7 access, free mail and printing services, community discounts or even free beer on tap (at select WeWork locations). At a large coworking space in New York City, expect monthly rates of at least $350 for a hot desk, $600 for dedicated desk, and $800 for a private office depending on the location.
Boutique coworking spaces
As an alternative to some of the global coworking networks, smaller boutique coworking spaces are popping up throughout New York City that have the benefit of providing a more customized experience or having a specific focus on an industry or social mission. Rates will vary and finding the right boutique community for you can require some research and location scouting. We’ve already scoped out some of the best options in a variety of neighborhoods to save you some time on the KettleSpace blog.
To provide a few examples, Bitcoin Center in Nolita provides desk spaces for freelancers and startups working with cryptocurrency and only allows for payment in Bitcoin. Camp David offers luxury coworking in Industry City in South Brooklyn, providing members with recording studios, a full gym and a cafe and restaurant on site. Friends Work Here in Carroll Gardens only has 35 members and puts community and collaboration first for its creative members.
Restaurant coworking spaces
A new trend in New York City is restaurant coworking, which transforms some of New York City’s top, trendy restaurants into spaces for coworking during the day while they are idle. These large, often well-appointed and unique coworking spaces provide free coffee and tea, ample power outlets, fast dedicated wifi, and many other amenities.
Spaces like KettleSpace are significantly more affordable coworking options compared to other coworking spaces, with an unlimited monthly membership coming in at just $99 a month. Restaurant coworking can also give you free meeting space in New York City for working business lunches or casual get togethers with your team, partners or clients.
Continue to part two of this three-part series on coworking…