You’ve got a great job that lets you telecommute from home. You’re young and living with your parents on Long Island. Your hometown lacks nightlife, and you’re getting a little lonely from the lack of face-to-face interaction with people.
These circumstances inspired Tony Bacigalupo, who launched New Work City, a shared workspace, to get involved with the co-working movement. Before starting New Work City, Tony joined Jelly, a “working event” where anyone – designers, developers, freelancers – who wants to be around others while working can go. After Bacigalupo’s first experience with Jelly, he told me that he was hooked on co-working. He’s so hooked on it that he’s now a “champion for the cause,” hoping that New Work City can serve as a model for people who want to start co-working spaces.
What can co-working do for you? It can get you out of your house if you work from home. But, co-working is more than just finding a space to work; it’s about being part of a community of creative minds.
There are other advantages to using a co-working space. You may want to meet potential business partners in a professional atmosphere where you can have a private meeting or give a presentation. You may want to have your mail delivered to an address other than your own residence. Or you may just find that being around other creative and intelligent people inspires you.
An added plus of many co-working spaces is that they allow you sign up on a month-to-month basis – no leasing hassles.
If you live in city and want to find a co-working space, check out this list of spaces on Under30CEO.com. If you want to find out more about co-working, in general, check out deskmag and visit co-working spaces. Places like Indy Hall in Philadelphia and New Work City allow anyone to sign up for a day pass. This way you can find out what co-working is all about before you commit to paying a month’s fee.
While co-working hasn’t taken hold in the suburbs, my prediction is that it will happen eventually. In Princeton, you can go to Starbucks, Small World Coffee, or Princeton Public Library on any given weekday and find the spaces packed with people working on their laptops. (Often you can even spot me in Princeton Public Library or Small World transcribing an interview or writing emails.) And I’m sure that Princeton is not an anomaly.
Both coffee shops and libraries are great places to work out of the house. But they don’t offer the same consistency and community that co-working spaces have. At co-working spaces such as New Work City, the whole atmosphere is geared toward people who want to get something done – work, obviously. You’re also guaranteed a quiet place to work without having to worry that you’re taking up the space of paying customers. And while libraries have the quiet you might be looking for, they lack the buzz factor – that bit of excitement you feel when you walk around other creatives engaged in their work.
More, cafes and libraries are not places which have been established solely for independent workers. In other words, if you’re really looking to join a community where you can meet, collaborate with, and work among other independent workers, co-working spaces give you that opportunity. Cafes and libraries, not so much.
If you live in New Jersey and are interested in the co-working movement, check out the following places:
Launchpad Creatives, located in Woodbridge. They cater to small businesses and freelancers.
MissionFifty, located in Hoboken. They accommodate all independent workers.
Tigerlabs, located in Princeton, established for entrepreneurs and start-ups.
If you know of any co-working spaces in your area, share them in the comments section!