(Photo by James Cullum)
“You’ll see a startup person sitting next to a professional consultant sitting next to a small business owner sitting next to a graduate student,” cofounder Adam Segal told Technical.ly DC from the new 5,000 square foot office. “We’ve got people who are coming in from all over the city. Members can use any cove.”
— cove (@coveDC) November 9, 2017
The number of telecommuters jumped 115 percent between 2005 and 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Four million American workers, or roughly three percent of the workforce, now work out of the office at least half the time.
Freelance writer Emily Esfahani Smith started working at cove before the publication of her book, “The Power Of Meaning”, where she found that people who lead meaningful lives have four things: Belonging, purpose, transcendence [connecting with something outside of yourself] and storytelling. And by working at cove, she and her coworking buddies have found those four pillars.
“I like that I can leave my stuff here and go out to lunch,” Esfahani Smith said. “It was getting depressing being at home, not getting out of the house. I can work at home at the beginning of the day, but by the afternoon I get distracted.”
Segal, 38, was attending Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government when he met Jeremy Scott, 30, a Canadian citizen who was working toward his doctorate in computer science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Segal pitched the idea to Scott in 2012, and two years later, the pair opened their first Cove in Dupont Circle in 2014. That location has since closed, but others have cropped up all around the city, along with one location in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The team has raised $6.5 million in outside funds to date, and plan an aggressive expansion after next year.
“Adam and I were working on a couple of ideas, totally unrelated things, but Adam has worked in corporate situations, seeing the volume of people sitting at small tables without good power or wifi on their laptops in coffee shops and not having a good place to be productive,” Scott said. “Everything about cove has evolved over the last four years. Everything from the size and placement of our spaces, membership, model, pricing. We’re getting better at it.”
Working at Cove can cost $89-$249 monthly, and amenities include meeting rooms, quiet spaces, call boxes, mail service, free snacks and drinks in the kitchen, lockers and unlimited printing and scanning. The hours are 8 a.m.- midnight.
Still can’t find one close enough? Segal and Scott predict there will be 6-10 additional locations in the District over the next year.