Connection to people I love has completely shaped my outlook on life and given me the most joy. Working from home, cafes and libraries is isolating for me. That’s why finding the right coworking space was so important that I visited over 10 spaces before choosing one.
Coworking seems like the missing ingredient in an entrepreneurial/freelance lifestyle because it allows me to see the same people every week and create relationships. I intend to receive feedback from these people and offer my expertise and guidance when asked. In addition, the structure that a coworking space offers is familiar and easy for me to integrate into my day-to-day.
Here’s a glimpse inside my evaluation process once I had narrowed my list three coworking spaces: DUMBO Startup Lab, The Yard and Brooklyn Creative League. I only considered places that had communal working spaces.
Size of space and office space availability
DUMBO Startup Lab: The space is large with a smaller section for community members and has beautiful views of DUMBO and the East River. All the assigned desks are taken and there are no additional office spaces.
The Yard: The common space includes many different spaces to work at, including comfy couches and two long tables. The Yard also has many private office spaces of varying sizes, which would allow my company to grow in place if needed.
Brooklyn Creative League: Coworking members reserve a desk online for the day they want to work and also have access to the large kitchen space. There are private offices of varying sizes as well for larger companies.
The Yard is the only space that has alternative locations, with three in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn. This is important because it offers me the flexibility to meet with people closer to where they are and to have more people with whom to connect.
Each location has great coffee available included in the monthly cost. The Yard has fancy tea available and Brooklyn Creative League has a keg for after-work hours. I appreciate that these spaces have high-quality coffee that supports local businesses.
Each of the spaces hold events for members, which is important for me because I want to collaborate and have a community feeling to my workspace. These events foster relationships based on mutual interests and exploration — a huge plus in terms of making my work relatable to more people.
I live closest to the G train, so The Yard is the most convenient for me in terms of public transportation. There are also protected bike lanes along most of the route there, which is quite a bonus. The Yard costs $225 a month for Monday to Friday access, Brooklyn Creative League costs $350 a month for 80 hours of access (not enough time for me and too expensive), and DUMBO Startup Lab is $249 per month for 24/7 access.
I ultimately chose The Yard because it is the easiest in terms of transportation to get to for me, the cost per month is reasonable, there are weekly events, it is spacious, and there is space for my company in which to grow, if needed. I have only spent a month there thus far and I hope that it is the right choice.
Knowledge is power!
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