Coworking spaces are a really cool option for a lot of workers that, for whatever reason, don’t really fit in to a traditional office space. These workers can be startup CEOs, telecommuters, small business owners, and especially creatives in search of collaboration.
With free coffee and Internet, workspaces, and built-in community, coworking spaces provide a great place to get things done without feeling the isolation of working at home, or trying to overcome the frenetic nature of working in a coffee shop. Some coworking spaces really take things a bit higher, going way beyond the desk and outlet. Here are 20 U.S. coworking communities that offer gorgeously designed spaces in historic buildings, community events, and even office mascots.
Check them out if you're nearby, and be sure to send your own recommendations for the coolest coworking space you've ever seen. (PS: We know there are awesome communities in the middle of the country, midwest represent!)
1. Link Coworking – Austin, TX
Austinites love Link so much, it’s “mind-bottling.” Located right near a noodle house, movie theater, and sports bar, Link is in a great spot to get work done and then find some relaxation. Members (and even non-members) can use the clean, professional space to work, conduct meetings, and even hold fun events in the off-hours. It’s clear that Link put a lot of thought into the design of their space, providing co-workers with excellent lighting, some of the best chairs on the market, and even views of inspirational green space. There’s even covered outdoor seating if you feel like heading outside to work.
Bonus! Read Link founder Liz Elam's story of why she started a coworking space.
2. HeraHub – San Diego, California
Combine a spa with a coworking space, and you’ll have something like San Diego’s HeraHub. This work space is exclusively for women, and it shows, with flowers, candles, soft-lighting, and even chair massages. For women who enjoy beer, this space is right across the street from Karl Strauss Brewing Company. The ladies of HeraHub love the “calming, professional atmosphere,” as well as the opportunity that the “office-spa-oasis” space provides to meet and be inspired by other female entrepreneurs.
3. 654 Work Cottage – Grand Rapids, Michigan
This super-cute Michigan cottage looks like a house from the outside, but on the inside, it’s a great place for co-workers to find their focus and get some work done. 654 really takes advantage of its homey feel, featuring a rotating gallery of work by local artists for visitors and coworkers to enjoy, and opening up work spaces including the porch, living room, phone booth, study, den and even the garage. Visits start as cheap as $10 for a half day.
4. theOffice – Santa Monica, California
theOffice is an amazingly inspiring space to work in Santa Monica, providing coworkers with a beautifully designed office full of calming elements: an indoor tree, muted colors, and soft lighting. Coworkers can even head outdoors for some fresh air in the garden office. While at theOffice, you can enjoy amenities including Aeron chairs, a reference library, Bose noise-canceling headphones, and even Hollywood creative directories. You might even enjoy a brush with fame in this space: J.J. Abrams and other notable entertainment industry professionals are among theOffice’s charter members.
5. Coffee & Power – San Francisco, California
If you enjoy the coffeehouse vibe, but hate the coffeehouse distractions, Coffee & Power in San Francisco is a great place to be a co-worker. At Coffee & Power, you’ll find a space that’s a lot like a professional cafe, with free coffee, power (a “zillion easily accessible power outlets”), and fast Wi-Fi. Coffee & Power is reportedly free to join, but members have to take on missions to help out others. Notable investors in this coworking space include Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman.
6. Paragraph – New York, New York
Designed as a work space for writers, Paragraph takes up a 2,500-square-foot loft space in New York City. A cross between a library and an office, Paragraph has both small cubicles for working and a spiral staircase leading up to a balcony full of bookcases. This comfy spot for writers of all types is open whenever inspiration strikes: 24/7/365. It’s a nice quiet and comfortable space that’s created specifically with writers in mind.
7. Icehouse – New Orleans, Louisiana
Originally a 1920s icehouse in New Orleans, this space boasts humongous headspace: a 30-foot ceiling complete with plenty of natural light from nine large skylights. Icehouse’s open floor plan is freeing as well, with a collaborative, creative environment in which co-workers can interact. When co-workers need even more room to breathe, they can head up to the rooftop deck and check out the city. Plus, after work, Icehouse frequently hosts social and cultural events.
8. Caroline Collective – Houston, Texas
Located in Houston, Caroline Collective offers a collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs, writers, designers, and more. They’ve got a little bit of everything, with private work spaces, open desk space, a conference room, library, and even a public art space. Outside, there’s a comfy shaded courtyard complete with its own zebra, Stripes. At night, Caroline Collective turns into an event space with an outdoor gated lot that’s perfect for hosting parties, movies, and even concerts.
9. Citizen Space – San Francisco/San Jose, California
Located in both California cities (and soon to be Las Vegas), Citizen Space bills itself as simply, “a nicer place to work.” This coworking space is a pet-friendly hybrid of a social coffee shop and productive work place that’s affordable for independent workers. Citizen Space is also a great place to learn, with classes for art, wine, photography, and food. Residents have 24/7 access, and drop-ins can come by during regular business hours.
Bonus! Read Swap.com founder Jeff Bennett's story about working at Citizen Space.
10. The Hatchery – San Francisco, California
The Hatchery in San Francisco is a great place for startups to take root. Providing productive shared working space, Hatchery members include Web 2.0 startups, social media firms, advertising and PR companies, and more. Coworkers can take advantage of amenities including 24/7 access, more than a dozen conference rooms, and even a mail-handling service. But more than that, Hatchery offers an excellent space for members to connect with other successful startups in the area.
11. Office Nomads – Seattle, Washington
For workers who feel like nomads, drifting from Seattle coffee shops to libraries to living room couches, Office Nomads offers a space for “individuality without isolation.” Featuring no-reservation drop-in access as well as membership, this busy neighborhood space is open to everyone. It’s a creative, collaborative environment that is a great place for everyone from telecommuters to publishers and students to work. Dogs are welcome in this welcoming, casual coworking environment, too.
12. WeWork – SoHo, New York City (and more)
With a humongous 75,000-square-foot space in SoHo, WeWork bills itself as “the physical social network,” a place where people can get connected and work live and in person. Although there are several locations, even as far from NYC’s Soho as Los Angeles and San Francisco, the WeWork’s flagship is still the most impressive, offering an overwhelmingly collaborative community for startups, especially media and fashion companies.
13. Co+Hoots – Phoenix, Arizona
Creatives searching for a coworking spot in Phoenix can check out Co+Hoots, offering possibly the most cost-effective office space in downtown Phoenix. It’s a bright, inspirational space in a historic building, offering conference rooms, a variety of different individual work spaces, and plenty of coworkers who offer collaboration and resources. Professionals at Co+Hoots include designers, lawyers, marketers, writers, software developers, offering not just camaraderie, but services as well. Co+Hoots is host to plenty of cool events, including TEDtalks Tuesdays, Coffee+Code, and Food Truck Fridays.
14. Thinkspace – Seattle, Washington
Right near Microsoft’s campus in Seattle, Thinkspace is a cool coworking spot for startups. Boasting a LEED-certified green workspace, virtual receptionist, crazy fast Internet, and even a local business number for members, Thinkspace provides a professional front to go along with this highly productive workspace. Members can feed off of the energy in the community, and enjoy the support from coworkers within the space. Plus, Thinkspace hosts monthly educational events for small businesses, so members can take advantage of this awesome learning opportunity.
15. Strongbox West – Atlanta, Georgia
Complete with a pirate flag, Strongbox in Atlanta is a fun and funky place to get work done. Members can work privately, or with others, drinking free coffee and enjoying a collaborative space. Designed for modern professionals, Strongbox is an inspiring business environment for freelancers, entrepreneurs, small startups, and creative professionals. Current members include marketers, writers, web developers, and non-profit tech companies.
16. Ignition Alley – Atlanta, Georgia
Another great place to work in Atlanta, Ignition Alley offers membership into a fun business space with collaboration, community events, and access to Atlanta’s growing entrepreneur and freelance community. Ignition Alley took all the best elements from coffee shops, networking groups, fitness clubs, and offices, and brought it all together into one space, offering a variety of amenities to meet the needs of its members. Although collaboration and conversation is highly encouraged, Ignition Alley remains a peaceful and quiet place to work for startups and creatives.
17. WorkBar – Boston, Massachusetts
WorkBar in Boston encourages members to “rethink the workplace,” bringing together the “professionalism of an office, flexibility of a gym, and the comfort of a cafe.” It’s a convenient place for telecommuters, freelancers, and startups to work, offering not just a workspace, but meeting rooms and a great way to connect with other professionals. The space is bright, airy, and comfortable, with plenty of open areas for collaborative working, and private spaces for those who need them. Members of WorkBar enjoy special perks, including discounts at Boston Sports Clubs, Zipcar, and Grasshopper.
18. COOP – Chicago, Illinois
This Chicago coworking spot offers a fun, affordable place for people to work, renting by the day, week, or month. It’s open downtown year round for freelancers, small business, startups, and designers. COOP is a really friendly space, and there’s even an office dog, Eli. Members enjoy awesome events including mixers, collaborative shows, and breakfast lectures.
19. Indie Ballard – Seattle, Washington
Seattleites can enjoy this community-oriented coworking and shared office space. With a walk score of 98/100, Indie Ballard is incredibly walkable and close to just about everything, including inspirational co-workers. Bikers enjoy Indie Ballard, too: the space boasts indoor bike parking and a shower. This is a great place for startups, independents, and small businesses to enjoy a relaxed, creative work environment with 24/7 access.
20. Metrix Create:Space – Seattle, Washington
Another fun place for Seattle coworkers, Metrix is a dedicated creative space for tinkering. It’s a hackerspace, coffee shop, and tech shop boasting a 3D printer, laser cutter, craft supplies, and a steady stream of events and workshops for creatives to learn from. Metrix is a playground for Seattle creatives and makers to explore and collaborate.
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List and text via OnlineMBA.com