A couple of weeks ago I started working at a coworking space in my neighborhood. For the past few years, I’ve worked in an office but have had the option to work from home. The flexibility of being able to take yourself out of the office space and be able to work in a completely different environment will have a varying effect on people. For some, having too much flexibility gives them room to “get in trouble”, or, not be so focused on their actual job. Oh, hello, there pile of laundry. Oh, hi, daytime television drama. For others, working from home (or outside of the office) allows for even better concentration, a change of environment, and often a boost of creativity. Everyone is different. I know some folks who hate working from home because they feel trapped in the house. For others, getting outside of the office is freeing and helps eliminate ordinary corporate distractions.
I fall somewhere in the middle. I like being around people. I like seeing faces, people working, things getting done. I can easily fall into conversation but at the same time do not like being interrupted when I’m trying to focus on something. There is no doubt about it — I am an extroverted introvert. I want to be around people but not too many, and not too often. I like order versus chaos but welcome a distraction when I need to feel creative and bounce ideas off of people.
I have recently gone through a major change at work (more on that very soon!) and have been working primarily at home. I have a whole office set up and feel quite comfortable working from home. But if I’m being honest, it gets stale. Staring at your screen for 8+ hours a day is one thing, but when there aren’t other humans in the room…well, shit gets weird. My boss and I had recently tested out a couple of local coworking spaces to see what it was like. We liked some, we didn’t like others. But then I got realllllly lucky when one opened up right in my neighborhood. Like walking distance. Jackpot. He immiedately signed up for a membership while I had to warm up to the idea. Will I want to leave my house just to drive or walk down the road? Will I have everything I need there or will I just want to run back home? Can I bring my lunch? Who else will be there?
All of my questions were answered on day 1 of trying out Spaces. It is, by far, the most beautiful coworking space I have been to. I can honestly say that in the past few weeks of working there, I’ve gotten more work done than ever before. I am focused, focused, focused. The first full day I spent there I left and told someone “Oh my gosh I feel like a machine in this place.” Without a doubt, it is a space that I go to knowing I will leave feeling accomplished at the end of the day.
What I love about Spaces:
- The staff is friendly, accommodating, and helpful.
- They host a wonderful mix of people and companies. Watching people come and go is quite entertaining.
- It is quiet, but not too quiet. It borders the edge of “lively” without being too distracting.
- It is 100% NOT Starbucks. That place makes me want to pull my hair out. Complete chaos and gross coffee.
- It is always clean. So clean! It opened and January and still has that “ooh, fresh paint” smell. I dig it.
- They host a monthly networking event where you can connect with other members and small businesses.
- Throughout the month they celebrate food holidays like National Pretzel Day, National Cookies & Milk Day, and May the Fourth, where they played Star Wars on one of the tv screens.
- It is decorated SO well. It’s very modern, with quirky accessories, books on display, and little doodads and gadgets where if you just need a brain break, you can check something out.
- There is a kitchen with a refrigerator and coffee bar. And, no joke, the coffee is actually delicious. And affordable, to boot! Cappuccino for less than $3, I’ll take it.
- Yes yes, I can bring my own lunch! Or I can step outside and hit up one of the nearby restaurants or even grab some food from the grocery store next door.
Spaces offers a couple of membership options depending on if you need a designated desk, a room for several employees, or, if you just need a spot to work and aren’t picky, you get an open area with a plenitude of seats to choose from. I use what I’ll call the free-for-all option where I can sit anywhere in the main area (couches, desks, ping pong tables, oh my!) at my own leisure. I very much prefer that option because a)it’s in the middle of the action and b)I don’t feel chained down to the same ol’ desk every day. If I wanted that…well I’d just stay home.
If you’re in the Boston area, Spaces has a location in Davis Square and on Newbury Street. The company I work for has a membership on Newbury, and a couple of us have a membership in Davis Square. If you’re outside of Boston, check out their locations here. They offer flexible contracts, meeting rooms, and a multitude of technology options to suit your business needs. Interested in the Davis Square location? Reach out to Brianna, the area manager, to get your free day pass: brianna.yokell