Cohabitation and New Habits
I moved into a new office at WeWork this month.
Actually, two offices. My team is across the hall and I have my own private glass-enclosed “closet” space. It’s actually quite cozy. I have a desk, a computer, tchochkes, healthy snacks, a water bottle, and storage. A rug is on order. What more does a girl need?
I have totally adjusted to the coworking thing. In our old space, we had a nicer view — but we were a little cramped. It was time for a change. (Plus, truth be told, I got a great financial deal. I’d rather pay for talent than for space.)
I barely remember those days of working in a giant wood-grained office overlooking the skyline. At Citibank I had a little round meeting table and maybe even a couch. Now, if I want to have a meeting, I can choose from a variety of themed conference areas. I don’t mind sharing couches with other companies. I almost feel guilty having my own “unit” these days, but I’m on the phone a lot, so it gives me more privacy.
I lived in a co-op called Xanadu (referenced in my old blog in 2006) during my sophomore year of college, so communal living/working isn’t totally new to me. I’m no longer a 19 year old hippie chick, and yet, this community thing feels pretty natural. Here are 10 reasons it makes sense for us and for any small business that doesn’t mind “sharing”:
- The front desk people greet my guests and I never have to worry about fixing equipment like copiers or scanners (or even refilling staplers or tape dispensers).
- I meet lots of interesting new professionals every day. As WeWork grows, the base becomes more diverse. It used to be very tech- and start-up heavy, but now it’s a totally eclectic and fascinating crew. I build business relationships with some of the people I meet (or e-meet).
- We have free coffee and beer and sometimes snacks.
- Life is never boring. New people are always coming in and activities are readily available. We even have “clubs” (books, movies, etc.) like back in high school and college.
- WeWork has its own e-magazine and I write for it sometimes. (Here’s my stuff.)
- When I travel, I can work out of other WeWorks. I’m greeted as if I’m an old friend.
- They have an app which enables me to “speak” with WeWorkers all over the world.
- Because I’m surrounded by millennials and start-ups, the environment keeps me smart and current. (And I usually feel very wise or amused, but never old.)
- If I get bored of my location or my company grows/shrinks, I can just easily move within WeWork.
- When people come to visit they think I’m way cooler than I am in reality.
Unlike life at Xanadu, I don’t have to cook for 60 people once a week or clean the communal bathroom. In fact, the bathroom is like a high-end restaurant powder room, with mouthwash and a variety of other girly supplies. (My old WeWork had co-ed bathrooms, but this one is WAY better! And it has gorilla wallpaper. Welcome to the co-working jungle!)
P.S. For more on the genesis of WeWork, check out this recent article in Fast Company.
P.P.S. Do you want to move here too? Be sure to use my name as a reference.