The growing demand for coworking spaces signals not only the end of cubicle life, but the rise of a New Working Order. More than ever, we have to take our lives and futures into our own hands. We have to be for something great – not just against someone terrible. We have to spend our energy building the future – not destroying each other. We have to do more than coexist – we have to connect. And we have to do more than care – we have to create.
So Paste went from sea to shining sea in search of the coolest coworking spaces in the country. If anything has been made clear in recent weeks, it’s that the brightest voices are those joined together in pursuit of possibility and inclusivity. Coworking spaces exist for passionate, collaborative people who want to gather, create, build and share their ideas & innovations with the world. A recent study by Stuttgart-based research organization Fraunhofer IAO found that the number of coworking spaces has doubled every year since 2006. Nearly half a million people are coworking in America and the number grows larger every day.
Most of the coworking spaces on this list create connection on limited, localized, member-supported budgets. Those backed by corporate sponsors are using funds to build on the basics, typically with after-hours activities focused on education, community building, and small business initiatives. Coworking spaces vary widely in focus, size, service and ambiance. Standouts are the ones offering flexibility, independence, accessibility and community connection. That last feature is key. According to Deskmag, successful coworking models lead to revitalization of forgotten buildings and, over time, can positively impact surrounding neighborhoods.
Paste narrowed the list down to coworking organizations that have been open for more than a year, focusing on atmosphere and variety of services offered. Check out our top picks and please share your coworking experiences in the comments. We especially want to hear from individuals and organizations using coworking spaces to mobilize grassroots movements.
1. Alabama, Huntsville West
Designed for young entrepreneurs and startups, Huntsville West offers high speed Internet and Wifi, along with spacious meeting rooms. We like the low-commitment lease options and bright space full of modern chandeliers and comfy club chairs. huntsvillewest.com
2. Alaska, The Boardroom Anchorage
This massive office space in downtown Anchorage offers treadmill workstations and free local microbrews, not to mention copy & print services and airy conference spaces. theboardroomak.com
3. Arizona, CO+HOOTS
This collaborative space offers nothing less than you would expect in the thriving, connected city of Phoenix. Outdoor bike racks? Check. Superman Booths for those private phone calls and video conferences? You got it. Traditional fixed hours may turnoff the night owls (who should check out Gangplank instead), but regular special events and a host of members-only features more than make up for it. cohoots.com
4. California (Northern), The Urban Hive Sacremento
Rent a private desk, private office or regular access to shared coworking spaces at this Sacramento gathering place. If you need to impress a group, you’re in luck. The Urban Hive not only has tricked out conference rooms (complete with drop-down HD projector screens). They also offer slow pour coffees, loose-leaf teas and kombucha on tap, in addition to serving both healthy (and unhealthy!) breakfast fare. theurbanhive.com
5. California (Bay Area), The Port Workspaces
Remember how we mentioned that turning forgotten buildings into coworking spaces can totally change a neighborhood for the better? See Exhibit A: The Port. Occupying three historic Oakland buildings, members include tech entrepreneurs, professionals and makers who are reinventing their shared community. If that’s not enough to convince you to head west and spend 2017 turning your app ideas into reality, maybe the cheap membership rates at The Port will do it. No? What if you had access to a rooftop garden? 30-foot tube slide? Onsite coffee and craft beer? Oh, and you wanted a view of the water? Done. portworkspaces.com
6. California (Southern), Hera Hub Carlsbad
Designed for women-owned businesses, the Hera Hub founders are fanatical about creating workspaces that inspire focus and productivity. The Carlsbad space is designed for the senses, with live plants, aromatic candles, soft music, and standing desks among it’s many offerings. herahub.com
7. Colorado, Green Spaces Denver
Located in the RiNo Arts District, Green Spaces Denver offers a space built with socially and environmentally conscious members in mind. The space has over 160 solar panels on the roof (offsetting almost 100% of the energy used by members). The Colorado coworking space also features handcrafted living walls and signage. greenspaces.com
8. Connecticut, The Grove New Haven
People who want to solve social, environmental and urban problems will fit right in at The Grove. Artists will appreciate the projector, white boards and resource library available to members, where entrepreneurs of all stripes will enjoy the collaborative ecology. Community members do everything from building mobile apps to community organizing in this tri-state area coworking space. grovenewhaven.com
9. Delaware, The Mill
If you’re focused on the IoT space, The Mill in Wilmington is an innovation lab that should be on your radar. This coworking space may be better described as a startup incubator for creatives moving through early stage iteration and investment rounds. We’re smitten with the old-school seating and raw wood everything. themillspace.com
10. District of Columbia, WeWork Wonder Bread Factory
Housed in a former bakery, this D.C. coworking space spans two light-soaked floors full of high-energy entrepreneurs. The outdoor patio is perfect for working during the day and networking at night. You can also connect with members in the videogame or brainstorming rooms, both of which are designed to foster unexpected collaborations. wework.com