Over the past few years, coworking spaces began popping up all over the country. Just last week the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance celebrated Coworking Week, a shout out to the consultants and independent creative professionals who have moved out of their bedrooms and local coffee shops and into flexible shared office spaces with lots of amenities. The CoworkingSeattle Wiki lists more than 20 coworking spaces in Seattle alone, each with their own vibe and perks. As the number of people who telecommute continues to grow, coworking spaces are proving to be more than a passing fad.
A few weeks ago I had the chance to tour one of Seattle’s coworking spaces in South Lake Union, WeWork. This large space has approximately 500 members working in various sized office areas from single occupancy up to 18 people. There’s an open seating “lab” area which includes a bright, colorful Seattle city mural illustrated by Alexander Mostov. Other quintessential Seattle design touches include walls covered with images of Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix modeled after vintage gig posters and cool light fixtures decorated with forest photography that have a definite Pacific Northwest feel.
When I asked WeWork’s Seattle City Lead Gina Phillips what makes them different from some of the other coworking spaces out there, she mentioned that WeWork has offices all over the world. If you’re a member in Seattle, you can book a WeWork conference room in New York, L.A., London, and other cities. Phillips also mentioned that WeWork has an option of a month-to-month membership for a private office and offers access to a worldwide exclusive online member network where you can find other WeWork members to collaborate with and share resources.
WeWork hosts weekly happy hours, professional meet-ups, workshops, and “lunch and learn” events filled with useful information for startups. They also offer “office hours” with partners like Microsoft Ventures, where members can make an appointment to ask questions or even pitch their projects. They have a kickball team and regularly bring services on site like hairstylists and massage therapists to make things more convenient and fun for busy entrepreneurs.
WeWork is located in Seattle at 500 Yale Avenue North. Stop by or schedule a tour to learn more.