Where Do I Fit In? Your Guide to Coworking Options and Membership Types
Should I opt for coworking or a dedicated desk? What if I need an office? What if I only work part time? What if I prefer a quiet environment? What if I like to work from a couch and not a desk? Many questions linger when considering to make a move to a shared office space. The time has come to leave those pesky “what if’s” behind. To help in the decision process, Bond Collective has developed a guide that walks through our membership offerings so you can decide on the option that is best for you.
The Part Timers
Those that are new to the freelancing world or are just starting out as an entrepreneur may not know what their work schedule demands when signing a lease for a workspace. And no, the home office setup you have now will not work forever, we promise! Not only that, there are countless benefits to leaving that home office behind and freelancing out of one of our shared workspaces including: premium amenities, top of the line IT services, and free coffee + spa water + beer (among others).
For the light user, day passes at any of our Bond Collective locations (and at most coworking spaces in the city) will run you $40. Pro-tip (and the best course of action if you’re a cheapskate like me): day passes are the best option when trying out a new space, and the first day is usually complimentary. Same with a gym, car, or that perfect pair of pants you found on the clearance rack, give it a day or two to see how well it works out first before committing.
The best interim solution and package that’s most popular among frequent travelers is the 10-Day Pass bundle. For $250, you’re free to use the facility for ten full work days and the bundle also includes two hours of free conference time. The extended stay gives you a much better sense of the facility and a preview of the ebbs and flows of the week before committing. Better yet, there’s no security deposit required either, so you don’t need to worry about unnecessary overhead costs. The last thing you want to do is commit time or energy into something that won’t work out (even though we think it will).
The unsung hero of the ‘part time’ category is easily the Moonlighter package. While not used by as many folks as conventional coworking, the Moonlighter package warrants after hours and full weekend use of the space. To get specific, access is granted after 5:30pm during the week, and all day/night Saturday and Sunday. Ideal for the night owl that can successfully work outside the 9-5 grind, enjoy a more serene surrounding only interrupted by the valiant night-crew tidying up.
Full time, but let’s take it slow.
The 9-5 Crew
Let’s say that you’re confident that you need a full time workspace. Your home office has devolved into a bizarre snackathon / home gym sponsored by Netflix, causing productivity to become a total wash. While the heart sometimes knows what the heart wants, for those discovering a new space or trying out a shared environment for the first time, a trial month is always the recommendation. While traditionally applied to only shared space options (coworking or dedicated desks), trial months can often be granted for private spaces as well. I may be speaking only for Bond Collective and our respective spaces, but we predict that once you’ve tried a bite, you’ll want the whole slice. Horrible pizza pun intended, but not sponsored (yet)!
The Heavyweights: Full Time Offerings
While part-time options and trials are active components of our offerings, they don’t constitute what the majority of our members end up settling on. Though there are exceptions, a strong majority of our members end up in either coworking for six months or more, working from a dedicated desk or a private office. Some options have more flexibility than others, however we do try to accommodate each situation as it comes!
Coworking is what kicked off the shared office phenomenon and is the best option for most of the ‘light’ workers. This offering means you’re comfortable with changing settings, you don’t have a lot of office supplies or stuff to tote around. Realistically most of your operations can be conducted from your laptop, phone, or pen and paper (pen and paper: vintage, I know) and then everything is taken with at the end of the day.
With WIFI becoming a universal privilege to most coworking spaces in the city, it’s increasingly easier to operate entirely out of a backpack. Available in both month to month and longer term options, getting bogged down in a ridiculous contract isn’t a requirement when signing on. Sit down, plug in, and do your thing. Coworking is offered at most Bond Collective locations, the only exception being at our ‘step up spaces’ like 60 Broad. Locker rentals, phone booths, and fridge space make coworking all the more attractive and flexible.
Dedicated Desks are by far one of our most popular offerings. The advantages: low cost, ability to leave your belongings (computer screen, notebooks, keyboards, etc.) and a guaranteed workspot every day. The disadvantage (kind of): you might need to get to know your neighbor! (Though your prized dual monitor setup and bobbleheads will outshine Jeff and the awful small talk he tries to make every morning.) Workstations are the most ideal form of operating for a very specific archetype of individual. Popular primarily among programmers, designers and writers, I’m not exaggerating in saying that the ability to leave a monitor will brighten that person’s day. I admittedly was a skeptic at first, but standing desks are also increasingly popular in dedicated areas, providing the ability to stretch your legs when you forget that they’re still attached to your waist.
The cream of the crop. The advantages: your own space, your own space, your own space. The realistic disadvantage: there’s so many options, sometimes it’s hard to choose! Decorate and customize at will, private offices range typically from accommodations for a single person to upwards of 60-70+. Cost and options are the most diverse, with the ability to inflect your own personality upon the selection.
Do you want an airy executive space that’ll impress your clients? There’s options for you. Do you want a quiet hovel, hidden from the rest of the facility that you can do your best work within? There’s options for you. When selecting your space, knowing yourself is the most important component. How much physical space do you really need? How many people will be working with you? Do you really need to bring in that ugly chair your in-laws bought you that you lost the receipt for?
The explosion of shared space environments has expanded the definition of a private office. While the typical offices in a coworking space seat 1-8 people, custom solutions for larger teams are becoming more and more popular. Team size is no longer a deterrent to joining a coworking facility. Do you need custom configurations for 100+, autonomous conference rooms or executive offices?