I’ve been debating the use of coworking space. If you aren’t familiar with the term, coworking is the act of working in a shared space with other people who aren’t necessarily in your company or organization. It typically is held in some kind of office space and includes independent contractors, startup entrepreneurs, freelance writers, and those who travel frequently.
Within San Francisco, there are dozens of coworking spaces. I’ve listed all that I could find below alphabetically. Some have certain entry requirements, others are affiliated with investment organizations. The prices listed are for 24/7 first-come, first-serve seating. There’s a higher fee for dedicated desks.
|Coworking Space||Price per month||Entry||Affiliations|
|Citizen Space||$300, $150 for 9-5 access||Open to anyone||None|
|Dogpatch Labs||Not publicly stated||Interview required||Polaris Ventures|
|Hub Bay Area||$445||Application required, social change startups preferred||Hub Ventures|
|NextSpace||$285, $235 for a 12-month pack||Open to anyone||None|
|pariSoma||$275||Open to anyone||None|
|Sandbox Suites||$345, $295 for 8-6 weekday access||Open to anyone||None|
|Founders Den||Not publicly stated||Invite only||None|
|Mission Social||$300||Open to anyone||None|
|RocketSpace||$650||Open to anyone||Kicklabs and Kauffman Labs|
|rezerv.it||$275||Open to anyone||None|
|Reactor SF||Not publicly stated||Open to anyone||None|
|PeopleBrowsr Labs||$600||Application required||None, but offers the use of their products|
|Social Venture Technology Group||Not publicly stated||Interview required||None|
|The Summit SF||Not publicly stated, though the 8am-10pm cafe area is free||Interview required through I/O Ventures||I/O Ventures|
|Krux Labs||$500||Open to anyone, 3-month contract minimum||None|
The alternatives for me happen to be cheaper: working from home or working in a cafe. Working at home isn’t effective because I tend to get distracted easily. It’s just too easy to get up, get a snack, or take a nap. Bad me, I know.
I love working in cafes though. I luckily found a great cafe near me that has free wifi, friendly proprietors who know my name, and available seating. It is also relatively quiet, yet has enough stimulation to keep me energized. That’s important too; I love cafes because of the buzz of activity there. The people-watching, the conversations, the music, all of it adds to this vibrant ambiance that helps me focus. It’s relatively cheap too, though I don’t skimp on making drink and food purchases to pay for my fair share of their space.
The downside is that it’s not easy to work with others in cafes. There’s no guarantee that a colleague will find a free table next to mine. Add two to four more colleagues, and it becomes near impossible.
Enter coworking spaces.
Coworking spaces aren’t as cheap as working alone in cafes. But with colleagues, having a guaranteed space together is important. As is the energy of the community within many of the coworking spaces listed above. They all have a particular vibe. Some are more professional, some are more scrappy, some are more artsy. But all offer a community of like-minded people who could help my colleagues and I in unexpected ways. And us them.
So it’s time to start winding down my cafe days and find a new home in a coworking space. Goodbye cafes, hello coworking spaces!