17 posts tagged coworking
17 posts tagged coworking
Dear Loosecubers, Friends, and Fans,
We are deeply saddened to announce that on November 16, 2012, Loosecubes will be closing its doors and shutting down.
The past two and a half years have been such an incredible journey. From a team of two to an incredible company of 16. From a big idea to…
Reblogged from cubeblog
I just received an unfortunate email from Jeff Gunther the Founder and CEO of REV saying that the last day of their operations will be Friday, November 16.
It is too bad because this is such a beautiful space in a good location.
I found out about Rev from the Loosecubes site when they announced their Summer Coworking Challenge which you should definitely check out!
The unique feature about Rev is that it is located under the Vitra store in Chelsea so it is furnished with Vitra furniture, giving this coworking space an advantage of having the nicest office furniture of any coworking space or most offices for that matter that I have seen so far.
Rev is located near the Highline, right next to Soho House and a few blocks from Chelsea Market - such a design lover’s neighborhood.
Even though Rev is in the lower level of the Vitra store, you don’t feel like you are working in a basement, which was my initial concern before seeing the space. The ceilings are pretty high for a lower level space and since the Vitra storefront is all glass, sunlight comes down into the Rev space.
What I liked:
The furniture was gorgeous, comfortable and functional. I had a big desk with a giant monitor (about 40 inches). The desk came with a laptop plug, iPhone charger, mouse and keyboard. Definitely the most complete desk I have tried working in so far. The chair was also extremely comfortable which most coworking spaces understandably so cannot afford to have so it was a luxury to work in the space for the day. Clearly the Vitra marketing with Rev worked on me because I had such a good experience with their furniture.
There was a communal desk that you could work from standing up. I was so into my desk for the day that I did not get a chance to try to work standing up even though it is supposed to be better for you.
There was a nice couch area if you wanted to have a meeting or just not work at a desk for a bit.
The fridge was stocked with IZZE soda and there were snacks available.
There restroom was super clean and fancy. Since the restroom is shared with the Vitra office, you got to walk by their gorgeous office on the way to the restroom.
Internet speed: Download speed: 15.60, Upload speed 5.02
What could be better:
If you are lucky enough to get a desk for the day then it definitely feels spacious but if the space is busy I can see the communal tables getting pretty crowded since the chairs are quite close together.
There isn’t space for a proper conference room so if you are someone who is looking for a space with a conference room then this won’t work for you.
If you make a ton of phone calls and want a phone booth then this open plan space is also not a good match.
The front door is locked until the Vitra store is open so you have to find someone on their staff of 3 to open the door to let people in who are meeting you if the store is closed; so you don’t have the freedom of having keys to the space unlike other coworking spaces.
This kind of lunch option is when you are reminded of why you work so hard to live in NYC - being able to enjoy a beautifully designed public space that people from all over the world travel to see with some delicious food during your lunch break.
Happy hour: Martha and I went to the bar at the http://www.hotelgansevoort.com/ for a drink. Ridiculously nice views (pictured below) but you have to go before 6 PM before the crowd gets unbearable. The drinks are pricey ($18 for one cocktail) but they are strong. There were tater tots on the menu which seemed like an awesome idea but there are only 3 of them for $9. So don’t order them!
Cost: Rev has two plans - occasional and unlimited.
The occasional plan reminds me of Zipcar because you can pay hourly and even by the minute!
The unlimited plan for $249 a month is a really good deal for a plan that is Monday - Saturday 9 am to 9 pm and located in Chelsea with some of the best office furniture you can get.
More details about costs and benefits here.
Since Rev is still new, it is not really clear who the community is yet but I’m definitely keeping an eye on it to see how the community develops since it is such a beautiful space.
This was a really hectic day for me so I was glad that Projective Space was an easy 15 minute train ride with no transfer on the J from Williamsburg.
When things are really stressful for me, it is tempting to just hole up and work from home but I have found that since coworking enables small interactions with people it actually alleviates the extra stress that occurs from being isolated. Being able to quickly vent to someone or just talk about something unrelated to work for a minute helps a lot.
The border of Chinatown and Soho is one of my favorite neighborhoods - there are a lot of calm spaces in between the crowded streets, the architecture is interesting and there are a good selection of lunch and happy hour spots.
What I liked: The location on Broadway near Grand street makes it really easy to get to by train. All the Canal street stops are very close as well as a few stops on Spring street.
The ceilings are high so even though the desks are very close to each other the room doesn’t feel as tight as it would with ceilings that are a standard height. The lighting is nice because it warm and bright. It is not the headache inducing fluorescent type. There are floor to ceiling windows that look out onto Broadway so there is also a fair amount of natural light that comes into the space.
Type of people who work here: Mostly established tech startups like Uber, SeatGeek, and IndieGoGo. Martha and I sat next to a developer that day and I also ran into Kat Popiel who I met awhile ago who runs content and community for IndieGoGo so it is always nice to run into people you know. She said she likes coming into work in the space and she gets a lot done.
What could be better: The desks in the coworking space were really suited to 2 people but since it was busy that day each desk had about 4 people working on it. I accidentally lightly kicked the person in front of me a few times (sorry lady) since I did not have enough leg room. Larger desks could fit into the coworking space with a different layout.
An area to take phone calls that is more insulated like a phone booth or room would also improve the space. Since the space has high ceilings and is long and narrow, when 2 or more people are on the phone the entire space echoes and it can be a bit distracting to hear every detail of someone’s conversation.
It would also be better to put up a barrier around the one conference table to allow for more privacy during any group conversations and in person meetings.
Projective Space did follow up right away with Martha and I about our visit and I told them about what could be better and they addressed my feedback right away and said they are already planning on building out a lounge with phone booths and lockers up front, and a few more tables to increase the coworking area capacity to 20.
This is another important thing for all coworking spaces to do - follow up with every person who tries your space out. Some spaces have been doing this but not all of them. This is such an important part of cultivating your coworking community. The physical aspects of the space are of course very important but without the community the space is not interesting and will not survive.
The space is comfortable and well designed but the food isn’t very exciting, it falls under the category of French/American *not* one of my favorites but since we didn’t have much time we couldn’t afford the wait for one of the better spots.
It is amazing how much better the Flatiron neighborhood has gotten in the past few years. I really think that Shake Shack has had a lot to do with the transformation of the neighborhood. Madison Square Park used to be very quiet and there were not very many compelling businesses around then when Shake Shack opened it seemed like all the other interesting places followed.
In Good Company is right across the street from Madison Square Park so it is really easy to get to by subway. The building is on 23rd Street on a great block so their location is really desirable.
What I liked: The receptionist was very friendly and the front room had a lot of light. The workspaces are all well designed white desks and each desk had a tulip. Having a flower on each desk was a really nice touch that I haven’t seen at any coworking space yet.
It is amazing how that small touch can really add to the space. The chairs made you sit in a good posture but were not uncomfortable. There was a nice lounge area with clean couches so if one of the three conference rooms were booked you could use the lounge area for a meeting if you didn’t want to meet at your desk.
The space has soft track lighting and art on the walls (which are for sale, smart move) so even though there are no windows in the workspace (there are only windows in the front) you don’t feel like you are working in a dreary box.
In the front of the space there is a larger conference room that can seat about 8 people or so with windows overlooking 23rd street.
One of the three conference rooms. It has track lighting, a plant and art on the wall - it turns a tiny space into an appealing one with just those three details.
Internet speed: Download 15.01 Mbps, Upload 1.42 Mbps
Type of people who work here: Since this space is geared towards women the majority of the people working were women though there were a few men who came into the space throughout the day. The average age of the coworkers seemed to be between the mid-30’s to 40’s, so definitely an older crowd.
One of the founders, Amy Abrams pointed out that it was holiday weekend so last Friday was quiet but that since In Good Company is industry agnostic they have a wide range of people from different backgrounds such as marketing, social media, business strategy, tech businesses, product businesses and designers. She said they also have businesses that focus on health and wellness and people who are academic advisors, career coaches, caterers, recruiters and style consultants.
What could be better: A bigger kitchen and more tolerance for higher voice levels on the phone. I really tried to keep my voice down but apparently it was not low enough. There weren’t too many people on the phone and the enforced volume for the space is pretty low, about library level - so even though I really like the space, I am probably too loud for it since a lot of my job entails me being on the phone.
Lunch: We did not have time for lunch today but if we did we would have had a TON of options - Eataly, Shake Shack, Calexico, and if for whatever reason you really have to impress a client or are just feeling fancy in general there is Eleven Madison and Gramercy Tavern.
Happy hour: We didn’t have time for happy hour but we did do dinner at Shake Shack since we skipped lunch. If we did end up going for cocktails we would have gone to the Flatiron Lounge.
More info about costs and options here.
When we emailed SoTechie spaces to ask if we could try out their space for the day they emailed us back right away, were very welcoming and even said they read our blog so it was great to get some recognition!
I wasn’t too excited about the location since I am not a fan of Midtown but SoTechie Spaces is located at 28 W. 39th St between 5th and 6th Avenue closer to Bryant Park so it isn’t as hectic as being right in the Times Square or Port Authority area. I think that the park really diffuses hectic energy.
What I liked: There were fairly spacious desks arranged by block so you could easily talk to someone who sat next to you but since everyone is at a desk, space is delineated more clearly than a shared table. There were ethernet connections at most desks which I prefer using when available since wifi can be less reliable. The chairs at each desk were fairly comfortable.
Internet speed via Ethernet cable: 2.34 Download & .42 Upload
What could be better: The SoTechie space was longer, narrower and smaller than the other coworking spaces we have visited. The private offices are quite small so people leave their doors open and you can hear all their conversations. There were some tense conversations taking place that day so it made the overall vibe a bit strange. The people coworking in the space that day were not very social. Granted there were only 4 or so people working in the common area but no one introduced themselves to us. We got the impression that most of them were introverts. It seemed like most of the social interactions took place in the private offices.
The majority of the light sources in the space were standard overhead rectangular fluorescent lights which wouldn’t have bothered me so much if the ceiling was higher. I tried to turn the lights off since there was a fair amount of light coming from the main window but someone kept turning them back on so I just gave up on that light switch battle.
Lunch: I was really happy that one of my favorite restaurants, Szechuan Gourmet was right across the street so naturally Martha and I took advantage of the lunch special there.
The spicy sesame noodles are super yummy and they also do spicy fish dishes really well. If you can handle really spicy soup try their hotpot for dinner.
Happy hour: We didn’t have time for a neighborhood happy hour but if we did we might have gone to the bar in the ice skating rink at Bryant Park.
More info about costs and options here.
Since Loosecubes is an online database of coworking spaces that enables people to book coworking slots in different spaces, features reviews *and* they allow anyone to cowork in their office if you sign up in advance and pay $5 to work there for the day; Martha and I were excited to try it out. It was the first time that we coworked in a space that was primarily made up of the company. The coworkers were the minority in this case which was new for us.
Loosecubes is in a building on 20 Jay Street in DUMBO. It is a quick walk to and from the York stop on the F train and there are plenty of places to stop by and get coffee on the way to the building.
DUMBO is growing and there are definitely more businesses than there were a few years ago, but the neighborhood still feels isolated. If you live in, within walking distance or a short bike ride from DUMBO, it is a good neighborhood to work in but it doesn’t offer the diversity of the other neighborhoods of the coworking spaces we have reviewed in the past. If you have a lot of meetings in Manhattan then this isn’t going to be a good place for you.
What I liked:
The Loosecubes office is in a spacious loft office with big windows and plenty of light which I loved since I need both while I work. The desks were large and there were monitors that I could plug into. It was great having the ability to replicate my exact external monitor set up at home for the first time in a coworking space.
If you have a bike you can bring it up into the office so you don’t have to worry about locking it it up on the street.
There is a tent where you can work, make calls, have a meeting, take a nap or just hang out if you feel like you just need some astroturf in your life!
What could be better: Some way for Loosecubes to more effectively integrate the coworking area into their space to facilitate a better interaction between their team and the coworking community in their space.
I wouldn’t be making this recommendation if the company office were just a shared space with no coworking objective but since the focus of the company is coworking they should take better advantage of connecting with the coworkers they attract.
We were given a friendly introduction to the space which covered all the basics - available desks, location of bathrooms and wifi password but since Loosecubes is about coworking and they have opened up their space to anyone to work in for a small fee, I expected them to take a stronger interest in how and why Martha and I chose to work in their space for that day and the kind of work we are involved in.
Since they let other people work in their space it would also be better if they built a conference room or some other private space for them to have their company meetings. It was a bit awkward for us to hear meetings that should be separated from the shared space.
Lunch: Martha and I ate at Superfine that day which has a solid menu and comfortable tables but it is not a great bargain. Lunch will cost you around $15-$20 per person. This is not the neighborhood for lunch specials.
Happy hour: There are a bunch of casual bars close by. The most popular one being reBar, but since we wanted to try something else, we ended up at 68 Jay Street bar. It is a small space and was mostly standing room which works if you don’t plan on drinking for too long. They offer standard, basic drinks - nothing too fancy or different but the main benefit is that it is affordable and close to the office.
Special features and costs: Cool tent, ability to bring a bike into the office, very affordable $5 day rate, $400 a day event space rental for a group, $400 a month for an individual desk, $1600 a month for a group desk
More info about costs and options here.
Loosecubes, Friday, February 3, 2012
This is our first company office with co-working spots, versus a pure co-working space. Quite a different dynamic. The co-workers are put in an area to the side, while the company works in the main space. 3 out of the 5 co-working desks are used all of te time, so there’s really only 2 guest spots. On Feb 3, we were the guests.
This is a great space to try for a day but not necessarily to settle into for good. There are 3 folks who work here on an on-going basis, but they pretty much keep to themselves. The split between office and co-workers is clear.
It is however a great space to overhear others talking about the concept of co-working. Very cool on that! We had hoped for more of that though. They really sounded like any other tech startup talking about resumes and wireframes.
There are still co-working spaces popping up all of the time in NYC and we still plan to review all of those fabulous places. However, we plan to expand our blog this year to get into talking about co-working on a higher level. We’ve already laid out some awesome questions and features that we want to cover. But hey, why not ask you what you want to know?
Please reply with questions you care about and we’ll try and address them.
Starting TODAY, January 16 until next Sunday, January 22 is Worldwide #Jellyweek 2012.
If you have been thinking about coworking and haven’t had a chance to try some spaces out, this is the week to take advantage of all the free coworking opportunities happening this week!
Brave the cold, beat cabin fever, meet some new people and get some work done!
EVERYBODY is invited to start a jelly at his place and to invite coworkers from all over the world. Push your local coworking initiatives and develop ideas and actions to connect the global community! JELLY is a casual working event. People are coming together (in a person’s home, a coffee shop, a public space or an office) to work for the day. Bring a laptop (or whatever you need to get your work done) and a friendly disposition. And you are free to create an interesting program (barcamps, exhibitions, workshops, networking events, exchange programs with other coworking communities etc.) during the jelly week.
Check out this global map to find a coworking group to join.
Here are some NYC coworking spaces that are offering free days this week:
- Bitmap in Williamsburg will be hosting three free days from today, Monday, January 16 until Wednesday, January 18
Reserve a spot and see more details here.
- 3rd Ward in Bushwick is offering a free coworking 1 day pass that can be used between January 16 and January 31.
Sign up here.
- Greenspaces in Chinatown in Manhattan will be hosting a free day today, Monday January 16.
- Loosecubes HQ in DUMBO Brooklyn will be open today, Monday from 11am - 5pm to “host anyone who’s interested in working, hacking, catching up on personal to-dos or craft projects, and collaborating on new ventures.”
No sign up required, just drop by. Details here.
- So Techie Spaces in Midtown Manhattan will be hosting people from today, Monday January 16 until Saturday, Jan 21, 2012.
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If you are a coworking space in NYC and I missed your #Jellyweek listing tweet me @Laureado and I will include your listing in this post.