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Laurea’s take on coworking at the Loosecubes HQ on February 3, 2012

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.

laureadeocampo Posted by laureadeocampo

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.

Pros:

  • Monitors available at the co-working spots
  • Nicer chairs (though not enough. one of us almost had to work on a stool
  • There’s a tent for a conference room!
  • Bright space
  • Bike parking
  • Fast internet (Download 41.91, upload 54.25 pr speakeasy.net, what!)
  • Nice views, we’re on a high floor so you can see over the buildings
  • Not as close to the bridge (a huge concern in DUMBO because the subway is loud)
  • It’s only $5 a day.  Dude!
  • Decent bars nearby

Minuses

  • Because it’s a company, they aren’t as welcoming and inclusive in the co-working experience.  They set us up pleasantly enough, but it’s not the same energy of “omg, yes, be part of our community please!”  like other places. It’s also not the point to the space either.  Although, since they’re focused on co-working for their business, we were surprised at the insularity.
  • Sitting with a company can be loud.  They have a lot of meetings.
  • Not terribly quiet, any confidential conversations can be heard by everyone
  • Not too many cheap lunch options

Highlights:

  • The tent.  It’s cool.
  • Having a documentary film maker come in and ask us if we wanted to talk about butts.  yes, like the one you are sitting on.  Apparently they’re doing some documentary about anal sex or something.  We all had a good laugh about that.  Definitely office wide bonding moment.

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.

marthadenton Posted by marthadenton