Over the summer I gave a TEDx talk all about coworking spaces and how they can not only improve a city’s facade and modernize its facilities, but also promote a sense of community and keep people in the area. This was right before I got my new job and Coalwork (Scranton’s #1 coworking space) opened up. Now, 6 months into being full time at a coworking space, I can honestly say it’s something everyone should experience.
When I joined Coalwork as a full time member in September (right when it opened), I thought I’d give it a try and support the community and the guys running it; however, I got engaged around the same time and figured I’d be dropping down to part time to save money. But a funny thing happened – even though I can work from home (pants free!), I decided to keep going into the coworking space. I immediately started seeing the benefits of being a full time member, beyond the perks that are commonly listed on websites.
As I mentioned in my talk, coworking spaces are a great place to network and meet new people. They are also a great place to exchange information, learn, and grow. I know my fellow members have helped me out numerous times, and I hope I’ve helped them out too.
It’s also helped me land some small side jobs, which I greatly appreciate because of the aforementioned wedding. I can honestly say I’ve made more money than I’ve spent being here.
Coalwork (and other coworking spaces) give me some place to go to get out of the house as well. Working from my apartment can be distracting even though I live alone. I don’t have a dedicated office (I live in a one bedroom) so I either have to work from my bedroom or my living room, and neither are ideal. As a full time member at Coalwork, I get my own dedicated desk, on which I have a laptop stand, second monitor, and some other decorations.
Coworking spaces can serve as a community hub. We have meetups here (including the NEPA WordPress Meetup) and I try to attend every one I can. Each gives me an opportunity to meet new people and see the talent in our area that I otherwise wouldn’t see.
Finally, it’s fun! At Coalwork we play HORSE, have YouTube Fridays, go to lunch, and regularly break out into song (usually in the afternoon). Compare this to me being closed off from the world working from my apartment, and you can easily see why I enjoy coming here.
Not that this is a big ad or anything, but if you’re in the Scranton area, you should come on down to Coalwork. It’s usually $15 for the day, but we have $5 Fridays if you want to give it a go. If you’re not, you can use this nifty site to find a coworking space near you.