Living the life of an at-home professional can be daunting.
While the perception of telecommuting is a pleasant one that evokes images of coffee house visits and sitting behind a computer while wearing flannel pajamas and slippers, the truth is, working from home tends to be an isolating gig. While there is the perk of saving time and money, telecommuters often lose touch with the outside world. During a time when connectivity is crucial for success, working at home can be detrimental to productivity.
Enter the coworking space — a savior to freelancers and modern entrepreneurs. In simple terms, a Coworking environment is a shared work space. Collaborative work spaces are unique in that they are not your typical office environments. Coworking sites were created to serve as an alternative to the home office or stuffy cubicle work space. This modern and hip way of working is slowly taking the place of coffee shops as a freelancer’s office.
Coworkers in collaborative settings typically are not employed by the same organization, which removes the issue of pesky office politics. You can think of coworking as a modern, work-focused, 1960’s commune minus the patchouli and sleeping quarters. Coworking environments are meant to spark creativity and create opportunities to network and brainstorm with likeminded individuals for those that would normally be working from home.
Not sure where to find one of these coworking sites? There’s an app for that. Desktime, desktimeapp.com, offers a catalog of coworking spaces throughout the United States and Europe, offering in-depth details on each space.
There is also sandiegocoworking.com to guide you on your search. In July of 2013, San Diego Coworking hosted a coworking week duing which participants were invited to try out five different San Diego based collaborative work spaces, one for each day of the work week.
San Diego has dozens of coworking sites, many of which are geared toward specific genres. North Park is home to the Union, an office space geared mostly for techies. MakerPlace, off of Morena Boulevard, is art based, Hera Hub is an all-female workspace with three locations in Mission valley, Carlsbad, and Sorrento Mesa, and PreFAB located downtown in the Headquarters, is mainly focused on fashion entrepreneurs. There is also theHIVE in East Village, which is said to be San Diego’s first coworking space.
So how much does a desk at a coworking site set you back?
3rdspace in University Heights offers the coworking experience for $125.00 a month, or $50.00 per month limited access plan. Makerplace offers a monthly membership for $150
TheHive offers a daily office rental rate of $35, a monthly rate of $400 for a first or second floor office, and a $700 rate for a private office. These each include mailbox, workspace, 24/7 access, lounge access, access to conference rooms, wifi, prepaid printer access, and janitorial services.
Brian Hawkins, the creator of PreFAB , rents out space in his 1,200-square-foot facility anywhere from $199-$499 monthly. “It’s a great deal. They have 24/7, 365-day, access,” says Hawkins.
Hawkins dreamed up PreFAB after telecommuting from a home office.
“Working at home, I felt isolated and disconnected. I started looking at some different coworking spaces. Most of the coworking environments [in San Diego] were tech dominated. I thought it would be great to create a coworking space that was more for the small start-up and entrepreneurial ventures in apparel accessories and whatnot. As I was thinking through that process, I was taken on a tour of the Headquarters. They brought me into the space (that is now PreFAB ) and I saw the potential.”
Hawkins is now providing a working environment for fashion start-ups such as Lord Wallington, a men’s bow tie and accessory line: Diane Serra, a handbag line; and Egonomics Lifestyle, a men’s apparel line.
“It’s an environment I love to be in. I don’t even want to leave.” Says Hawkins of PreFAB .