What makes WORK work? We had a great discussion about the benefits – and challenges – of coworking. Perfect timing, considering it is our two-year anniversary this month!
Coworking isn’t perfect. The need for privacy and the awkwardness of public phone calls are probably our biggest issues (look for a new phone booth coming soon!). Luckily, we’re up for the challenge, because the up side to working together in undeniable. Here are two contributors to WORK’s success:
1. Location, location, location.
Being in the heart of historic downtown, steps away from basics like the grocery store and post office, as well as fun stuff like vintage clothing, farm-to-table restaurants, and live music makes us a locus for more than office work. And of course, we’re right across the street from Acre Coffee – no accident there.
For most, this central location means a convenient walk or bike ride down a tree-lined street from the surrounding neighborhoods. But for some, it has transformed WORK into a destination. coWORKer Tom Harrison travels up to WORK once a week from San Rafael and credits the lure of downtown Petaluma for his voluntary commute (the first in his entire career). Tom’s even been known to come back from his “lunch” break with a hip new shirt on from Chick-A Boom! Vintage or Serren’s Closet.
2. People, people, people.
Coffee Social, in and of itself, is a testament to the value many coWORKers place on face-to-face interaction. Generating ideas, solving problems, and building business relations are a few of the added benefits. As Tom explained, you can look up from your desk and ask a question and someone in the room will most likely be able to answer it, or at least point you in the right direction – a definite advantage over working alone that is further bolstered by the wide range of fields working under one roof.
As much as these professional relationships are important, so too are the personal bonds that are formed. Our beloved “Mayor” Barry Stump was surprised by his wife with a cake yesterday and coWORKers were quick to belt out a heartfelt “Happy Birthday to You.” And after hearing that this is coWORKer Jan’s last week at WORK (he’s taken a job at Indiegogo in San Francisco), people immediately started planning his going-away party.
Every morning I walk down a beautiful street to an office filled with wonderful people. How lucky am I? Here’s to another year of inspiration and growth. And a great big thanks to all of you for making WORK so much more than work!