Beginning this month, the Hive brings you #BeesAbroad: The adventures of Hivesters coworking beyond the North Fork Valley. To start: Dispatches from the Queen Bee, Joanna Calabrese.
What does the Queen Bee do when separated from its coworking Colony? Buzz on over to another Hive of coworking revolutionaries of course.
I needed a place to work while visiting my sister in New York City, so I Googled coworking spaces. No surprise…there are definitely over 100 in the Big Apple. In the interest of efficiency and ease, I decided to check out a few super-hip looking coworking scenes around the Soho neighborhood of Lower Manhattan, one of my favorite places in the universe.
As I was preparing to go, I realized I had a opportunity to not only do work, but to learn oodles from the leaders of these coworking communities. So I requested a few tours and proceeded to be hooked up beyond my wildest expectations.
Here are highlights from the two spaces that inspired me the most and my “take-aways” for our small-town coworking Colony.
1) New Work City is a coworking space near Chinatown founded in 2008 that is home to around 150 NY freelancers plus occasional visiting day-workers. 30 or 40 people use the space on any given day.
This place has an epic array of madly creative events for their Members. Among them…Cotivation Sessions, WAMMs, and Work Sprints! Cotivation sessions are small groups of members that meet weekly to set goals and keep each other accountable. WAMMS are Welcome Aboard New Members Meetings where new members and tenured members unite to share who they are, why they joined, what they’re working on, and what they need help with. Work Sprints are one- hour power sessions where members focus on something really needs to get done (i.e. organizing file sprints, cleaning email sprints) to keep each other in line.
Take aways: We need Work Sprints! And a keg! Also: standing desks.
2)Fueled Collective is the coolest, most charming and sophisticated workspace Ive ever been in. From the minute I walked in, I felt like casual royalty.
This place, located on the 11th floor of a Broadway skyscraper next to the headquarters of the social media giant FourSquare, is a work hub for just over twenty tech start-ups. There are about 130 people in the Collective who work there most days. The carefully curated décor combines stunning old-English elements (including red phone booths for calls, leather armchairs, ornate antique trunks, and a wooden armoire that opens up into a secret conference room!) with modern flare.
Opportunities for snack breaks abound. There’s fresh cold-brewed coffee, a candy bar that’s stocked daily, ice cream cart, freshly popped popcorn, a Vengo digital vending machine, and fresh-baked cookie deliveries. Luckily, I was there on cookie delivery day and I fully indulged in a massive snack attack.
Fueled Collective Members enjoy ping pong in the breakroom, lunch and learns where members and visiting tech-companies share their work, yoga and mediation classes every week, whiskey tastings once a month, and occasional office hours with visiting venture capitalists. There’s a lot of play here, but also an intense focus that only comes with absolutely adoring the place you’re in and people you’re around.
Take aways: Cold brew coffee. Partnership with the local Yoga studio or teachers. Red phone booths! We’re on it.
Stay tuned for dispatches from our Founding Bee Chris Yates who will soon be #CoworkingGlobal in Europe!