As a freelancer working from home, it can sometimes feel as though you’re in a vacuum. You may have regular catch-ups with your clients, and a sounding board of trusted friends, family or fellow freelancers to rely on when you need a second opinion, but nothing beats being in the same room as like-minded people. And that’s where co-working comes in.
Being a member of a co-working space can transform your working day – being the in-between to sole trading and working for an agency. You can quickly achieve the feeling of support when you need it, alongside quiet time when required. Many of our own Shillington New York design graduates go on to freelance or start boutique studios and benefit from this type of workspace.
For creatives working in NYC, there is a whole host of options to choose from when it comes to co-working. Here we pick out our favourites to help you make the decision:
1. Bat Haus
Located in Brooklyn, and pitched as being "Not a café. Not your bed." – A mantra we feel perfectly encapsulates the concept of co-working, Bat Haus is somewhere between smart and casual. With an emphasis on community, reflected in its long communal workbenches, creatives from all manner of disciplines are invited to share resources and space. Prices start from $25 per day.
Designed with freelancers, entrepreneurs and small businesses in mind, Brooklyn Desks provides a space that’s professional but creative. Situated in the Bushwick area of NYC, the independently owned office share and co-working hub have everything you need to make your business a success. Prices start from $179 per month for limited membership.
3. Bar Works
For "workspace with vibe" it doesn’t get much vibier than Bar Works. The building itself was once the hangout spot of celebrities such as Ernest Hemingway and Alfred Hitchcock, now transformed into a co-working experience for creative professionals. Membership starts from $250 per month for two days of usage per week.
For somewhere slightly less urban, this Brooklyn-based workspace is located in the heart of Ditmas Park. Members are provided access to all the amenities they require, alongside the opportunity to become part of a community of writers, editors, bloggers and other creative professionals. Membership is $200 per month.
5. The Farm
For somewhere more central, The Farm in SoHo is easily accessible from all major subway lines. Offering an active community of creatives, a membership at this co-working space also includes unique benefits and discounts with brands such as Amazon, General Assembly and Citibike. With day passes starting from $25, it’s a solid choice for freelancers.
With its hub in Midtown Manhattan, a stone's throw from the Rockefeller Center, Times Square and Bryant Park; this co-working space is ideal for freelance professionals looking for somewhere to indeed wow their clients. Perhaps slightly more corporate than our other suggestions, and certainly pricier – starting from $35 per day or $450 per month for a dedicated desk space – this won’t appeal to everyone, but should be considered for those with higher-end clients.
In terms of its interior décor, TEEM is more basic than the co-working options in Brooklyn. However, its no-frills approach lends itself to those seeking a blank canvas without distraction. With an emphasis on networking and collaboration, it also offers a range of discounts with the likes of Microsoft, Subway and Zipcar. Prices start from $20 per day or $200 per month for a flexible membership.
Committed to providing a “warm, professional and mindful workspace”, Primary helps freelancers and small businesses flourish. With a simplistic design that celebrates raw materials mixed with elegant furnishings, each location is full of greenery – moss walls, fresh flowers and live planters – to promote wellbeing. Plus, if you’ve ever worked in the heart of a city, you’ll appreciate the double glazed, yielding sound reduction windows and audio-masking solutions installed throughout the communal areas. This is also the perfect place for yogis; The Studio offers classes in meditation and yoga.
A combination of workspace and living space, located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New Love City is a cross between a yoga studio and a co-working space. Created by a small team of yoga instructors, it acts as a “laboratory for movement and design”. Playing host to free-floating thinkers, the clubhouse is a minimalist zone that encourages chilled working. Members are entitled to unlimited free yoga for the duration of their package, which starts from $40 per day, and $100 per week.
10. The Productive
At the more affordable end of the co-working spectrum, The Productive offers three levels of membership, starting from $200 per month. With exposed brick walls and a thriving creative community, it’s a great place to begin your co-working journey as a freelancer, especially if you’re a coder or graphic designer – Wacom tablets and Cintiqs are available to all members.