An email we received recently: “Just read about you in Miller-McCune magazine and thought to myself, Wouldn’t it be great if there was something like this in Albany? Then I googled and… Woo-hoo!!!”
BEAHIVE gets covered by the media from time to time. Coworking is a hot movement —and I’m a PR guy! — after all. But I’m especially proud of that piece, “Coworking Offices Abuzz With Independent Workers” — for a couple reasons.
First, Miller-McCune (soon to be Pacific Standard) is a serious, well-regarded, award-winning bimonthly that “draws on academic research and other definitive sources to provide reasoned policy options and solutions [to address pressing social concerns].”
The writer, Jonathan Lerner, writes on architecture, urbanism, art, design and travel for Metropolis, Landscape Architecture, Metropolitan Home, et al. (He was also a founding member of the Weather Underground!)
Second, it highlights a couple occasionally recurring themes that pop up in the global Coworking Google Group: coworking in rural areas; and getting the media to highlight the real value and experience of coworking through member stories, rather than just the physical aspects of the spaces and desks and wifi and printers.
It highlights 11 of our members (including me), mostly talking about the community aspects.
It’s also a beautiful 2-page spread centered around a really great schematic graphic of our building!
Working solo has its rewards. Still, we crave connections with other people. Which explains the rise of the coworking space, where “laptopreneurs” can drop in for a desk, a wireless connection, a productive atmosphere — perhaps even some collaboration. The idea took root around 2004, and a recent count tallied around 800 such spaces worldwide, 350 in the U.S.
A seemingly urban phenomenon, coworking is now in small towns like Beacon, New York, population 15,500, 60 miles north of Manhattan. In 2009, Scott Tillitt, a Brooklyn transplant, opened Beahive there. About 20 people at any given time — mostly newcomers to the area — pay to maintain relationships ranging from “community member” ($20 a month gets one day’s use), up to “resident desk” ($240 a month, 24/7 access, a dedicated perch and locker), or even “resident studio” (private space, higher price).
Every week, there is a “members’ lunch,” where people share the challenges of working independently. Frequent bonding events include film screenings, game nights, art shows, and benefit parties. “We’re more than a physical space to work,” the website declares.