Office Space: Co-working Grows Up

Alexandria is home to dozens of shared office spaces, rentable desks and unique workplaces.

It’s true that working from home has its perks: The commute from bed to office is usually negligible, the dress code is flexible and it’s easy to avoid Sue from accounting.
But working from home – or from a coffee shop – can also have its drawbacks.
As a colleague once said, working from home while building her business put the “solo” in “solopreneur.”

People who work in co-work communities or in shared office spaces because they don’t like to or can’t work from home say they’re more efficient and focused at “the office.” In addition, having an office to go to can provide some work-life balance by creating more physical separation of work from home.

“For the very small business, or the professional who does not have his or her own office, co-working can be a big productivity booster, especially when the alternatives are working from home or working from a coffee shop,” said Matt Whitaker, owner of Intelligent Office. “In the right co-working environment, you will find all of the tools needed to be productive, including fast internet connections, quiet and substantial workspace, and an environment where you are surrounded by other productive people.”

Those other people can be key: “Networking is one of the biggest bene-fits of co-working, because you have the opportunity to meet so many different types of people and collaborate, which you don’t get to do when you’re in a coffee shop,” said Kelly Grant, COO of the ALX Community co-working and event space in Old Town Alexandria.