What’s it like to go to work in an office where you don’t have a designated desk, the common areas are filled with people socializing or playing table tennis, and there’s a kitchen with beer on tap? This day-job setting is common at coworking centers, a shared office space trend that’s picking up steam in San Diego. The nonconventional work environment is built around meeting people and having fun, but is it suitable for a variety of career types? The Hatch staff spent a day working at WeWork—the city’s largest coworking landlord, with six floors in the Union-Tribune building on B Street—to find out.
How it works:
The membership cost depends on how much space you need for your business. A “hot desk” for one person—first-come, first-served workstations in the common area—run $300 a month, and a private office for six is $2,650. All members get access to events, coffee, beer, and Wi-Fi. Conference room time is allotted based on membership level.
What we thought:
“I was so impressed with the ultramodern design. If I didn’t work in an office already, I could see how renting one here would be a great way to get out of the house and work among other professionals. It has a very social vibe, so I’m not sure if I would find myself easily distracted or if it would be just the right balance. Taking meetings here would be a big perk, as it’s definitely an impressive space.” —Trina Thayne, director of sales administration
“My first reaction was, ‘Whoa, this is chaotic,’ but I think I’d appreciate being in such a stimulating atmosphere when I’m doing the more creative parts of my job.” —Kyra Hillenmeyer, project manager, custom content
“As a creative, it’s imperative to have a place you can feel inspired in. With the amount of young professionals and well-designed shared areas, it felt like an easy space to get work done. And if you need a creative boost, you can always grab a cocktail! It reminded me of college, working in the library with others. A big miss, in my opinion, was the lack of power outlets on the communal tables: If you sit in the middle, you won’t be near an outlet. You can see that everyone who gets there first is at the edges, by an outlet. But if your laptop runs out of power, there’s always beer.” —Corey Hollister, senior art director
“I would love to work there again! They took the concept of what we think working at Facebook or Google is like, and made it accessible for anyone.” —Kelly Urig, sales assistant
“If I were a freelance writer, I’d work here instead of at a coffee shop—where you could easily spend $100 to $200 a month anyway if you go a few times a week. It also gives you a way to socialize during the day, whereas working from home can be isolating. Investing the extra money to rent a desk here would be worth it.” —Marie Tutko, custom content editor