Coworking for the Capital Region?

Citizen Space coworking space San Francisco

Citizen Space, a coworking space in San Francisco.

This could be useful: Laura Northrup recently asked if there were enough people in the Capital Region to support a coworking space:

I love the work that I do now, writ­ing for The Con­sumerist and other free­lanc­ing. Well, I love the sub­stance of it. And the flex­i­bil­ity. But I hate work­ing at home, and by myself.
This prob­a­bly has more to do with the gen­eral con­di­tion and atmos­phere of my home at the moment, but I don't think it changes mat­ters. I can go days at a time with­out actu­ally talk­ing to any­one, and con­nec­tions like that are what I miss.

Laura writes that she "would totally start [a coworking space] if I had any capita or any idea what the hell I was doing."

So, what's coworking? It's basically a space in which people rent desk space and share resources such as internet access, printing and conference rooms. There is, of course, a wiki all about coworking.

Laura's been kicking the idea around with Andrew Badera, who recently posted that this area could really use such space:

One major piece of the tech worker and tech industry growth puzzle that Tech Valley still falls flat on however is workspace. Office space is often underserved and overpriced for independent, often mobile tech professionals, or startups and other small businesses that may work in small and/or remote teams and have little or no need for a permanent office. And no, neither Panera nor Starbucks comes anywhere close to cutting it. What Albany needs, what Tech Valley and its population and ability to innovate would benefit from, are coworking spaces.

Laura's started a Facebook page to organize and gauge interest for a coworking space in the Capital Region.

Comments

I think its a great idea. As a creative person who works from home, its occasionally nice to return to the buzz of an office environment.

That said, I'd also worry about how much work could be accomplished in such a free-flowing atmosphere and the conflicts that inevitably arise when people gather. Can I go in and make my dozen phone calls, or will I be labeled as the Loud Talker? Ipod with headphones only? Where does the etiquette come from and how is it enforced?

It's an interesting idea, and in fact there are some folks around with similar arrangements, though not as formal coworking arrangements. They share the space, utilities, sometimes a secretary. The challenge for coworking is the economics - the landlord has to put up Class A office space with the latest in internet and power connections, but make it available on a short-term basis. Kinda tough.

Sometimes it would be nice to have an office outside the home, but it'd have to be awfully nice and awfully cheap to make me commute again.

How I wish this had existed when I was doing capdist startups. Would be incredibly handy.

I'd be interested in a co-working space in Saratoga. I commute from north of there to Troy everyday but have the opportunity to work from home. I do work from home one day a week regularly but if there was an opportunity to co-work from Saratoga I'd take advantage of that as I don't want to work from home every day.

Good to know I'm not the only person with an aversion to getting anything accomplished at home. For the life of me, I can write and get work done anywhere but in the confines of my own home. Put me in my living room or bedroom and my mind just shuts down while my creative energy drifts away and dissipates like cigarette smoke.

Unfortunately, having a 9 to 5 to pay the bills means I'd opt out of something like this. Fortunately, I don't have a problem where I feel isolated in the least.

I work from home in Albany and would LOVE a co-workspace. Please post details! The FB page is sort-of lacking. Thanks!

Definitely interested, if the price is right.

I was thinking about setting something like this up but everyone I know who works from home is ok with their arrangements.

Somewhere besides the library or coffee shop is definitely needed.

I don't do facebook though.

I get the "working home alone" blues once in a while - would be great to find a place that was affordable that could be shared by like-minded people. I'm definitely interested! Agree that the FB page needs to include more information and a way to get in touch. I think there are enough people in the area to accomplish this.

Hi all,

Thanks for the mention, AOA.

There aren't a lot of details TO post yet, frankly. If you follow the comments on my blog post, the discussion has been pretty early stage and non-committal. Saratoga would be a tough sell in my mind for the time being, but perhaps there's enough interest in that area specifically that those interested could start their own effort?

The process starts with the coworking wiki -- become a "space catalyst." http://coworking.pbworks.com/SpaceCatalyst

That sounds like a wonderful idea. We are currently finishing up a virtual office space in the ACES business incubator that could hold several individuals should you decide to group together. Our virtual office is nearly done, but you can call for the details and we can talk it through. This space will be available to lease by the hour and we have a nice parking lot as well. If you are interested contact me at the Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region- ask for Tonya or just ask about the Virtual office- maybe its just what you are looking for.

Cheers!

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