When I first started freelancing, coworking spaces did not exist. Brad Neuberg, the founder of the first ever collaborative work space, was on the opposite side of the country still trying to define the word coworking. So to say my spacial choices were limited is an understatement.
Thankfully, that was then. Everything has since changed. We on the East Coast have caught up, and now, there’s a flexible, collaborative, aesthetically pleasing office space for rent on what feels like every Capital City corner. In fact, I’d even say coworking spaces in DC are some of the best in the country.
Need proof? Here are the five best spots in the District for freelancers to set up camp.
1. cove Capitol Hill
cove is the perfect home-office-away-from-home office. When I first moved to the DC area, I worked a conventional 9-to-5 on Capitol Hill. At the time, I noticed firsthand the uptick of small business ventures, startups, artists, studios and incubator/accelerator combinations in this particular neighborhood. When news broke a cove would be moving to 611 ½ Pennsylvania Avenue (it’s always fun to share a portion of your street address with the White House), neighborhood freelancers rejoiced. And by then, I had joined their ranks.
cove first caught my eye because of its easy-to-understand, super affordable pricing plan. For around $200 a month, independent workers can have access to all five of the cove coworking spaces in DC. I’ve always feared entering into a coworking agreement that locked me into a high rate based on features I didn’t end up using. cove relieved those concerns.
2. WeWork Wonder Bread
Next up is the WeWork Wonder Bread Factory space. At almost twice the price and (with limitations on which office space members can attend), WeWork compensates members by delivering creative perks not found elsewhere. In fact, of all the coworking spaces in DC, the WeWork Wonder Bread Factory space offers the most: fruit water, printing, micro-roasted coffee, conference rooms, phone booths, high speed internet, cleaning services and more.
But what this list doesn’t advertise is the remarkable environment. Somehow, the developers and designers created a space that celebrates the vintage American-ness of the iconic Wonder Bread brand in a way that inspires and doesn’t distract.
3. WeWork K Street
If your goal is influential networking, the K Street WeWork coworking space is the place to be. Every District resident knows exactly what the mention of K Street means: power players. DC’s elite meet here day and night, and you can, too.
While space is limited and options scant, independent workers can trade that flexibility and spontaneity for an office space where they will be all but guaranteed interactions with the people supporting the world’s most powerful political influencers.
4. Hera Hub
Today, just over half the country’s independent workers are women, according to a recent report from McKinsey Global Institute. And the demand for women-only coworking spaces is growing faster and faster.
Enter Hera Hub DC, a coworking space that offers a serene, supportive environment (and network) for women only. It’s that like-minded environment that allows women to collaborate productively, explains the company’s founder, Felena Hanson. The cost of DC membership at Hera Hub ranges from $89 to $429 per month.
5. The Yard
So far, we’ve covered DC’s most affordable coworking space, its most aesthetically pleasing, the most politically-inclined and a gender-specific, exclusive community.
I saved The Yard for last, because it combines the best of all the above features and benefits without an exorbitant price tag. Perfect for freelancers, The Yard is situated in the District’s trendiest neighborhood and gives workers a better view of the city than any other space.
Image Courtesy of: The Yard
But according to Morris Levy, co-founder and CEO of the company, those benefits aren’t why members are so loyal. “What makes us stand out is our people,” he explains. “Our space is stunning, the amenities (beautiful rooftop, gym, local perks) are fantastic and our spot in Eastern Market is spectacular, but we pride ourselves on having the best onsite team that truly cares about your business and wants to celebrate your success with you. Our team is energized every day to help you create the space to do your best work.”
And he’s right. The Yard DC has a certain hospitality you might expect from a hotel, not from your friends and cocreators at the office.
Choosing Your Space
Every city has its quirks, but there’s no town as unique as Washington, DC. Nowhere else will you find congressional staffers, economic analysts, policy advisors and lobbyists working next to independent programmers, musicians, startup founders and cupcake decorators. Coworking spaces are what bring our diverse citizenry together, and these particular properties are especially conducive to getting work done and making those extraordinary connections.