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An Exploration of Coworking Space in Washington DC

February 25, 2020 | by Jo Cipolla
Reviewed by real estate expert Jonathan Wasserstrum

The working world doesn’t look like it used to. Start-ups are everywhere, businesses frequently re-locate, and more and more people are part of the “gig economy” and working as freelancers. All of this movement, independence, and unpredictability has created a demand for flexible office space solutions – and coworking has become one of the most popular of those solutions.

Coworking spaces in DC on the rise

As the capital of the United States and a thriving city in its own right, Washington DC is not always an easy place to find cheap office space, so it’s no wonder that coworking is exploding in locations across the DC metro area. Coworking companies provide small businesses, brand new start-ups, and freelancers with a way to set up shop in a real office environment at an affordable price.

Why would you consider a coworking space in DC?

There are many reasons that workers in the Washington DC area might want to become a member of a coworking space, such as:

  • If you are self-employed, but get lonely working by yourself at home and can’t find a quiet enough coffee shop
  • If you just started a new business, but you and your team don’t yet have the money for a private office
  • If you have a small company that’s in the process of growing, so you don’t want to commit to a long lease on office space
  • If you are interested in being a part of a business community, joining in networking events, and meeting new people
  • If you need to provide your small business with some more professional touches like a business address, receptionist-answered phone calls, and access to conference rooms for meetings

What amenities do DC coworking spaces typically offer?

Most coworking companies in Washington DC offer a host of standard amenities. In addition to a desk that you can use (either an unassigned “floating” desk, or an assigned one), there is usually access to features like free wifi, restrooms, a kitchen area, conference rooms, and office equipment (e.g. copy machines, printers). There is typically a receptionist, lobby area, and security services for the building that you benefit from as well.

How are coworking spaces usually laid out?

Coworking spaces can be large, small, or somewhere in between. The larger spaces might span several floors in a building, providing an array of private offices, suites, and open plan rooms with lots of desks, sofas, and chairs. Smaller coworking companies might only have one large shared space for working, plus conference rooms that can be reserved by members for private meetings.

Many coworking offices also have a separate shared kitchen space with free coffee and a lobby with a receptionist. Some have extra dedicated rooms like fitness centers, nursing rooms, a lounge, a community space for events, showers, storage space, and so on.

Popular neighborhoods for coworking spaces

The most popular Washington DC coworking offices are usually the ones near public transit stops in downtown DC or in heavily populated suburban areas in Virginia and Maryland.

An overview of top coworking companies in DC

Carr Workplaces – Have several convenient locations, including near Capitol Hill, City Center, Georgetown, and on K Street. “Touchdown” desk starts at $299 a month, or a reserved desk at $440 a month, in any location. Day passes are priced at $25 a day.

Cove – With locations from Columbia Heights to Chinatown, Cove offers unlimited open access to all branches for $229 per month. If you like working odd hours, you can get nights and weekends access for only $79. Free snacks and coffee, soundproof booths for private phone and video calls, and special quiet zones are among the special amenities offered here.

District Offices – Whether you want to be in a private office, a smaller office with a dedicated desk, or the larger coworking environment, District Offices offers you four Washington DC locations to choose from. There is a staff to greet your guests, and incoming mail is delivered right to your desk. You can also purchase additional services like call answering, a private network, and notary services.

Flex Office Space – With three locations in the hip, artsy H Street Corridor, Flex Office Space features flex desks starting at a price as low as $125 a month – and that includes high-speed wifi, use of a Washington DC office address, event access, two free hours of access to conference rooms, and more.

IndustriousBethesda, Tysons, and Ballston are among the offices that coworking company Industrious has in the Washington DC area. In addition to the private offices and shared workspaces that are common in coworking spaces, Industrious also offers “Canvas Suites” made for larger teams (20+ workers) that are move-in ready and customized to your team.

MakeOffices – Furnished private offices start at $600 a month, and you can get shared office spaces that can accommodate teams as large as 30 people. There are numerous sites available, ranging from K Street right in downtown D.C. to popular suburbs like Reston, Virginia.

Metro Offices – Metro Offices are all over DC, Virginia, and Maryland, so you have no shortage of choices. With dedicated desks starting at $500 per month, amenities include everything from gym access to 24/7 building access.

Spaces – It’s not just about desks at Spaces. Featuring locations in Virginia, Maryland, and right in Washington DC, this coworking company designs office environments that also include sofas, chairs, and tables to create a great open atmosphere for working, meeting clients, and getting to know other interesting people using the space.

WeWork – As the godfather of coworking, WeWork offers a wide variety of coworking arrangements, making it easy to find the best situation that works for you and your team. Unique offerings range from the Labs Desk, which puts you in a community of early-stage start-ups, to configurable office space on your own private floor. WeWork has numerous locations in downtown DC and throughout the greater Washington D.C. area.

How to get started at a coworking space

Unless you are just purchasing a day pass, most coworking offices will expect you to sign up for a membership based on what type of arrangement you want. The monthly membership fee will vary based on whether you want a first-come-first-served desk (sometimes called a hot desk or shared desk), a dedicated desk, or some type of private office space for your business.

Coworking companies differ on whether they will offer you a month-to-month membership, or whether they will expect you to sign a longer contract. Typically, they are fairly flexible since the whole point of coworking is the need for flexibility.

Before signing up, you can ask the coworking space you are interested in for a tour to make sure you like the feel of the rooms. You may also want to try out a day pass a couple times first, to see if you enjoy working there, and consider attending one of their networking events. Also be sure to ask if the membership only applies to one location, or if you also get access to other locations that the coworking company might own.

 A few of the most notable DC coworking locations

Mindspace

1301 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

This fantastic location at One Franklin Square puts you close to lots of great restaurants and coffee shops to check out on your lunch hour. There are also impressive city views from the rooftop lounge to impress guests. Some unique amenities at Mindspace include on-site parking and bike parking.

The Wing

1056 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

Monthly membership fees start at $185 in this light-filled coworking space in the heart of Georgetown. The Wing is known for focusing on providing office space and a supportive networking community for women. This location includes amazing amenities like a meditation room, showers and lockers, a beauty room, and a café, and they also host community events.

Creative Colony

8720 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910

Just outside of Washington DC in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, Creative Colony is a great coworking community for everyone from creative professionals like designers and filmmakers to tech folks such as web developers. Memberships are scaled based on how often you expect to be in the office (e.g. once a week, part-time, full-time), and non-members can even get day passes for just $25.

The Yard

700 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003

Open coworking spaces start at $400 per month at this Capitol Hill district location, which is easily accessible by multiple forms of public transit. Special amenities at The Yard include ergonomic chairs, an art gallery, complimentary Eleva coffee, storage options (filing cabinets, lockers, etc.), a rooftop lounge, and a wellness program.

MakeOffices DC at K Street

1015 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

MakeOffices offers several coworking locations in the Washington DC area, but this is one of their best ones for people who want a prime downtown spot. Private offices from small (1-3 people) to extra large (11-19 people) are available for small businesses and start-ups, and coworking hot desks start at $350 per month. Unlimited craft beer on tap, a recording room, discounted gym memberships, and a relaxation room with massage chairs are among the extra cool amenities you will find here.

The HIVE 2.0

1231 Good Hope Road SE, Washington, DC 20020

Located on the lower level of the Anacostia Arts Center, The HIVE 2.0 is literally a Home for Innovators, Visionaries, and Entrepreneurs (HIVE). This space is proud to support small businesses, especially those run by women and minorities, and the amenities offered here include a yoga studio, black box theater, a café, and a graphic design and printing company.

Alley

2055 L Street NW Washington, DC 20036

“Powered by Verizon,” this coworking office prides itself on closing the gap between small businesses and large corporations. Special amenities include access to Verizon’s ThingSpace platform, a nursing room, business development services, unlimited coffee and tea, a mailbox, and a weekly catered lunch. Shared desk space starts at just $315 per month.

Hera Hub

5028 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016

With an aim to provide a serene and productive shared office space for ambitious women in business, Hera Hub offers memberships ranging from $169 to $429 a month. The Hub builds community through events like legal and marketing workshops, a Business Book Club, and members’ lunches.

ServCorp

1717 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006

Just a stone’s throw from the White House, this coworking office gives you a hot desk for just $300 a month (dedicated desks and offices also available). Member amenities include wifi, IT support, free self-serve coffee and tea, community events, and access to printers and scanners. For an extra fee, you can also get add-ons like use of a corporate address, voicemail to email, and a landline phone number answered by a receptionist.

Premier Workspaces

601 13th St NW, Washington, DC 20005

Located in the Homer Building, Premier Workspaces is a flexible office space that provides businesses and workers with private offices, furnished offices, virtual offices, meeting rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, covered parking, and a fitness center, among other amenities.

The Virtual Office Option

Many of the coworking companies in Washington DC also offer “virtual office” memberships for very reasonable rates ($75 per month is typical). This may seem odd considering the whole point of coworking is to provide a physical space. But what the virtual office does is offer a professional environment that people who work at home or on the go might appreciate. This usually includes an official mailing address, mail collection services, networking opportunities, invitations to events, and a select amount of time to access conference rooms for when you want to have an on-site meeting with a client.

Coworking can improve your networking opportunities

People initially often seek out coworking options because they need to save money, find a space for their team, or have a place to work with office amenities like printers, copiers, and that all-important coffee supply. But what often ends up being an unexpected advantage are the social benefits.

The chance to network with other entrepreneurs or creative types can help workers make helpful new professional connections. It can also just be nice to have a chance to chat and socialize through Happy Hours and interesting events sponsored by the coworking company.

Seize the day (and a desk) at a DC coworking office now

From Dupont Circle right in the heart of DC to Bethesda, MD, coworking spaces can be found everywhere in Washington DC. Whether you are a long-time freelancer or have just started a new business, coworking companies can offer you a dedicated workspace, access to conference rooms and free wifi, a thriving incubator for your start-up, a host of networking opportunities and events, lots of free coffee, and so much more. It’s a great chance to take the next step with your business and to become a part of a community of people like you.

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