With all the talk about WeWork in the news, it might sound like coworking spaces are a fad that has past its prime. Luckily for me and my coworkers at Industrious in downtown Austin, there are companies out there doing coworking spaces right. Industrious is one of them.
Coworking spaces are an interesting dynamic. An Industrious office is a home to numerous companies, including startups, small businesses, and even satellite offices for larger corporations. Freelancers often rent small offices or sign up for a membership so they can work in the common area of the office and enjoy Industrious’ amenities. A welcome break from a wobbly table at Starbucks or a sticky booth at the neighborhood McDonalds.
I enjoy working at Industrious, personally. It’s a fun environment overall and, as you’ll read in this blog post, the extras make working there something special.
Here are some reasons I love coworking at Industrious.
Private Office Spaces
The company I work for is headquartered in an Industrious office, with satellite offices located in several different countries through coworking spaces rented from different companies. We have several individual offices within the floor Industrious has set up in our building. Companies can rent large, medium, and small offices that comfortably fit between 2 and 8 employees.
Here’s where things get a little interesting. While our rented spaces are reserved for our employees, the offices are entirely walled in glass. That means anyone working in any of the other member companies can walk by and see pretty much everything that goes on in any other office. You can close the door for audio privacy, but you can’t escape the fishbowl effect working in a glass room.
Still, the idea of having your own desk in your own fishbowl is a step up from the common coworking solution of large tables with shared spaces, eliminating the ability for your team to readily collaborate.
Snacks and Happy Hour
I’m a simple man. Give me delicious goodies to eat and a fridge stocked with sodas and sparkling water, and I’m happy. Industrious delivers in this category. Our particular location has an excellent team that is constantly coming up with fun events to put together for the members.
Snacks are on the bar in the common room every afternoon, with an occasional treat that goes above and beyond. Each morning, we are treated to either bagels, pastries, or breakfast tacos. If you’re a fan of avocados and toast, they have you covered.
Thursdays bring happy hour. Board games, stories, and plenty of alcohol. It’s a relaxed atmosphere around the office and everyone comes together to network and take a break from the grind.
Twice a week, the team makes a batch of fruit-infused water from fresh fruit. It’s the perfect refreshment!
Community Management Team
Our Community Manager and Operations Assistant at Industrious are incredible. They take time to talk to each member to find out how their day is going and actively look for ways to make them happy.
One day, out of the blue, the Operations Assistant (Andi) and Community Manager (Margaret) surprised me with a gift for my two-year-old son. It was a set of wooden food items, perfect for his make-believe kitchen. A thoughtful gift that showed that the team had not only listened to me mention him but had paid active attention when I casually mentioned his passion for pretend cooking.
The team makes being at Industrious special. They take what would normally be a busy office of intermixed companies trying to work together and turn it into a fun community-oriented place that is genuinely interesting.
On occasion, an event will take place in the office that allows members to break away from office life and enjoy something entertaining during their workweek.
Once or twice a month, a team of masseuses come in and give massages to members. A yoga instructor has visited our location and offered free classes on stretching and relaxation techniques. Our operations assistant even lead a lunch-and-learn class teaching us some basic American Sign Language.
Events like these make working at Industrious not only more enjoyable, but arguably more productive as we are able to dive back into work with a refreshed state of mind after what is a quick, relaxing, and often educational break.
Industrious isn’t for everyone, but for companies and freelancers looking for a good environment to work in that isn’t also a busy restaurant or coffee shop, it’s a great option to have.