- Posted by Graham Dockrill
- On November 10, 2017
- 2 Comments
- co-working, hotdesk, networking, NYC, office, remote working, shared spaces, workspace
Networking is an essential part of any businessperson’s life. It enables you to meet new people and create new opportunities. By being open-minded you can challenge the status quo, grow your business and think differently. The most successful ideas I have incorporated into my businesses are often from an unrelated sector. When mining for gold, it’s often best to dig in a place someone else hasn’t looked. In this article I’m going to talk about using your everyday routines to benefit your business and how to optimise your networking opportunities using co-working spaces.
New York City is a diverse little world. It’s full of creative thinkers and big business with millions of transactions taking place every day. The main working area of Manhattan extends from the financial district to the grasslands of Central Park. The distance between the two is just under 8km, equivalent to the distance between Riccarton Mall and Fitzgerald Ave in Christchurch, New Zealand. This small package of land is stuffed full of 1.6 million residents and 1.5 million commuters every workday.
Working commuters double Manhattan’s population from around 1.6 million to 3 million Monday to Friday. As a comparison, Auckland has 1,210 people per square kilometre while Manhattan has 27,798 per square kilometre. This number then doubles with commuters.
This density leads to Manhattan developing distinct communities of like-minded people. Artists hang out with artists, well-suited finance moguls hustle down Wall Street and us entrepreneurs are left to go wherever the day takes us. The cultural diversity changes significantly block to block. The challenge is to decide how to make this landscape work for us and our developing businesses.
In my experience, I’m unlikely to bump into a like-minded entrepreneur in Bushwick. The Brooklyn hive of ‘off-the-wall cool’ doesn’t always align well with venture capital and IT entrepreneurship. I spent one day in a graffitied, vegan hot-spot and felt completely over dressed and over showered. The three-piece suit and two-tone shoes didn’t seem to gel with the locals. Alternatively, hours in the Upper West Side, walking past rows of shop fronts displaying Gucci loafers can make most people feel seriously poor.
I don’t have a long-term office or on-site work colleagues so it’s important for me to find a workspace that suits my style. It must complement my workday needs and ideally feed into productive networking opportunities. I have found suitable environments at co-working spaces all around the city. I’ve listed some of these below.
A great idea in co-working spaces city-wide comes to fruition with DropDesk. This team use restaurants as co-working spaces during the day. From 7am to 5pm these beautiful restaurants and dining rooms are kitted out with electrical ports, drip coffee and freelance workers. Come 5pm the space is replaced with dinner reservations, eager diners and clinking cutlery. Spacious holds networking breaks which are vital to connecting with the across-the-room co-worker.
Subscription to Dropdesk is free, you just pay for the space you use, giving you access to many of the finest locations across NYC.
The Farm has warm, rustic interiors which are inspired by, you guessed it, farms! You will sit at long tables made of salvaged wood illuminated by naked bulbs hanging from the ceiling. The atmosphere is designed to make you feel like you’ve left the city for the countryside in search of some fresh ideas, and the space is repurposed for events after working hours.
$100–$400USD a month.
WeWork is the ‘Regus’ of the millennial generation. They have facilities around the world and their mantra is ‘humanise work’.
Plans start from as little as $200USD a month for a hot desk environment.
Founded by a School of Visual Arts (VSA NY) animation graduate, The Productive is a co-working space in Midtown West that caters to the specific needs of creative professionals and entrepreneurs. If you’re a creative, this is the place to be. All the computer workstations have dual monitors and tablets and programs such as Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Dreamweaver and more.
Membership starts at $200USD a month.
Based in the Financial District, Primary is unique in creating a co-working space where wellness takes a prominent role. Primary does a lot more than just offer juice smoothies and healthy granola bars. It has classes for yoga, mediation, boot camp and cardio workouts. Featured events can be anything from your basic networking luncheon to a class on perfume making.
Membership starts at $300 a month.
The design of the five-floor Neuehouse in New York is stunning and feels more like a chic hotel than an office space. In exchange for its upmarket food options, private library, screening room, recording studio and its all round air of sophistication and elegance, members can pay some of the highest fees for co-working space in the city. Understandably, this attracts a clientele: polished, affluent and working in artistic-leaning industries like fashion, film or media.
$200–$1,250USD a month.
If you want to sound like Batman this is the place! When do you get the chance to say, “I’m off to the Bat Haus!” Bat Haus has several other enticing perks. The Bushwick co-working space strongly emphasises a community vibe by having no single offices; it’s entirely open plan. There’s a backyard where you can stretch your legs in the summer and it’s more welcoming of dogs than of people taking phone calls.
$225USD a month.
Blender is recognized as a leading luxury workspace located in the NoMad neighbourhood of New York City. This space was custom built for high-caliber professionals who value thoughtful design and an elevated work experience. Since opening, Blender Workspace has evolved into a hub for creative, lifestyle and wellness brands, with several prominent firms calling Blender home.
$350USD a month.
When looking at co-working spaces you should always ask ‘how can I look to utilise this landscape of global cities to best assist my growing business?’ Citrus Tree Consulting represents and works for several businesses across multiple sectors. When choosing a co-working space it’s important to match the space with your client.
- Fintech cluster around Think Rise and Level 39
- Smart City Technology companies cluster at Future Cities
- CleanTech now have an option at Better Futures
Whatever your vertical, there is a co-working space or incubator to meet your requirements. Citrus Tree Consulting welcomes the opportunity to assist and guide you through this decision-making process.
Graham Dockrill is a seasoned entrepreneur who works across the United States, United Kingdom and New Zealand helping businesses reach their full potential. Founder of Citrus Tree Consultants, Graham works with a wide range of companies, specialising in aligning strategy and sales.