*Like, when Netflix is all, "Here's 30 new hours of Arrested Development, try being productive now!"
You'd think it would be most people's dream to skip the office, and pants, in favor of working from home. Apparently not so much. The internet, loneliness, creative stagnation and lack of tools are moving more people out of the home and into collective coworking spaces. It's an opportunity to meet new people and access expensive office supplies, and occasionally free beer.
Here's a round-up of Dallas coworking spaces. Think we missed one? Throw it in the comments.
Weld Austin Mann, a traveling photographer and filmmaker, wanted a physical space for people like him. He was tired of the over-priced coffee and wobbly tables of Starbucks and felt artistically isolated. Insert Weld.
"The ethos of the space is trustworthy people with good hearts doing worthwhile projects, he says. "It's all about good energy."
Weld is a converted warehouse where a young man can nonchalantly scooter around while indie-instrumental music plays softly in the background. As I toured the space, filled with offices and two studios, everyone seemed to know each other and was wearing flip-flops. Weld has 70 members, half of which are photographers and the rest a combination of web designers, creative directors, and startups. Studio space and equipment are available to rent. There's a kitchen with free coffee and beer on tap, currently Revolver Blood & Honey.
Best for: artists Costs: $20 for a day pass; $150/month lite membership; $400/month membership; prices vary for a private office; must apply for membership Location: 2410 Farrington, Dallas
The Common Desk At nearly 9,000 square feet, the Common Desk has plenty of room for you or your new company. The space is open and industrial with eccentric artwork by Deep Ellum artists adorning the walls. The second floor is all dedicated desk space, meaning startups rent the space permanently. The first floor is more open and workers come and go throughout the day.
The Common Desk's 60 members include a smorgasbord of professionals. Social media startups, marathon-training services, freelance accountants -- things like that. It has the typical office amenities like printers, free coffee, conference rooms, etc., and ample free parking is a major plus. Bottomless beer is available for members, Deep Ellum brew of course. Currently just available in bottles, but draft coming soon.
Best for: relaxed professionals Costs: $20 for a day pass; $100/month for moonlite pass (5pm - 12am); $200/month for coworking; $300/month for dedicated desk; $800+/month for an office Location: 2919 Commerce Street, Dallas
The Hub Like the common desk, minus the cool factor. Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. it has a combination of shared work spaces, private offices, training rooms, and conference rooms. The Hub bills itself as a "resource center for awesome people doing awesome things who want to work alongside like-minded people." Not awesome -- you have to ask reception for a key to use the restroom, just like 7-11.
They do have good resources for startups like in-house IT, copywriters, design and web services, and virtual assistants.
Best for: typical worker bee Costs: $20 for a day pass; $150 part-time membership; $350/month membership; $500+/month for an office Location: 14228 Midway Road #104, Dallas
Dallas Makerspace Don't be deterred by the sketchy surroundings and shabby exterior: Makerspace is like a college dorm room except bigger and with better toys.
Kind of like a frat-house for nerds, the front room has lockers on the wall and is filled with mix-matched furniture and old-school gaming systems (i.e. joysticks, atari, and Nintendo 64). There's a vending machine in the hall where you can buy popcorn, USBs, mints, and tool kits. Bookshelves have titles like the Laser Cookbook and probably every-copy ever of Nuts & Volts. There's an electronic and robotics room, craft room, dark room, and a kitchen stocked with what else, ramen and coke. There's a designated area for woodworking, blacksmithing and similar medieval trades. Members liken themselves to a hacker group (in the community for computer lovers sense, not the illegal sense). In addition to events like RBNO (robot builders night out), every Thursday is social hour and show-and-tell for current projects.
Best for: techies Costs: $50/month, $35/month for qualifying starving hackers Location: 2995 Ladybird, Dallas
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, co-owner and movie producer, opened the XL lounge in January. The office is conveniently attached to a 2- hour MiNi Cafe that specializes in Colombian coffee and empanadas. Inconveniently there is no free coffee and outside coffee is forbidden.
Otherwise XL lounge has the typical office amenities plus a creative zone, classic arcade games and shuffleboard. It's open 24/7 by key-card access. There is a VP, Executive, and CEO level depending on how important you feel.
Best for: the poor freelancer Costs: $15 for a day/night pass; other prices vary Location: 3001 Knox, Dallas