Why I Joined a Coworking Space

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

I'm a proud new(ish) member of Limelight, a coworking space in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood. Having been a full-time remote staffer for nearly eight years now (oh my God), I've definitely gotten the hang of working from home - & every coffee shop within a five-mile radius. But sometimes, I want something more like... well, more like a real office.

Enter Limelight, an absolutely beautiful new space that opened in May.

I was invited to work out of Limelight for free for a few days during their two-week soft launch, when they were still completing some of their construction & decor. I spent about three days there & was absolutely in love with the space, so in September, I took the plunge & joined.

What do I love about being a member of a coworking space? Let me count the ways:
  1. Switching it up: I love my coffee shop life, but just as I'm perpetually searching for new coffee shops to keep things interesting, Limelight offers yet another space to choose from. It's huge, there's always somewhere to sit, & you can stay all day, if you want, which is decidedly not the point of most coffee shops. It's also a gorgeously decorated space that's just pleasant to work in.
  2. Faux coworkers: The best thing about working from a coworking space is working around other people. Sure, I work around other people when I sit in coffee shops, but there's a certain hustle & bustle there that doesn't always jibe with my need to crack down & work. Limelight feels like a real office (because it is), & unlike at coffee shops, the conversations with strangers are friendly but not intrusive - because we're all there to work.
  3. An office, when I need it: My apartment doesn't always feel like the most formal of spaces (um, because it's not). Working at Limelight allows me access to some office amenities I don't normally have, including a printer & a fax machine - & it has both better wifi & cell service than my apartment does.
  4. Safe space: At coffee shops, I can ask a stranger to keep an eye on my stuff while I run to the bathroom, praying no one robs me (no one yet has, knock on wood) - but if I need to grab lunch or take a walk around the block, I have to take everything with me. At Limelight, I can claim my space & leave my things throughout the day - like at an office.
  5. Fun benefits: Limelight offers free coffee & tea, they have snacks for sale at low prices  (including Gushers!), & there's a full kitchen/pantry area for keeping your food cold/warm/whatever. They also host events, like happy hours & networking opportunities. I like that my membership includes worthwhile extras that make the space feel more like a community & less like a... well, just a space.
  6. Convenient location: Limelight is in the heart of Ohio City, about a mile from my home. It's next to a grocery store (easy lunches) & near lots of restaurants & bars (good for quick meetings, after-work happy hours, etc). It's also in the same neighborhood as my riding studio, which is probably why I only ever show up to Limelight in workout gear. I wear real clothes, guys, I swear! 

The only bad thing about my Limelight membership is totally my own fault: I'm having a hard time figuring out how to space out my visits! I don't want to use up all my days at the start of the month, so I hang onto them... & then by the end of the month, I don't have time to use them all. I'm still searching for that perfect balance, but I'll figure it out.

Moral of the story: As someone who's worked from home for so long, joining a coworking space - & Limelight, in particular - has been a gamechanger for me in terms of opportunities, community, & the ability to feel like an actual, professional human who puts on pants during the daytime.

Have you ever tried a coworking space? Are you interested in Limelight? Let me know, & we can go together! 

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