I am a huge fan of OpenSpace, the collaborative workspace that opened in downtown Charlottesville a couple of years ago. You can find me there pretty often and when I host workshops or large client meetings, it is my location of choice.
Here are 10 reasons I like it, and I think you will too:
- I get to be around other smart people like John Feminella or Cathy Pales; people who give off energy and creativity like sparks and who are just pleasant to be with, in the same room. It is certainly nice to network with people in person once in awhile rather than solely online.
- OpenSpace is clean, well-lit and consistently maintained, which is more than I can say for my home office.
- There are always drinks and snacks, in case I’m in hard-core deadline mode and can barely stop long enough for a decent break.
- It’s perfectly situated and set up for the many workshops I deliver to small (20 or fewer participants) groups; the conference rooms I use are always comfortable, set up perfectly and ready to provide a professional backdrop to my content.
- The chairs are green, super cool and comfortable to sit in for hours at a time.
- OpenSpace is a stone’s throw from the downtown mall, making it a convenient landing space for me to work in between meetings.
- It’s not my house! For someone who works independently from home, it is a relief to be able to get out among other working people in a focused environment where there are no a) dogs b) kids c) Jehovah’s Witnesses at the door.
It’s not a coffee shop! Don’t get me wrong — I love coffee and the places where I buy it, but those places are not always ideal environments for getting serious work done. Often, there’s a lack of seating, outlets or space to spread out. You never have that at OpenSpace.
- OpenSpace is right next to the gym. Excuses just fly out the window!
- The culture fostered by working in a collaborative environment is interesting, friendly and kinda (dare I use this word) intellectual. I love looking at the faces of my “coworkers” deep in concentration or at the moment they find a solution. And because I don’t actually work with any of them, it’s the first zero-politics work environment I’ve ever had.
Try OpenSpace for free, and tell them I sent you!
If you are not in Charlottesville, and the idea of a collaborative workspace appeals to you, keep talking about it; every market should have a space like this one — if you’re in Charlottesville and have only heard of the space, check it out.