Moving to Washington DC I have checked out the coworking space scene; mostly to find a sense of community. If you have every moved to a new city not knowing anyone; moving to any place new can be lonely. My first stop was Cove Capitol Hill while I was apartment hunting. The hosts on staff that day was very friendly and showed me around. The Capitol Hill location is huge, has multiple stories and is great for groups. Walking distance from Eastern Market, it’s super easy to get to. The chairs are color coordinated so it’s easy to figure out what areas are reserved and what are available for walk ins. To check in you scan a barcode at a tablet near the entrance. This helps you keep track of your hours.
I have also been to the Cove locations in Columbia Heights, Dupont Circle and WeWork in Chinatown. All are great spaces but they cater to different types of productives (Yes I just made that word up). I am partial to WeWork, but that’s only because they allow people to bring their dogs, but I will talk more about WeWork at another time.
I attended a DC Meetup event at Cove CoHi (Columbia Heights) a few weeks back. The vast space made it a solid place to have a meetup of about 20 people. A small detail I really like at the CoHi location are the callboxes. You can actually make a phone call without worrying about disturbing others working or being overheard. This is actually an important detail that I have seen other places overlook. The Cove Columbus Heights location is actually closer to my apartment, but I prefer the The Cove Dupont because it gets a lot of great natural light. Lighting really affects my productivity, so it makes a difference to me. Also the colors of the spaces are light and airy. Not dungeon like at all, which is important if you are living in an English basement; as a quarter of DC residents do.
Cove has a lot to offer other than just space: free coffee, soda, water and juices; free printing, faxing, scanning and copying is also included even if you are there for only a few hours. The price point for Cove is a good jumping off point for people just starting to leave their home offices behind and venturing into the world of getting stuff done at coworking spaces. Starting off at $24 for 8 hours a month. I think this would be great for out of town visitors passing through the city. Isn’t everyone passing through DC though? With a total of four locations and another one opening up in Alexandria this fall (actually today) you can easily find metro accessible Cove locations throughout the city. Conference rooms are available at all the locations if you need that feature and want to meet clients or contractors. Now I know you are probably thinking, ” Why would you pay for a coworking space, when you can work at Starbucks or a local coffee shop for free?”. Honestly, if you want to get work done without distractions and make sure you are able to get administrative tasks done like printing, scanning or take a phone call without listening to people’s coffee order in the background- then coworking is a great option. Cove specifically is flexible enough that you don’t have to commit to a set schedule, but has enough structure that you know what to expect when you walk into any Cove location. The sense of community is growing for sure. I haven’t met regulars yet, myself – but I think that’s a work in progress. Happy hours being popular in the city, Cove has been known to host some (buying the first round), which helps get patrons away from their computer screens and hanging out in real life. If you do want to check out the Cove before becoming a member, they offer a free trial day, which is totally worth it. I believe you can sign up for a super discount this weekend at the new Alexandria location- so you might want to hop over there if you are interested.
Recognizing that I haven’t been to Affinity Lab, Impact Hub DC or Canvas, I really like Cove in Dupont Circle as far as convenience and affordability. Full disclosure, the founder, Adam Segal, went to Amherst and anyone that went to college in the Pioneer Valley has a special place in my heart. I am excited to see what the new space in Alexandria will look like. Depending on where I will be living next month (yes that is still up in the air) I might be frequenting that one more often.