Creating A Comfortable Co-Working Space

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Founder Friday San Francisco will be held at net.workspace in San Francisco on September 7, 2012.

By Jennifer Miller (Co-Founder & CFO, net.workspace)

Let’s face it, working independently can be one of the loneliest experiences of professional life. If you’ve worked in a large corporate situation as I have, you find yourself missing all of the little things that used to annoy you about the office.

Longing for water cooler talks about shows you don’t watch, having a reason to wear your closet full of business clothes, and missing the company of the cubemates that you didn’t have anything in common with. More than anything else it’s the interpersonal contact, no matter how trivial, that makes you yearn for a more populated work environment.

After working from home for a year and having to commute from the wine country to San Francisco a few times a week, I decided it was time to establish a more permanent office situation. Instead of leasing an office in some equally secluded corporate space, I decided to pursue the idea of working at a co-working space for the social atmosphere, and the interesting mix of people these types of spaces bring together.

I visited quite a few co-working spaces around San Francisco, and saw some really great spaces, but couldn’t seem to find anything that felt like a community where people knew one another but was still highly conducive to getting work done. Basically, I wanted to find the right mixture of social openness and professionalism. After not being able to find a co-working space like the one I envisioned, my business partner and I decided to start our own.

At net.workspace, our aim is to create a professional work environment that is comfortable for everyone. It’s not a corporate ecosystem, fraught with the meaningless formalities and assumed self-importance of the traditional office, but it’s a space where people can come and get work done without feeling like they’re not allowed to wear flip flops and have a beer or glass of wine while they work. And for me personally, it‘s about creating an environment that feels comfortable.

While touring co-working spaces in the area, the thing that stood out to me more than anything else was the lack of women. Not that there weren’t women there, but just that they were very much in the minority. This could be the result of there being fewer women working independently than men, but I wanted to create a space that women could come and work comfortably without feeling like they were invading some type of boys’ club.

It’s this idea of creating a space with a more even gender population that lead me to reach out to Women 2.0 to create a partnership that would bring a little more of a female perspective to the co-working community. We hosted their Founder Friday event in July and enjoyed it so much that we’re working on having them at net.workspace headquarters for the next six months or so.

The choice to partner with Women 2.0 was relatively easy. Their mission of empowering their community by fostering innovation and growth among female entrepreneurs aligns perfectly with our attempt to provide independent women in the workforce a place to make their business dreams come to life. Bringing together communities of like-minded professionals is at the core of both of our organizations, and it exactly these kinds of partnerships that benefit everyone involved.

We hope hosting Founder Friday is just the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between Women 2.0 and net.workspace. I urge you to check out one of the upcoming Founder Friday events and tap into the physical community that Women 2.0 brings together.

Editor’s note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below.

Photo credit: net.workspace on Facebook.

About the guest blogger: Jennifer Miller is Co-Founder and CFO of net.workspace, a co-working space in San Francisco. She is a CPA serving in finance roles for startups and established companies. She currently works as VP of Finance for Pintoresco Advisors, a Los Angeles based mergers & acquisitions firm helping clients both large and small to define strategies, capitalize projects, and negotiate and structure deals. Follow her on Twitter at @netdotworkspace.