Coworking In Manhattan NYC: The Ultimate Guide

2nd FL WEST (Coworking) (Open Space)

Planning to start coworking in Manhattan NYC? Whether you’re a digital nomad, a freelancer, a remote worker, or a startup owner, you can bet that you’ll find a great shared workspace location here.  

Nicknamed The City, the NYC borough is home to some of the world’s finest coworking spaces. Manhattan residents and visitors definitely have plenty of choices here, ranging from small budget-friendly spaces to bigger locations with more features and amenities.

Regardless of your preference, there are numerous coworking office spaces in Manhattan capable of meeting your needs.

How coworking works  

manhattan nyc coworking space members in a shared workspace
Image source: canva.com

 

Before digging deeper, let’s take a closer look at what coworking actually is and how it works.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “coworking” as:

“A way of working in which people who work for different employers or for themselves share a building or office, often in order to be able to share ideas.”

By using a coworking space, you have a convenient office where you can sit with your laptop, charge devices, access the internet, and work on your projects.

In short, it’s a practical alternative for professionals looking for flexible, temporary workspaces. Instead of signing up a long-term lease at a traditional office, going with a communal office space allows you to save money.

Usually, coworking companies charge customers on a membership basis. They can either stay for an entire day (usually called a Day Pass package) or reserve a specific spot for a month (a Dedicated Desk). Meanwhile, common amenities include:

  • conference rooms
  • event venues
  • phone booths
  • private offices
  • and more!

In many ways, shared coworking spaces are more conducive to focused work compared with coffee shops and libraries – or even working from home. Distractions are greatly minimized and users are surrounded by hard working people all striving to achieve their respective goals. Each one becomes part of a diverse community of entrepreneurs, innovators, and professionals from different fields of industry.

Needless to say, this provides precious opportunities for like-minded individuals to make meaningful connections – and open doors for future collaborations.

If you are coworking in Manhattan NYC, you can likely count on having a positive experience since most providers have been around for years. Many companies in this side of New York have received top ranking from past customers, based on their Google reviews.

How coworking started and the rise of coworking in Manhattan NYC

To reflect on how the coworking trend began, we’ll have to take you back to Berlin, Germany in the year 1995. Back then, a group of “nerds, sci-fi fans, and digital activists” established a “hackerspace” they called C-Base. It became a place where they could “share knowledge, interact with other species and provide a space for like-minded groups and individuals.” 

Fast forward to 1999, the term “coworking” was coined by American game designer and “fun theorist” Bernard DeKoven. Although he was mainly referring to the style of working, the term later stuck and was used to refer to shared workspaces as well. 

In 2002, two Austrian businessmen launched an entrepreneur’s center in an abandoned Vienna factory. They called it Schrauben Fabrik and it later gained a reputation as “the mother of coworking spaces.”

Meanwhile, Brooklyn Coworking became the first true coworking space after it was opened by Brad Neuberg in 2006 in New York City. Now a 2020 Coworking Resources report tells us that Manhattan NYC overall has “245 coworking spaces covering about 7.7 million square feet.”

Today, coworking spaces of all sizes dot the planet. Communal office locations can be found as far afield as Colombia, Hong Kong, Philippines, South Africa, and more.

Is coworking right for you?

So, should you give coworking a go? Again, coworking can be ideal for different people for different reasons.

You may be a freelancer who needs a dedicated coworking space in New York City to achieve greater productivity. You may be a startup owner wanting to have a professional workspace but can’t afford renting a traditional office. Or perhaps you’re a digital nomad who prefers working from a professional coworking space instead of a hotel room or coffee shop.

If you want to take your game to the next level without spending big bucks, coworking may be your best option.

Moreover, it’s also a great alternative for a host of other reasons.

Take it from content specialist and copywriter Leora Raivich who discovered The Farm SoHo coworking spaces in 2019.

“I did a lot of traveling and working simultaneously as a freelancer,” she said. “New York was a visit in 2019 that was precious. Coming to The Farm SoHo gave me a home to write and connect, enjoy a friendly environment and thrive. The people were amazing, I was blessed to network with developers and writers, startups and the staff.”

How to make coworking work for you

a coworking space at thefarm soho in manhattan nyc
One of the many coworking spaces at The Farm SoHo in Manhattan NYC

There are important factors you need to keep in mind before you start coworking in Manhattan NYC.

To make the most of your experience, consider the following:

Accessibility and flexibility

First off, you’d want to pick a coworking space that’s located near your area. It makes perfect sense, right? You definitely want to work at a location that’s readily accessible from your home or hotel - not somewhere that will require a long commute daily.

Also, you want a coworking space that remains open during your most productive hours. As mentioned earlier, there are locations that grant members secure 24/7 access to their facilities. If you’re the type who prefers to work late at night, a coworking provider that only operates during normal business hours will not be ideal.

Look around for a nearby provider with hours that match your working style. See if you can find one within walking distance or at least a place you can bike or drive to in a few minutes.

Cost

Next, you want to compare prices before booking a Manhattan coworking space. Pay close attention to the different packages offered by a coworking company. More than that, take time to check out costs from various providers so you can see which one best fits your budget.  

It’s crucial that you take time to research if you want to end up with the best deal. While most coworking offers are fairly affordable, some offers are certainly better than others. So make sure that you go do your homework.  

And this doesn’t only apply to individuals - it’s also relevant for big businesses.

As a matter of fact, companies are turning to coworking to reduce costs and increase their earnings. An Entrepreneur feature likewise points out:

“It is a cost-savvy step to rent out a couple of seats in shared spaces rather than to lease an extra expensive high-rise building for a handful of employees.”

So yes, weigh up your options before making a final decision.  

Internet stability

Of course, a fast and reliable internet connection is a must in Manhattan – or anywhere else, for that matter. Without this, it’s impossible to get work done. Spotty WiFi is the worst nightmare of every coworking user, so make it a point to ask about this. If possible, visit the location and do an internet speed test. Also, check with the company if they have any backup in case of unexpected net outages in the area.

Amenities and facilities

Consider your needs as you rent a workspace in a coworking setting. Do you only need a desk and a chair? Or do you also need a quiet phone booth where you can take calls or do Zoom meetings? Do you need to use scanners and printers? Are you working with an entire team? Do you use conference rooms and occasionally host events?

Beyond a location’s design and aesthetics, you definitely want an events venue that meets your specific needs. So look into these aspects as you explore options for coworking in Manhattan NYC.

Other available services

Furthermore, you also want to know about additional services offered by your provider.

For example, The Farm SoHo - one of the very first coworking spaces in Manhattan - also has virtual mailbox solutions.

This type of service simplifies mail management for interested clients – even if they travel constantly. In this case, The Farm SoHo will receive letters and packages on your behalf. Upon your request, staff members open, scan, and forward important mail to you online. You can monitor all your physical correspondence straight from your mobile phone or laptop. You can even instruct them to discard and shred certain mail, if necessary.

Other features that may spark your interest include private offices in Manhattan NYC, enterprise solutions, and marketing services, among others.  

Read customer reviews

Another crucial matter is to read past customer reviews. This will help you evaluate an option based on what actual customers have to say about it. While there is no such thing as a perfect coworking space, you want to be aware about specific dealbreakers (i.e., slow internet, rude staff members, etc). 

Other than that, you can also ask friends and colleagues for their recommendations. They can provide you with plenty of useful insights if they’ve tried out different Manhattan coworking spaces before.

The community

Last but not least, you want to get a feel for the community in the coworking space. Remember that you’ll be working there on a regular basis. So you want something with the perfect atmosphere.

Again, you might want to make a personal visit. Plus you’ll want to talk with the community manager – who can be an invaluable resource for you.

Your community manager will “have a good knowledge of the people within the space,” explains Entrepreneur. “Ask questions, give feedback and share your ideas and your projects! They will be glad to listen to you and to help to find a solution together or introduce you to people who can help you professionally.”

After signing up for a coworking membership, you will need to…

Establish a routine

It’s always nice to have a structure, even if you’re working from a coworking space. Try to set a regular schedule to follow so you can still have a healthy work-life balance. That way, you will be able to avoid spending long hours on projects without a break.

Observe house rules

Needless to say, complying with the rules is key to making the most of coworking in Manhattan NYC. Be friendly and respect other professionals who use the space. 

Most of the time, coworking spaces are also pet-friendly. This means you can bring your beloved pooch or feline with you to work as long as you comply with set policies. For example, your pet must be housetrained and not aggressive, or it must stay in a pet carrier or have a muzzle; and it should never disturb other members. 

Attend community events

Expect to receive invitations to upcoming events such as networking nights, product launch parties, yoga classes, and more. While you are not compelled to attend each one, you can pick ones that interest you. In any case, you’ll want to meet and mingle with other professionals in a social setting. This will allow you to build connections and identify opportunities for potential collaboration. In addition, you’ll be able to unwind after a busy day.

“Connections with others are a big reason why people pay to work in a communal space,” said the Harvard Business Review. “Each coworking space has its own vibe, and the managers of each space go to great lengths to cultivate a unique experience that meets the needs of their respective members.”

Clean your space when you’re done working

Being responsible and cleaning your own space is recommended  as a coworking customer.

“Although coworking spaces have a cleaning staff, it's still up to each user to clean up after themselves,” advises Forbes. “Before leaving, take everything with you, and don't leave debris behind.”

Getting to coworking spaces in Manhattan NYC

Since Manhattan is one of the busiest boroughs of New York, you’ll want to plan your travels well. As mentioned earlier, booking a coworking space located close by is most recommended. If that’s not possible, you need to be smart about how you move around Manhattan.   

Commuters can ride subways, city buses, and, of course, New York’s famous yellow taxi cabs.

Meanwhile, those who are either using their own vehicles or are renting cars should take note of existing parking rules.

For example, you need to pay to park legally in Manhattan. You can pay street parking by using coins, credit cards, the NYC Parking Card or the ParkNYC app (which is available free for both iOS and Android devices). Metered parking rates could vary from $1.25 to $7.50 per hour for passenger vehicles, according to NYC.gov. On the other hand, commercial vehicles may need to pay an hourly rate of $5 to $8.

The website also reminds that Theater District parking meters “are available for public parking from 6 PM to 7 AM.” The site likewise adds:

  •  From 6 PM to midnight, the parking rate is $3 per hour.
  • From midnight to 7 AM, parking at these meters is free.
  • From 7 AM to 6 PM, only commercial vehicles are allowed to park, and the meters have an escalating rate. 

Metered parking zones allow free parking on Sundays and on legal holidays such as:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day 

If you’re planning to hire a car, you can check out car sharing companies like Enterprise and Zipcar. Otherwise, those who’d rather explore Manhattan using a bike can check out Citi Bike.

Conclusion

Coworking in Manhattan NYC is indeed a practical alternative for any professional who wants to be productive. Whether you’re a local or a digital nomad, following the above-mentioned pointers will help ensure that you make the most of your stay.

With the right coworking space, you will be able to save money and time, while achieving your career goals as well. You can enjoy the modern facilities, amazing workplace flexibility and vibrant community that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere. You will be more in control of your budget and schedule, too. Good luck!

*Featured image source: canva.com

Check Out What Else We Do!

Are you looking for a NYC event venue for personal or business occasions? Do you need a fresh perspective for your workday, a business address or virtual mailbox? If it’s time to level up your business and you’re looking to make some serious marketing moves, we have the answer for you!

Book A Tour

This location is fully booked.

Please select a different location.