Confession time — I’ve had a lot of trouble working from home lately. I’ve been trying super hard to use the time when my kids are in school to be as efficient and productive with my time as possible so I can break the habit of staying up into all hours of the night finishing up my work. The reality, however, is that once my kids are gone I spend my “office hours” tidying up the kitchen, picking up and putting away laundry and, in short, cleaning up the mess that is left behind when everyone departs in the morning. As much as I wish I could ignore it all and focus on my work, I have a hard time being creative when there is chaos around me. So when Industrious, a co-work company with offices in major cities across the country asked me if I wanted to try out their co-work office space, I jumped at the chance. Lucky for me, they have a new location opening less than five minutes from my house in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia next month.
Because Industrious’s new location in Ballston Exchange doesn’t open until January, I’ve been visiting their other locations in the D.C. and nearby Bethesda, Maryland. My immediate reaction when first stepping into their office space is how stunning and aesthetically pleasing it is. It’s an Instagram-lovers dream. Every space is picture perfect. For someone like me who is trying to tap into creative energy in their daily work being in a setting as inspirational as this puts a smile on my face and gets me excited to get to work.
Beyond aesthetics, there are a lot of benefits to a co-work space that I didn’t realize I missed since I stopped working in a traditional office a decade ago. I’m a social person by nature so I really appreciate the opportunity to chat with other people by the proverbial water cooler during my work day. I had gotten so used to working solo that I hadn’t even realized how much I missed the social interaction. There is breakfast every weekday, snacks in the afternoon, and a weekly happy hour to entice everyone into the common space to take a break and interact.
Co-working offers the best elements of working in an office. You get to be a part of a community and have co-workers but everyone is basically self-employed or employed by different companies. Working in a shared office space offers the opportunity to meet other self-employed creative types or network with other businesses. It allows me to introduce myself and what I’m doing to a range of businesses I might not reach otherwise.
One of my favorite benefits of being apart of the co-working community is having access to the community events. I love checking the calendar to see what speakers and seminars are scheduled. The professional development opportunities are something you definitely miss out on when you are working from home. I also love that my membership allows me to use meeting spaces and the communal rooms for gatherings if I’m hosting an event.
This post was created in partnership with Industrious. Opinions expressed are my own.
If you like this post please subscribe to receive regular email updates. Did you know that now you can follow a hashtag on Instagram? Follow #lunchwithagirlfriend. For more inspiration, you can also follow me on Facebook and Pinterest .