Several weeks ago a women-only co-working / social club space opened up in Georgetown, DC just a few blocks from my firm’s office.  I have never actually used a co-working space, and decided that as workplace researcher, I owed it to myself to try it out.  I also thought the fact that it was women-only was intriguing and might make a good story for New America’s Better Life Lab.  It did, and you can find the article here:

Where Is the Demand for Women-Only Co-Working Spaces Coming From?

This co-working company, called the Wing, has received a great deal of press lately.  Most of the stories out written about them are pretty snarky and a little unfair in my view.  I decided to dig a little deeper and interview several women who are currently using the space to find out about their unique experiences and perspectives.  I also spent time there myself for a few hours at a time, and at different times of the day and week.  I continue to spend time there when I can.  It’s a lovely place to work.

The co-working revolution is still very new, but already there are all sorts of boutique communities out there, each created for different needs and cohorts.  It’s a rapidly expanding market, with many of these new co-working businesses starting in just the past year or two.  My advice to reporters, architects, workplace designers, gig workers and anyone else who is curious about co-working…  don’t judge these places until you’ve hung out in them for a while.  Maybe even try a few of them.  You might just find a new design ideas, new business partners, new friends or… a new perspective.

Photograph of Leigh StringerLeigh Stringer is a workplace strategy expert and researcher.  She works for EYP, an architecture and engineering firm and is the author of The Healthy Workplace: How to Improve the Well-Being of Your Employees—and Boost Your Company’s Bottom Line.