A New Work Movement: Personal Stories
By Wesley Verhoeve
A FEW YEARS BACK I SPENT MY MORNINGS COMMUTING FROM BROOKLYN TO AN OFFICE IN MANHATTAN. I had my own small staff, a beautiful space in a prestigious area, but also the constant financial pressure to keep it all going in a very challenging creative environment. It was very hard to balance creative freelance work with the financial realities of high fixed costs in a volatile environment, and in the end it didn’t work out.
We closed the office, I had to cut back on staff, and I found myself working from home and coffee shops. While there was relief in removing the financial burden and management time required from having an office, I also found myself missing the social interaction and inspiration derived from being around other creative people. After a few months of back pain and creative loneliness I was invited to join Studiomates, a creative co-working space in Brooklyn. It changed everything... for the better. For a fraction of the trouble, and a small chunk of my previous office rent, I now had a work home again. Surrounded by other creatives to collaborate and commiserate with, the quality of my work slowly returned to form, as did my level of happiness. It made all the difference to combine the good parts of having an office, with the good parts of not having an office: the flexibility, the inspiration, the friendship and sense of community, the lower financial burden, and most of all the peace of mind of having somewhere to go for work that doesn’t also have your bed.