In today’s tech-driven work environment, almost anyone with a laptop and an iPhone can work independently and earn a (hopefully) decent living. Freelance work, entrepreneurial ventures, and telecommuting are all on the rise—which means lots of people working at home in their sweats. But after a while, sitting cross-legged on your couch and taking conference calls at the kitchen table can get old. Not to mention lonely.
So it’s not surprising that co-working spaces have popped up all over to fill the void between home office and corporate office. Here in Westchester, there are a number of options, including the newest, Ground Floor Coworking, which opened in New Rochelle last month. The benefits of co-working, says Miriam Gilwit, who founded Ground Floor along with her parents, Kathy and Roy Gilwit, include productivity and community. “Co-working provides an affordable alternative to the high price of the typical rented office, the distraction of the coffee shop, and the isolation of the home office,” she says. “Working alongside other professionals creates a community that inspires, motivates, and empowers.”
Ground Floor has been a family project, Miriam notes: they all wanted a local space to be professional and creative, and pitched in together to clean up and restore the space and design the signage; Roy’s artwork graces the walls; and Kathy uses the space for her writing, seminar, and networking projects. Though they’ve only been open a short while, customers using the space include professionals in contracting, illustration, urban planning, medical sales, and media, Miriam notes.
As is typical for co-working spaces, Ground Floor offers users the choice of a designated or shared desk, large or small conference room, and event space that can be rented by the night or the hour. Desks and conference room rates run from $30 per day up to $350 per month based on usage and space access. Ground Floor’s amenities, according to Miriam, include Wi-Fi, print/fax/copy capabilities, use of a professional mailing address, a kitchenette, ample street parking, and proximity to Metro-North.
As for the competition from other co-working spaces, Miriam says, “We believe that a co-working office is integral for every corner of the county. Ground Floor has an amazing central location in New Rochelle by City Hall, on the ‘ground floor’ of an historic building less than a 15 minute walk to downtown New Rochelle.”
Co-Working Spaces in Westchester:
Ground Floor Coworking, 547 North Ave, New Rochelle (914) 999-4324; groundfloorcw.com
Serendipity Labs, 80 Theodore Fremd Avenue, Rye (914) 908-6770; serendipitylabs.com
W@tercooler, 21 N Broadway Tarrytown (914) 332-1400; watercoolerhub.com