Are co-working office spaces the solution to working from home? A Herald columnist gave it a try. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Are co-working office spaces the solution to working from home? A Herald columnist gave it a try. (Jennifer Bardsley)

Innovative shared office spaces change how we work from home

A full-time writer checked out Workhorse HQ in Edmonds, which offers a “hot desk” membership.

As a full-time writer and stay-at-home mom, I’m no stranger to working from home. It sounds great in theory until the washing machine beeps, the phone rings with a exciting opportunity to own a timeshare in Mexico and you’re the person in charge of making sure the CrockPot is turned on.

Distractions are everywhere — and that was before virtual school began and your spouse worked from home, too.

All of these are reasons why Workhorse HQ in Edmonds has intrigued me since it opened last year right around the time the pandemic hit. A shared office space with a pocket-view of Possession Sound, Workforce HQ offers a host of other amenities including WiFi, coffee, locally brewed beer and kombucha on tap, plus the opportunity to work away from unfolded piles of laundry.

As soon as I was two weeks past my second shot of Moderna, I was eager to try out the space myself. A day pass costs $25, but your first visit is free. Maybe, I thought, I could use that free visit to knock off two columns and 60 pages of fiction editing in the same time it took me to finish one column and three piles of laundry at home.

I arrived to the space at around 9:30 a.m. on a Thursday and was immediately impressed by the aesthetics. It has an urban hipster vibe with dark wood and industrial edges, giving the impression of a loft humming with activity. The best part was there wasn’t a washer or dryer begging for my attention. I poured myself a mug of coffee, claimed a desk and began writing.

The coffee might have been a bad idea, because drinking it meant temporarily removing my mask. It also necessitated an extra trip to the restroom. I could have left my computer at the desk, but I packed it up and brought it with me just in case. Once I was back at my desk, I typed up a storm. The environment was highly conducive to productivity, despite the low buzz of voices all around me.

In the phone booth, a man recorded a podcast. In the middle of the room, another man answered a call. There was also a small group of teenagers doing asynchronous learning together. It was similar to an office environment as opposed to a noisy coffee house which is where I sometimes wrote prior to the pandemic.

A “hot desk” membership at Workhorse HQ start at $199 a month and includes 24/7 access to the facility, free beverages and two credits to reserve the conference room. You’re also allowed to bring a well-behaved dog, although I didn’t see any pooches the day I visited.

It will be interesting to see if more co-working spaces like Workhorse HQ pop up in a post-pandemic world. Many companies are normalizing work-from-home days, but not every employee has a productive home to work from — unless of course, you enjoy doing laundry.

You can find out more information about Workhorse HQ by visiting their website at www.workhorsehq.com.

Jennifer Bardsley publishes books under her own name and the pseudonym Louise Cypress. Find her online on Instagram @jenniferbardsleyauthor, on Twitter @jennbardsley or on Facebook as Jennifer Bardsley Author. Email her at teachingmybabytoread@gmail.com.

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