With the freelance revolution, lots of Austinites are working from home these days. Since sitting alone with your computer can be a bit depressing, most of us like to venture forth to hit up the coffee shops for a bit of human interaction—and sweet, sweet caffeine.
But buying a cup of joe just to secure a rickety table at your favorite java hut can get expensive, and coffee shops owners can become downright surly about patrons camping out on a daily basis.
There’s got to be a better way.
Coworking spaces save the day
Even if you’re on a budget, coworking spaces can help break up your routine and get you fired up about your work week again. Since you don’t have to rent a dedicated office space, the costs are lower, and you can typically pay by the day or the month, dropping in as you like. Often times there are also discounts for purchasing larger blocks of time in advance.
Coworking spaces in Austin tend to be laid-back affairs, with open areas for laptop users to mingle or work in teams, but there are also more private spaces for those who need to put their heads down and get stuff done solo. There are also spaces for people who do artistic work and need a place to get messy.
Here are four great local options for your coworking adventures that won’t break the bank.
Conjunctured (1309 E. 7th Street) bills itself as “a coworking community,” and its space is both friendly and functional. Located on Austin’s east side, Conjunctured is a small house that was remodeled in 2008 as a workspace with four different rooms: a coworking community room, lounge, conference room and quiet room. Members have all kinds of benefits like access to free coffee and espresso, wifi, the on-site fax machine, copier and printers, and plenty of office supplies—not to mention the Conjunctured job board, for those seeking additional work. Basic membership is just $25 a month, or you can opt to purchase a day pass for $25 per day. You can also try out a free 1-day guest membership to get a feel for the place, anytime from noon to 6 PM, Monday through Friday. Just book your date in advance so members can show you around and introduce you to the gang.
ATX Hackerspace (9701 Dessau Road, Suite #304) is geared towards “makers,” or creative types who need room to stretch out with their artistic projects and make a mess. This space also great for crafty types who want to share tools and skills. Run as a co-op, those who want to join Hackerspace for coworking purposes will first need to attend a membership meeting, which are held on the first and third Tuesday of each month, starting at 7:30 PM. Visitors are welcome to drop by any time for open house events or to work in the space when other members are present. To get full 24-hour access to on-site tools and classes, you can become a patron for $75 a month on the pay-as-you-go plan or $50 a month with auto-payment. Co-op members need to pay a one-time $100 to buy their co-op share, and in return they receive additional discounts on classes and events. There’s also a $20 monthly discount for full-time students, and lay-away plans for those who need it.
The cheapest place in town to do a little coworking has got to be Space12 (3121 E. 12th Street), which is available for just $10 a day or by donation. Though they’re only open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 AM to 5 PM, Space12 has a decidedly Austin vibe with its ping pong and foosball tables to break up your work day with a few games, as well as a relaxing yoga space and local art gallery. Drop in, hang out and get a little work done.
Though it’s not technically a coworking space, WriteByNight (1305 E. 6th Street, Suite 4) is an east-side space that’s open for regular drop-in hours for writers. Anyone with a laptop, iPad or notebook looking to escape the coffee shops is welcome to drop in for quiet writing time on Tuesdays from 10 AM to 3 PM, Wednesdays from 4 PM to 10 PM, and Thursdays from noon to 6 PM. The space is geared towards helping writers, with access to writing books and resources, free wifi and coffee, and various tables and couches to get you into the creative zone. While you’re there, you can also get free consultations on your writing projects from co-owners David Duhr and Justine Tal Goldberg. And did we mention it’s free?
Can the coffee shop
Whether you’re looking to get out of the coffee shop, make some art, or just need a conference space where you can get some team work done, these Austin coworking spaces are easy to access and won’t strain your budget.
If you’re looking to give coworking a try before the end of the year, check out DeskWanted. They’ll give you a €10 (approximately $12) credit if you book a space through their online system, from now until December 31. They’ve got links to lots of other coworking spaces in Austin, including The Posh Co-Working Lounge (a ladies-only coworking space) and Link Coworking (near one of the Alamo Drafthouse locations to further entice you). Click here for full details.