The Big Apple is home to an increasingly influential movement in workspace design – coworking. Here is one of four places we’re featuring as examples of atypical office spaces that offer big opportunities for non-traditional workers.
Founder: Tony Bacigalupo
I started New Work City because I was working from home and didn’t want to be. What I discovered, however, is that coworking is actually a very important part of the future of our economy. So I stuck with it because of that.
New Work City is a community first and a business second. That means everything we do flows from a different place than a more real-estate or profit-driven workspace model.
For us, the core concept that drives what we do is coworking itself, which is a representation of other concepts — like community, participation, collaboration, openness, accessibility, and others. We’re here for people who’d otherwise be working from home, and while those people need to work while at NWC, they are there to be around other people. Fostering a healthy environment for people is what’s important.
The people who come here are, in one word, diverse. Ages range from teens to sixties, and professions range from technical and creative to managerial and entrepreneurial.
The commonality is that all of these folks are defining where, when, how, and why they work on their terms.
What they do require, however, is an ample amount of internet connectivity. Internet is the oxygen of a coworking space. Beyond that, the basic office amenities are plenty for most people. Internally, we manage everything using everyday services like Paypal and Google Docs, for the most part.
For anyone interested in starting their own coworking spaces, I would encourage them to embrace and believe in the community emphathetically. I had a crazy idea that we could build a real business out of an organic and natural thing, and it turned out to work. If can work well, so approach it with confidence.
Also, maintain a focus on the core of what it is you’re trying to do. It’s easy when you’re an entrepreneur to get distracted by interesting ideas and opportunities, but ultimately the better you can ignore those things in favor of keeping your eyes on your true mission, the better you will do.
Tony has been organizing coworking communities since 2007. He cofounded New Work City, worked with the Downtown Alliance to build the Hive at 55, and has advised and worked with countless other communities in New York and around the world. He’s spoken and written extensively about coworking and is continuing to work to grow support communities for independent workers.
New Work City 412 Broadway New York, NY