Coworking and Goldilocks
“Goldilocks and the Three Bears” is the familiar tale of seeking perfection and a “just right” in a world of extremes and options. Staring down a hallway of closed office doors for anyone, especially Goldilocks, is anxiety inducing. Why are they all closed? Do any of them lead to freedom? A practical experiment in forced perspective, it is dizzying, confusing, and intimidating. Finding equilibrium in a coworking space is just as difficult. There are extremes like the 20,000sf cavernous private office farms. The only collaboration that occurs in these is parking in the mornings. Then the fully open partition-free modern workspaces, reminiscent of a middle school cafeteria, and just as noisy. During more than a year of research, training and planning, 143 CoWork
in Waynesboro, VA offers a coworking space that we think Goldilocks would approve of.
This coworking bed is too hard…
The mission was to experience a large facility as a consumer. The goal was to understand how operations worked and learn some best practices from that point of view. After calling to confirm they had space that day, the wait outside of the building began. Ten minutes of waiting outside on a pleasant day was bearable, but another phone call was necessary to confirm I was in the right place. I was finally seated at a table in what appeared to be their reception area to work for the day. No tour, no introduction, not even a map to the restroom. There was a pervasive somber energy of quiet annoyance, yet there wasn’t a soul to be seen. The view was of a long hallway filled with closed doors, like the rows of cells seen on prison movies. The workers undoubtedly serving a sentence of sorts.
How a hard coworking bed feels…
I wanted to walk down the hall, profess my competence, show my resume and insist I belonged! This would have fallen on deaf ears. The doors were closed for a reason. This didn’t feel like collaboration, welcoming, or productivity. I didn’t belong there as I didn’t have an office like everyone else. This was their culture, not coworking, networking, or any of the other positive connotations that are implied with that type of environment. Their culture was that of individuals, uninterested in community, helping others, or receiving help. During my research, I found many of these communities. It certainly is not coworking, it is shared office space, nothing more. This bed would have been much too hard for Goldilocks to endure.
This coworking bed is too soft…
Immediately after the hard bed, I found what felt to be a great space. Lots of windows and natural light, a smaller coworking space with all of the essentials needed to be productive. The energy there was alive and buzzing, my payment was processed easily and I was seated in the large open room by the window. Nearly immediately, that excitement wore off as I settled in to get some work completed. What I had felt as buzzing energy, turned out to be little more than the atmosphere of a middle school cafeteria. Loud conversations, people taking phone calls, one person in a full-on conference call using speakerphone, it was all too much to handle. Goldilocks would have thought, this bed is too soft!
Coworking that is just right…
You deserve the “just right” experience that Goldilocks would seek. This equilibrium is found by having only a handful of executive offices (some do have sensitive client data). The executive offices are only accessed by walking through the rest of the community. The open workspaces are segmented into intimate seating arrangements from two to eight. In addition, 143 CoWork
has a conference room, phone booths, café tables, and work bar with a great view of the outside world.
143 CoWork is just right… 143 CoWork
in Waynesboro, VA understands the challenges of working in an office environment. Like you, we don’t fit in the huge place full of closed office doors, as that feels too much like a traditional office. Nor do we fit in the place where people are inconsiderate of others’ need to work. Whether you live in Crozet, Afton, Stuarts Draft, Waynesboro, Fishersville, Staunton, or anywhere in the world that you have a choice of where you work. We strive to be that “just right” and get better at improving the space on a daily basis, while in a bear free environment. We look forward to working with you, and coworking with purpose!