Working from home certainly has its perks; but in the past few years, coworking spaces have become a seriously desirable alternative. My own company Masthead Media is based out of a coworking space, and we love the flexibility it offers us (our employees can work from any of its 90+ locations around the world).
Beyond location independence, shared offices deliver valuable business resources, networking opportunities, and -- perhaps most enticingly -- a place to work that requires you to change out of your PJs.
Despite the benefits, many female entrepreneurs weren't sold on their shared environments--perhaps because so many of the spaces were dominated by men.
Enter: women-only coworking spaces. This trend-within-a-trend has been picking up serious steam, with new offices popping up all over the U.S. (and the world). In the #MeToo era, when conversations surrounding workplace harassment continue to take center stage, these hubs aim to offer a more safe and supportive work environment for women and people who identify as non-binary. As Minneapolis-based The Coven notes on its website, "Our business is designed to provide services that allow our members to reclaim their time and be any version of themselves."
Of course, the women-only model isn't just about creating a safe space -- it's also about "good business sense," as Hera Hub founder Felena Hanson previously told CNBC. "We...have confidence that women-owned businesses are the key to the next wave of U.S. prosperity," the Hera Hub website states. And the many female coworking spaces around the country help foster that prosperity with a healthy dose of perks, amenities, and expertly designed spaces that you'll actually want to spend time in.
Whether you're a woman building your business as a solopreneur or working with a small team of strong women, these five spaces could be just the environment for your success.
The most well-known on the list, The Wing, has been absolutely soaring since opening its first space in October 2016, having raised more than $40 million from investors including WeWork and SoulCycle founders Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler. The Wing's spaces are an Instagram-worthy dreamland of millennial pink, mid-century modern furniture, and perfectly-styled bookcases. But the offerings are more than visual: In addition to the long list of amenities (like a lactation room, beauty room, showers, and a library), The Wing hosts regular events and scores big names (like Hillary Clinton) as speakers. And it's growing rapidly: In addition to the three in New York City, The Wing now has a space in Washington, D.C. and more coming in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Toronto, and Seattle.
Price: $215/month or $2,350/year for a single location; $250/month or $2,700/year for all-access
In true 21st Century fashion, The Coven came to fruition via a crowdfunding campaign, raising more nearly $315,000 by 284 backers (surpassing its $100,000 in the first month). The Minneapolis space, which opened earlier this year, offers female and non-binary members amenities like a prayer room, beauty bar, concierge service, and organic snacks from a local community co-op; as well as a calendar full of events and classes. And it all takes place within two floors of a historic building, designed so beautifully (by women) that it looks more like a trendy home in a magazine than an office.
Price: $200/month or $2,200/year.
EvolveHer's minimalist-yet-trendy design (think: bright white tables, gold accents, uncluttered bookshelves, and just the right amount of greenery) is the perfect antidote to your always-full inbox. The Chicago coworking office a 5,000 square foot loft includes conference rooms, phone booths, and a large open floor plan room with various areas to gather and work. But, of course, it provides members with more than a beautiful space: evolveHer also offers an online member network, childcare (through a partnership with another local business), a book exchange, discounts for partner events, and more.
Price: $100 - $389/month
Hera Hub has been in the game for quite some time (it launched in San Diego in 2011), steadily working toward its goal of supporting more than 20,000 women in business by 2020. As of now, the company has six coworking spaces (in California, Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Arizona, and Sweden) with four more planned (another in California, plus ones in Atlanta, Seattle, and Houston). In addition to the office space itself, Hera Hub prides itself on offering all sorts of business support -- like "GURUS" who share their specific expertise in one-on-one sessions and a "Writers' Lounge" led by a professional writer.
Price: Varies by city (contact individual locations for pricing)
If you're feeling torn between the work-from-home life and an office environment, Quilt might just be the perfect solution. This relatively new company (launched in August 2017) bridges the gap between the two by connecting women for small-group coworking sessions and prompted discussions in members' own homes. The membership includes access to unlimited "Quilt Chats," as well as a private online group where you can further connect with other women and monthly member parties. Quilt also offers a full calendar of "special chats," "learn-shops," and other events throughout New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. And if you're feeling really inspired, you can apply to be a host and lead some of these sessions yourself.
Price: $79/quarter or $199/year