We’ve all heard about the numerous virtues of working from home. Proponents cite the lack of a commute, the flexibility to tackle personal errands as time allows and the less stringent — read: nonexistent — dress codes. In recent years, more and more employers are giving their team members the option of working from home on at least a part-time basis. And as the gig economy continues to boom, it stands to reason that the place you call home is likely to also be the place you call work.
But the home office isn’t right for everyone. Space might not allow for necessary office equipment such as copiers and fax machines. Things can get awkward if Fido is begging to be let outside while you’re on a conference call. And there’s something to be said about water cooler banter.
Consequently, shared workspaces are becoming increasingly popular in major cities, and Dallas is no exception. In fact, with its long tradition of supporting entrepreneurship and innovation in everything from manufacturing to high tech, Dallas is arguably leading the way in making coworking spaces workable for telecommuters, freelancers and start-ups alike. A number of businesses catering to those who need to take care of business have popped up in the Downtown area in the past couple of years, each with its own individual vibe and appealing amenities. Here’s a look at what’s currently available.
WeWork‘s location at Thanksgiving Tower (1601 Elm St.) provides three separate floors of diverse and reconfigurable coworking space. You can choose to pop in on a pay-as-you-go plan, sign up for a dedicated desk, reserve a conference room for a special event or even spring for a private office. Amenities include WiFi, daily cleaning, private phone booths, access to office supplies, coffee and fresh fruit, mail and package handling, and 24/7 building access.
Nestled just east of Downtown Dallas in the constantly evolving Deep Ellum neighborhood, Common Desk has proven so successful that its founders have announced plans to expand as far north as Plano and as far west as Fort Worth. But the original Common Desk at 2919 Commerce St. will always be home to Dallasites for whom coworking is as much a culture as it is a convenience. Patrons can choose from day-pass, nights and weekends, shared desk, dedicated desk and private office packages. Amenities include access to conference rooms, locally sourced fiber WiFi, coffee, mail and package handling, workout classes, a siesta station and bike-share program. Common Desk also understands the meaning of “work hard, play hard” and sports unique features like comfortable couches, game stations, a patio and beer on tap.
The Grove (501 Elm St.) has brought coworking to Downtown Dallas’ historic West End. In addition to desks, office space and the standard amenities — WiFi; coffee, tea and snacks; mail handling — this decidedly social workspace offers multiple opportunities for comingling and collaboration. (Check out their Wine’down Wednesdays at 4 p.m.) The Grove is also home to unique programs such as Impact Collective North Texas, a “unified community of doers” dedicated to sharing resources and expertise in order to tackle issues of social equity across the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Similarly, their work exchange program provides unlimited access to the facilities for those willing to volunteer 8 to 10 hours per week serving and caring for the immediate Grove community.
Dallas Fort Work, at 211 N. Ervay St., sits right in the heart of Downtown Dallas’ thriving Main Street District. You get your pick of part-time or full-time access, dedicated desks or a private office. Membership plans include Bluetooth conference call speakers, coffee, mail collection, access to a portable projector, meeting rooms, standing desks and storage.
Industrious Dallas will be opening next month in One Arts Plaza (1722 Routh St.). It will offer all the amenities of a productive office — WiFi, phone rooms, printing, conference rooms and common areas — with the addition of craft coffee, pastries and other treats, plus an on-site fitness center. Even when coworking, maintaining good work-life balance is crucial. Interested in learning more? Industrious Dallas is now accepting tour reservations.
What locations in Downtown Dallas inspire you to aspire and achieve your best? Where do you go when you need a break from the office in order to check all the items off your to-do list? What makes Downtown Dallas a great place to pursue — and enjoy — success? Keep the conversation going by connecting with us on Facebook and Twitter, and by signing up for our newsletter.