As the internet connects us to all the world’s information, we can work and communicate in real time, remotely, with colleagues, clients, and customers. We conduct business from anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi connection, allowing us to integrate our career into family life, tend to our small business or passion project after office hours, and travel to source products and inspiration. It is indeed a lucky time to be alive. The freedom of working from home, with a laptop balanced on your knees or on the kitchen counter, can be wonderful. You can cook breakfast for your kids while checking email, or stay home with a sick pet or partner.
But there are times when even the most diligent remote worker needs a little company.
We are social beings, after all. Getting out of the house can be incredibly motivating. If you are a little bored or lonely and need to work in quiet company and solidarity with other like-minded employees and entrepreneurs, a coworking space is a terrific option. Maine, perhaps because so much of it is rural, has really gotten on board with the phenomenon. If you need to connect in person with real, live human beings during the workday, these are your best options in the state.
PelotonLabs (pictured above) in Portland is a coworking space, and then some. Located in the charming West End, the office has a more convivial area on the first floor, and a quiet area upstairs for a more solitary opportunity. It is spacious and cozy, with myriad benefits for members. Peloton focuses on community and mentoring. They provide coaching and networking opportunities for those who choose to commit to the concept. For a fee (there are various price points and membership levels), you have access to workstations, conference rooms, storage, outdoor space, projectors, a key, snacks, meetups, and peer groups, among other amenities. This model is ideal for those who want to create community and develop their professional skills in a cool, cosmopolitan setting.
Bangor’s CoVort provides a bright space for getting serious work done. Buy a day pass, secure yourself a workstation for the week, or become a member. Membership, at various levels of entry, includes mailboxes, 24/7 access to the building, conference spaces, coffee, social events, and networking opportunities. You can find folks for friendship, bouncing ideas around, and perhaps even potential clients or customers for your small business.
Upstart in Orono bills itself as a center for entrepreneurship. They lease space for the single professional or your 10-person start-up that needs an office. If you aren’t quite ready for a space that is entirely your own but need a workspace where employees can collaborate, this is a great spot way up in Orono, a university town, where ideas are already buzzing. Think, work, and learn as you need, and join the Incubator that provides services like coaching for fledgling business owners.
Join the https://www.facebook.com/unionrivercenterforinnovation/ if you are starting a business DownEast. They work with business development organizations to support young businesses. Get a day pass, use the conference room, or go all-in with membership to get the most from these fantastic resources.
There’s Union and Co. in Bath, which is a super-cute and bright space for remote workers and small businesses. Work at a communal table, a more formal desk, or a comfy chair. Use the bright kitchen to fix a snack, and stay for after-hours events. Make a phone call, take a yoga class, and book space for a meeting.
Greenlight Maine wants to support your startup to become the best it can be. If you feel compelled to work in a public setting but aren’t yet ready to plunge into your own office space, let’s fit you with the best space for your business.