Self-employment is on the rise. According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics by 2020, about 65 million Americans will be entrepreneurs, freelancers, independent contractors and temps – and they will make up 40 percent of the workforce. As telecommuting and freelancing become more common, coworking spaces in New Orleans are turning into a viable alternative to working from home, a coffee shop or a traditional office.
What Is Coworking?
Coworking is a relatively new concept in which independent workers rent cheap desks in large shared offices. In some cases coworking spaces also operate as formal businesses, renting out offices to freelancers, telecommuters, and entrepreneurs. Operation models vary, with some coworking businesses charging daily, weekly, or monthly rent, while others sell memberships that allow the member to make use of the workspace and its amenities.
What are the benefits of a coworking space?
While working from home is a good option for some, other people choose to rent and commute to a coworking office every day. Here’s why:
1. Networking and Learning at Coworking spaces in New Orleans
According to Deskmag, “80% [of co-workers] expand their businesses network.” Many small business owners find that the “stranger” at the desk next to them actually provides a service their own company can benefit from. By attending a coworking space, many individuals report making new acquaintances who have a positive effect on their own work. A lot of coworking spaces in New Orleans host workshops and educational events for their members, such as conferences, seminars and visits with local business leaders. According to Deskmag, 72% of individuals say their skill set increased during the time they were sharing an office space.
2. Increase Credibility & Professionalism at Coworking spaces in New Orleans
In addition to providing a business address and mail, many coworking spaces in New Orleans offer conference rooms, professional boardrooms, video conference calls, and other types of shared space that can be used to host meetings and other client events. You can’t accomplish either of those at a noisy coffee-shop. Depending on your clientele, you may instantly impress potential clients if you’re located in a trendy neighborhood or downtown area.
3. Improved Work and Life Balance
Leaving work at the office is a lot easier when you actually have an office to leave to. Working from home can be stressful, particularly if there’s not a home office or segregated work space to retreat to. Entrepreneurs, especially those working on early stage companies, work a LOT. Research has shown that those who work from home regularly end up working much longer hours than commuters. Coworking spaces in New Orleans offer another physical barrier to help people balance their work and home lives.
– Eric Normand, a New Orleans software engineer who worked 2 years from home and later moved to a local coworking space had this to say:
“Getting out of the house was really nice. I have a kid, and kids can be time consuming, even if you are not directly taking care of them. They often distract you while you are working. It is also good psychologically to have a space, because at home is often easy to forget the line between work and home life”
4. Less Expensive and Less Risky Than Private Office Rental
Affordable rates and flexible contractual conditions make coworking spaces in New Orleans an easy and relatively hassle free choice for entrepreneurs. If your business ends up needing to relocate or suddenly requires a smaller or larger space you aren’t tied down with a lease or mortgage. You also save on the cost of purchasing your own office equipment and furnishings, and share all operational expenses such as utilities, internet, parking, phone etc, among members, making them much more manageable.
5. Higher Income and Productivity
A recent global study has found another reason to give coworking a go: it has a positive effect on freelancer incomes. A Global Survey by Desk Mag found that 50% of individuals who attend a coworking space said their income had increased, and 74% of them said they felt more productive. The reason for the increased income is due to the interactive nature of coworking spaces in New Orleans– they’re a natural setting for networking, contact-sharing and job-swapping.
– Barret Conrad, the owner of a local tech company (Cotinga Soft) leased a desk at Launchpad for 5 years while he grew his business. He says:
“I grew my company and my contacts while at Launchpad, and sort of stabilized my business to the point where I got ready to grow, made some hires, moved out and got my own office space!” – “If your business is dependent upon you having contacts, clients, networking and meeting people then you should get out of your house unless you have another method to do that”
6. Louisiana tax credits and Startup Culture
New Orleans has a booming startup culture and many entrepreneurs are attracted to the city because of its relatively low cost of living. Even if your company is based outside of Louisiana, you can benefit from a number of state tax credits by opening an office in NOLA. Many startups have benefited from the Louisiana digital media tax incentive which provides a 35 percent tax credit on payroll for in-state employees, and companies can get 25 percent back on what they spend on production.
New Orleans Vibrant Coworking Scene
New Orleans boasts a unique coworking culture, with several office spaces that cater to a fast growing number of entrepreneurs and freelancers. Here’s a list of available coworking spaces in New Orleans:
The Contemporary Arts Center
900 Camp Street, 3rd Floor
The Shop at the CAC is a new state-of-the art coworking space with over 40,000 sq ft of workspace, catering to the vibrant professional community in New Orleans. Some of the amenities include 24/7 access (with keyless entry through mobile app), heavily discounted business services such as payment processing and HR services, full kitchen stocked with coffee & beer, loads of programming & entrepreneurial support, and most importantly you can bring your best friend. That’s right! YOU CAN BRING YOUR DOG.
643 Magazine St #102
Founded in 2009, Launch Pad is a collaborative workspace and community of entrepreneurs, creative professionals and freelancers. This space occupies multiple areas throughout the IP Building in downtown New Orleans and it can handle 70 companies and up to 170 people. Workers pay $650 to $1,600 per month for a closed-door office, and $275 per month for any available desk.
800 Common Street Suite 220
This shared workspace was opened in 2012 and it’s located on the second floor of the recently renovated historic Maritime Building in the CBD. Beta caters to a variety of renters, from residents of the Maritime to entrepreneurs stoking full-time careers and side businesses. In addition to tech support and multiple work space options ($495 to $895 a month or $45 per day ), member advantages include 24-hour access, a gym, discounts at the restaurants inside the building and more
4035 Washington Ave
This space differs from the others because it is the first “social venture” workspace. It’s located at Washington Avenue and Broad Street, with 10,000 square feet occupied by 15 companies that are part of its nonprofit accelerator program and approximately 70 individual and organization memberships, many with social or environmental missions. Propeller offers private offices and shared desk spaces, as well as workshops, seminars and events on topics related to technology, entrepreneurship and design (rental options start at $10 for a day and go to $850 a month).
2803 St. Philip St.
This space welcomes designers, media artists, entertainment companies, startups, and social innovators to work out of their location in Mid-City. Many events are thrown on location so members can work by day and play by night. The actual converted icehouse has 30 foot ceilings and also plays host to a wide array of social functions, including political gatherings and entertainment nights. The cost is $500 monthly, per desk, with single or multiple desks available, and it includes several amenities.
1307 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd
3rd floor of the Myrtle Banks Building
In January of 2015, Alembic Community Development opened a 4,200-square-foot co-working space on the third floor of the Myrtle Banks Building on Oretha Castle Haley Blvd, which it has redeveloped into a fresh food market and office space targeting nonprofit, social and creative entrepreneurs. This former school building now offers light-filled private offices and workstations for short- and long-term lease.
1700 S. Rampart Street
Located one block off the O.C. Haley corridor, The Blue House is a cozy alternative to the ultra modern co-working spaces that we’re familiar with. Members can collectively curate the dinners, lectures, screenings, exhibitions, workshops, and classes, in addition to other programs. Day passes are a steal, coming in at $15 and full-time monthly memberships are available for 250/month. Email for more information.
625 Celeste Street
The Landing Zone offers private offices, private desks, co-working spaces, and meeting rooms with a modern design and free wifi included. They have a laundry list of amenities including 24/7 access, mailboxes, gym access, and conference room & event spaces. Coworking desk space is available at $10/day with a membership coming in at 200/month. Call about their Veterans discounts!
3014 Dauphine Street
The Warehouse is blocks from the brand new Crescent City Park, which stretches along the banks of the Mississippi River. They are in close walking distance to great restaurants and cafes in the Bywater neighborhood. Spaces include private offices, permanent desks and flexible coworking memberships with great amenities like a full kitchen, private phone booths for calls, indoor bike parking, 50 mbps up/down fiber internet, and printing/copying services. Memberships and “a la carte” pricing is available.
2703 S Broad Ave
IDIYA is a membership-based DIY workshop and retail production working space. They teach workshops and classes to school aged children and also provide work spaces for individuals using an array of medium, including wifi and desk space. Call for more information about amenities and pricing.
- Women Founders & Freelancers – call Nicky at (504) 298-4944
- Communion : Curated Coworking
- Coming Soon! The Shop at the Cultural Arts Center
Technology makes coworking a great alternative for freelancers and telecommuters who don’t want to work from home. Still, it’s important to acknowledge all of the additional expenses associated with coworking, such as commuting, child and pet care, office services, food and drink etc. While co-working can have many advantages, it may not be the right fit for everyone. If you value privacy for your business and would like the ability to design and change your own office layout at will, a traditional office-space lease might be a better choice. But if you don’t mind having neighbors and sharing resources co-working can be a cost-effective, beneficial option for growing companies