Works Progress: How One Seattle Coworking Space Embraces Science Fiction, Family-friendly Work, and a Triple Bottom Line


by Cat Johnson

When Marnee Chua moved with her family to Seattle, she hoped to find a coworking space that offered childcare. When she didn’t find one, she decided to start her own. She partnered with Jessie Rymph to get the idea off the ground and, though their original idea of a space with onsite childcare didn’t take off, it led to the creation of Works Progress, a family-friendly coworking space focused on the triple bottom line of social good, the environment, and financial sustainability. Continue reading


How the Pioneer Collective Grew from an Idea into a Thriving Seattle Coworking Space

by Cat Johnson

When Audrey Morton Hoyt and Chris Hoyt opened the Pioneer Collective in May of 2015, they admittedly “knew little about coworking.” The two had simply set out to create an attractive space they would like to work in and thought that if they liked it, maybe 50 other people would like it too.

Audrey and Chris quickly learned, however, that if 50 people are all working in the same space, running the space becomes a project of its own. It was then, says Audrey, that they realized what the coworking industry was.

“The plan was that I would run the space while Chris was working a remote job from the space,” she says. “Then the space cannibalized everything.” Continue reading


Seattle’s Oldest Coworking Space Celebrates 10 Years

Office Nomads, Seattle’s oldest coworking space, celebrates its 10th anniversary on Friday, November 3. Located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Office Nomads helped pioneer the coworking movement when there were just a handful of spaces around the world.

Coworking is now a booming industry, and Office Nomads continues to lead the way with community-focused coworking. I spoke with Office Nomads co-founder Susan Dorsch about the early days creating the space with co-founder Jacob Sayles, what it’s like to look back on 10 years of coworking in Seattle, and how the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance formed out of a desire to connect to other space operators. Continue reading


Coworking and Childcare in Seattle: How THE INC. is Transforming the Way Parents Work

In 2012, Marnee Chua and Jessie Rymph tried to launch a coworking space with onsite childcare in Seattle. There were numerous hurdles with the project, however, including finding the right space to bring coworking and childcare together and the fact that licensing for childcare is restrictive and expensive.

The two put the project on hold and opened Works Progress, a coworking space in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood. But the coworking and childcare idea persisted, with Works Progress community members expressing frustration at the challenge of finding childcare while they worked.

“There was still a bug in Marnee’s ear that there had to be a better way,” says Marlene Mejia Weiss, Executive Director of Outreach at THE INC., and board member of the Women’s Business Incubator (WBI), an organization in Seattle offering coworking with an onsite preschool, toddler room, and cowork/coplay room. “Coworking alone wasn’t solving the bigger issue of finding flexible, affordable childcare.”  Continue reading

Seattle Coworking Week 2017

Seattle Coworking Week 2017 Spotlights the City’s Collaborative Community

Seattle, one of the top coworking cities in the U.S., is about to experience a wave of coworking awesomeness during the annual Seattle Coworking Week, which runs September 18-22.

Throughout the week, collaborative spaces across the city will open their doors to freelancers, small businesses, artists, gamers, creatives, remote workers and the coworking curious.

An initiative of the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance, Seattle Coworking Week is a celebration of Seattle coworking, shared workspaces, diversity, collaboration, community and creativity. During Seattle Coworking Week last year, Mayor Ed Murray declared September 20, 2016, Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance Day.

This year’s festivities include free coworking, open houses, professional development events, happy hours, workshops and more. Here are some of the highlights:

Continue reading


Collective Chemistry: Coworking for Freelance Digital Creatives in Seattle

by Cat Johnson

In 2012, Adam Knight and Jae Macallan, two Seattle-based freelance video professionals, decided to find an office to share. The two were tired of working from home and needed a space that lent legitimacy to their businesses. They found a one-room, windowless, tiny office and got to work. Within a year, they had profound results by simply having a designated workspace.

“Even in that crappy office, we both doubled our income in one year,” says Knight, owner of Red Element Studios, a small video production company. “We really loved having a space that was different from our home and we thought, ‘How can we do this with more people?’”

Knight and Macallan, who owns video and motion company Yoyostring Creative, reached out on Facebook to find other freelance digital creatives interested in sharing an office. They got a great response so they moved out of their tiny office and into a space downtown. Eventually, they broke down a wall in the space and expanded because there was such demand.

“I didn’t even know it was coworking back then,” says Knight, “but people were into it.”  Continue reading


How One Coworking Space is Revitalizing the Seattle Chinatown International District

by Cat Johnson

Hing Hay Coworks is on a mission to support economic development in the Seattle Chinatown International District (CID). The most ethnically diverse neighborhood in Seattle, the CID is home to immigrants and small businesses that reflect the region’s unique Pan-Asian culture.

The CID also faces serious challenges, with 34 percent of residents—many of whom are seniors—living at or below the poverty level. The area has among the poorest health outcomes in the county, and public safety, homelessness and public sanitation are ongoing issues. CID residents and small businesses also face development pressures that threaten to displace them.

Hing Hay Coworks, a nonprofit-run, collaborative workspace and community development hub, aims to “catalyze the chances of success for businesses in the neighborhood.” Continue reading

Coworking in Seattle: an Introduction



Coworking in Seattle has a long, rich history. Way back in 2007, when coworking was still an emerging movement, Seattle was home to several spaces, including My Day Office, Giraffe Labs, and Office Nomads, which was the first coworking space in Seattle and is still going strong. Since that time, coworking in Seattle has grown to include dozens of spaces.

Seattle is well-established as a city serving the new workforce through coworking. Countless freelancers, independent professionals, artists, gamers, creatives and remote workers, from all walks of life, call a coworking space their home away from home.

In 2016, a study of flexible workspaces found that Seattle is in the top five U.S. cities for coworking, along with New York City, San Francisco, Austin and Los Angeles. At that time, there were 83 collaborative workspaces in Washington, with an estimated 41 in Seattle.

One of the core values of coworking, along with openness, community, accessibility and sustainability, is collaboration. The Seattle coworking community has embraced these values and made its collaborative ethos official in 2009 with the formation of the first coworking space alliance, the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance (SCSA).  Continue reading