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).
Member spaces of the alliance are in frequent contact and meet monthly at coworking spaces around the city for mutual support, to exchange tips and best practices, and to socialize.
At the heart of the alliance is a spirit of cooperation rather than competition. The coworking industry, despite its massive growth, is still fairly new and space operators have to work to educate the extended community about the benefits of coworking rather than working from home. There’s an old coworking saying that a space’s competition is not another space, it’s a home office. And, as the SCSA website states, “If one space in our community succeeds, we all succeed.”
Last year, Seattle mayor Ed Murray acknowledged the contributions of the SCSA to the city by declaring September 20, 2016 to be Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance Day. In his proclamation, the mayor pointed out the work the alliance does to support community and collaboration, enable connections, support entrepreneurs and provide a foundation for new business ideas.
Current members of the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance are:
- Collective Chemistry (Formerly Red Element Collective) (Downtown)
- Computer Classrooms in Seattle (Kirkland)
- Creative Blueprint (Capitol Hill)
- Hing Hay Coworks (International District)
- Impact Hub Seattle (Pioneer Square)
- Metropolist (SODO)
- My Branch Office (Capitol Hill)
- Office Nomads (Capitol Hill)
- The Pioneer Collective (Pioneer Square)
- SURGE Tacoma (Tacoma, WA)
- The Union Club (Tacoma, WA)
- Vybe (Eastlake)
- Women’s Business Incubator (Coworking with on-site Preschool in Green Lake)
- Works Progress (Greenwood)
To learn more about coworking in Seattle, to connect with the SCSA, or to find a member coworking space near you, visit collaborativespaces.org. You can also find the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance on Twitter and Facebook.