Best Co-Working Spaces, Hubs and Hot Desking for Freelancers in Staten Island

While Staten Island may not have as many options for hot desking or co-working spaces as other areas in New York, the borough is taking action to improve the spaces it provides for home grown talent. Freelancers have their choice of spaces in which to conduct their business that are on a par with any other section of the city. As Staten Island continues to invest in its entrepreneurial community, freelancers have an opportunity to join a community of like- minded individuals during its earliest stages.

Staten Island Startup at 600 Richmond Road was the borough's first co working space that catered towards small businesses, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and start ups.

In the summer of 2014, Launchpads opened to provide freelancers with more options for finding shared work spaces and collaborations on the island. For its first month of existence, Launchpads offered potential tenants a "beta testing" month of free workspace rental.

Lanchpads stresses communal working spaces, with a long table designed for working and interacting with fellow entrepreneurs. Amenities include fast secure wifi, dedicated or communal desks, free coffee or tea, and mail pickup service. With quick access to the subway or ferry, Launchpads makes it easy for local talent to into "the office."

Pricing for Launchpads starts at a $25 daily drop in fee, $100 for five days, and full membership costs $250. Members have the option of purchasing a "virtual office for five days a week for a $100 fee.

Staten Island Makerspace bills itself as a place for freelancers and "tinkers." Catering towards artist, the site offers classes in photography and metalworking amongst others. As with most co working sites, Makerspace offers tenants office basics including desk space, printers and copiers and conference space.

Tenants can dip their toes into Makerspace with a modest $6 daily drop- in fee. A "Co-working" membership can cover weekdays or weekends exclusively for a cost of $120 per month. Full membership costs $180 per month, and members can choose a weekday or weekend- only option.

Overall, the options for shared office space for freelancers in Staten Island are few and far between. Unlike the other boroughs, Staten Island has been slow to embrace the hot desk phenomenon. That doesn't mean that residents of the borough haven't taken notice of the lack of networking opportunities.

Startup Staten Island is the brainchild of journalist and author Amy Cortese. Although based in Brooklyn, Coretse decided to provide a way for fellow entrepreneurs to connect despite the lack of shared work spaces. Targeting start ups with a social purpose, Cortese helped create the "Battle of the Boroughs," a friendly competition and networking event for entrepreneurs throughout the city.

One of the most popular features of Coretes' effort was the group's participation in the Make Impact NYC event that celebrated the entrepreneurial community throughout the city.

Startup Staten Island has plans to open shared work spaces for freelancers in the borough, and currently its most successful venture is the monthly Startup Staten Island Tech Meetup. Comprised mainly of local tech talent, the group hopes to grow be attracting talent from outside the tech industry. The group's stated objectives are to:

  • Foster and keep local talent within Staten Island
  • Create incentives for tech and other start ups to locate in Staten Island
  • Create workshops and educational events for its members

Finding shared workspace in Staten Island can be more challenging when compared with the burgeoning shared spaces popping up all around the other boroughs. The island is working hard to make up for lost time, however, as the freelancing and entrepreneurial communities themselves work together to make opportunities where existing ones are sparse. In time, Staten Island will grow to match the pace of Brooklyn and Manhattan as the demand for hot desking and co working venues continue to grow. Given the history of growth in all segments of the city, it's unlikely that freelancers and home based workers will be faced with working only in crowded coffee shops in the future.