The changing face of working spaces in Atlanta

A hand brewed coffee, a clean desk, and natural light — three things that promise me a productive working session.

There has been a rise of “shared spaces” lately. Many of these places come with aspects that make a productive, collaborative and inspirational working environment. A shared space can be a creative studio, a co-working office space or an incubator for startups. It’s a place where you can work together with others without the burden of leasing out the entire place on your own.

There’s something unique about going to such a place to do work. Usually when I work from home, I tend to leave the TV on, try to juggle laundry at the same time and take frequent breaks snacking or laying down. On the other hand, when I decide to get ready and go to a specific place to do work, I already feel as though I am held more accountable and have the resolve to get things done.

I think the popularity of such shared spaces relates to two important phenomenons in our generation:

  1. Encouragement of the entrepreneurial spirit — Unlike many of the previous generations, millennials are not as attracted to climbing the corporate ladder. We’re much more open to taking risks, bringing ideas and capital together to build new ventures. The same idea goes for working spaces — we are moving away from the high overhead expenses and cubicles to low-cost, open environments that allow for small ventures to thrive by staying lean.
  2. Idea of a shared economy — Uber, AirBnB, and TaskRabbit. What do all of these have in common? These companies are the faces of what the shared economy looks like in today’s world. We are sharing the unused, shifting the supply in one place to meet the demand somewhere else. The concept of a shared space is yet another product of our collaborative consumption that truly defines the changing culture of our generation.

The shared space phenomenon has been widely popular in the past few years, with an 83% increase in coworking spaces and 117% increase in coworking memberships in 2012–2013 (Boston Business Journal). This trend looks to be an upward one, and Atlanta is definitely falling in line with that trend.

When I think of Atlanta, I don’t think of one big city. Rather, I think of the many different and charming neighborhoods that embody their own unique flavor and character. This seems to be an overarching theme for the shared spaces in Atlanta, bringing the culture, look and feel of the neighborhoods in which the spaces are located. While there are dozens of shared spaces in Atlanta, there are three up-and-coming spaces I’d like to highlight that uniquely represent the people and the neighborhood around which the space represents.

Here’s a map of shared spaces in Atlanta. If you’re currently working from home and is looking for a productive, collaborative and inspiring working environment, I suggest checking some of these great up-and-coming shared spaces in Atlanta!

(All graphics created by Soo Hyung Kim.)

Originally published at