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Whether you need a permanent co-working office or a short-term spot to get catch up on email or conduct a meeting, there’s no shortage of options in and around Washington, D.C.
From big names such as WeWork to smaller, independent options, you’ll find co-working spaces in most of the major neighborhoods in the District proper. There are also several great spaces in nearby regions that tend to attract contractors, such as the Courthouse area in Arlington, and Crystal City, which isn’t far from The Pentagon and very close to Reagan National Airport.
Many co-working spaces in D.C. require a membership, which isn’t ideal if you simply need a clean and quiet office room for an hour or a day while traveling. Renting a conference room in a hotel is the standard option, but it’s not always the most convenient or economic solution. Breather may be a better bet.
Breather is a service (and app) that offers business rooms on demand in eight cities in North America, plus London in the U.K. You find a room in the app, reserve the space, and check-in with your phone.
Upon check-in, the app gives you the keycode to open the door, and a reminder pops up on your phone when it’s time to checkout. It’s simple and convenient, and in my experience, the spaces are professional, clean, and quiet.
Here are the best co-working spaces for working in and around Washington, D.C.
WeWork Wonder Bread Factory (Shaw)
WeWork has locations all over the D.C. area, but the location near the Shaw-Howard University Metro Station steals hearts for its outstanding interior design. The name comes from the space’s previous life as a bread factory.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Food and drink: Coffee and fruit water provided
Special Features: Dog friendly, monthly car parking spots available, bicycle parking offered, beautiful decor.
Additional WeWork D.C. locations: Chinatown, Dupont Circle, Whitehouse, 80 M SE (Navy Yard), K Street (Foggy Bottom), Manhattan Laundry (Columbia Heights), Apollo (H Street Corridor), Tysons Corner, VA, and Crystal City, VA.
Breather, 1730 M St NW (Dupont Circle)
Smack dab between Dupont Circle and Farragut North Metro Stations, this Breather space has a superbly convenient location, as well as a low cost for individual use or small group meetings. The boardroom table can comfortably seat six people, and the space can accommodate larger groups by adding an adjacent workroom with break-out nooks to your reservation.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Food and drink: None
Address: 1730 M St. NW, Washington, D.C. 4th Floor, Suite 409, Room 1
Special Features: Boardroom table, whiteboard, wheelchair accessible.
Additional Breather D.C. Locations: Georgetown, Foggy Bottom, Farragut West, Whitehouse, Dupont Circle, Mount Vernon Square, and Shaw
The Hive 2.0 (Anacostia)
Not just a co-working space, The Hive 2.0 encourages entrepreneurship. It’s a great option for people who need a long-term space rather than a casual drop-in, and offers a wealth of on-site services for professionals, including creative types.
Hours: Members have 24/7 access
Food and drink: Coffee provided; on-site cafe has food and drink available for purchase.
Address: 1231-B Good Hope Rd. SE, Washington, D.C. 20020 (lower level of the Anacostia Arts Center)
Special Features: Two boutiques, yoga studio, black box theater (available to rent for additional fee), on-site graphic design and printing company, on-site notary.
Carr Workplaces Georgetown (Georgetown)
Assuming you don’t have access to the private libraries, finding a place to work in near Georgetown University can be a challenge.
The coffee shops are either too noisy or don’t offer Wi-Fi, and office space is crowded out by retail, but at least there’s Carr Workplaces. Located right on the historic C&O Canal, it’s a particularly good co-working office if you need a space with impressive views.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Food and drink: Coffee, tea, filtered water
Address: 1050 30th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20007 (inside The Foundry)
Special Features: Scenic views, close proximity to restaurants and shops, outdoor patio.
Additional Carr Workplaces D.C. Locations: Dupont Circle, Whitehouse, Bethesda, MD; Tyson Blvd., VA; Rosslyn, VA
Share Space (U Street Corridor)
Along the U Street Corridor, Busboys and Poets has a reputation for being the go-to cafe for getting work done. Its title is in jeopardy of being stolen by Share Space, however, a free community workspace that’s directly across the street (and owned by the same parent company). With a no-fee policy, it’s great for drop-ins.
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Food and drink: Salads, sandwiches, coffee.
Address: 2121 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (inside Mulebone)
Special Features: Occasional special events, such as mid-day yoga.
Coworkcafe at Boccato (Courthouse/Clarendon in Arlington, VA)
Boccato is an eclectic coffee shop, gelateria, and cafe all in one, and Coworkcafe provides dedicated co-working services and space attached to the restaurant. With comfortable seating, privacy phone booths, high-speed Internet access, printers, plenty of power outlets, and storage lockers, it’s an excellent low-cost option for a co-working space.
Hours: Dedicated coworking space daily 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. (cafe open till 11pm).
Food and drink: Available to purchase at adjoining cafe: coffee, tea, gelato, pastries, snacks, sandwiches, about $4-$7.
Special Features: Eclectic setting, storage lockers, high-speed Internet.
Images via Coworkcafe, WeWork, Breather, The Hive 2.0, Carr Workplaces, Share Space, Coworkcafe