We don't offer an assigned desk option or 24/7 access. What? Why? Isn't this the standard for coworking spaces?
We are a very unique space, and as such, we do things a little differently, but the same enough to bring coworkers the best of working outside the home or main office, at a great price. If you haven't learned about our space yet and have stumbled upon this randomly, our coworking space is inside a large Victorian era bank that was built in 1875, with adjacent offices, teller windows, vaults, and conference rooms. The bank closed in 2000, and we have brought it back to life as a hub for small business owners, students, sole proprietors, and professionals who need a place to work that is not a coffee shop, their dining room table, or need a temporary professional environment due to travel or just to get out of their main office.
One of the best things about our space is, we limit our membership to make sure it never feels crowded, and we have a lot of space. This allows our members to experience the value of community while enjoying enough elbow room to feel comfortable. With all of our flexible space, members can always find a productive area to work, whether that be at a formal desk (once used by bank administrators), a barstool at a counter (once used by the bank tellers), a casual couch, around a round table, at a small table in our vault (don't worry, the door is never closed!), or even stationed at our old drive-up teller window.
Gone are the days of beige boxes (desktop computers); most of us use laptops. Our offices can be anywhere. What we really need is a professional environment, fast WiFi, conference space, occasional printing and faxing. Some of us need coffee (we have that!). The most valuable thing that we offer is a community. Sure you can go to the coffee shop and get WiFi, but what you won't get there is the ability to chat with a diverse group of entrepreneurs, professionals, and students who have similar needs and questions about technology, funding, grant writing, business plans, taxes, insurance, etc.
But for the sake of argument, let's explore some conventional coworking spaces. Many coworking spaces offer 24/7 access and assigned desks. In reality, 95% of users don't require a an assigned desk or 24/7 access.
Assigned Desks: the most important reason that we do not offer assigned desks is, to make coworking affordable for members, and to add revenue towards future expansion and amenities, we need to rent out the space for events, particularly on weekends. If we did offer assigned desks, membership would cost a lot more. So, until we hear overwhelming feedback from our members otherwise, we will stick with the "no assigned desks" business model.
Regarding our normal business hours: when I was a member of The Candy Factory, I did indeed have a need for an assigned desk with 24/7 access. When I was starting up my business mydigitalconversion.com, I would hit times when I was overwhelmed with projects, particularly around Christmas, when everyone wants their videotapes converted to DVD to present as gifts. Each year from November through New Year's Eve, I would work from 10 am until 3 am. At the same time that I was starting up My Digital Conversion, I was shooting and editing video as a subcontractor and as the sole proprietor of Wilkum Studios. And I was teaching video production at Lebanon Valley College. And I was also trying to find the right people to hire so I wouldn't be working around the clock. So, basically all year round I was working around the clock at the busiest and most successful coworking space, The Candy Factory, in Lancaster (and I would argue our entire region). I maintained this for several years. So let's say I worked 750 days from 10 am to midnight. Out of all of those long nights, I almost never saw anyone else working after 7 pm. It's wonderful to imagine that you have a desk that is all yours that you can access 24/7. But in reality, not many people need this access. I am thankful for my time at The Candy Factory, who does offer permanent desks and 24/7 access. But it just won't work for us here.
For those seeking a permanent desk or 24/7 access, The Candy Factory is an excellent space with a professional environment and a strong community.