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Co-to-Work in PDX with a Fat-Free, Shared Space

Written By Jacki Sturkie | Jun 30, 2015

Working in coffee houses can fatten you up like a holiday turkey. It’s not like they serve wheatgrass. Your choices are scones (fat), croissants (fatter) and granola (fattest). Good thing there’s “coworking”—a healthy alternative for the freelance professional.

Finders coworkers

Coworking spaces are workspaces within existing companies. Finding them is pretty easy on ShareDesk and PivotDesk. ShareDesk lists spaces available by the hour, day and month; PivotDesk only lists spaces available monthly. Finding the right fit is the trick, but no worries, I’ve got you covered with my handy categorizations and general snarkery. Your work style, lifestyle and hairstyle will lead you to the perfect space.

Work style

Defining how you work leads to what works for you. I’ve narrowed down all work styles to three convenient, yet completely unrealistic categories. Let’s say you are:

Introverted. You need quiet, no collaboration necessary. Your best case scenario is a private office with a door at a “host company,” like a law firm. The Ambrose Law Group, for example.

Extroverted. You need a social environment, collaboration is a plus. Your best case scenario is a hot desk, dedicated desk, or any desk really at a “hub”—a space completely dedicated to coworking. In Portland, you might try The Factory @ The Ford or Collective Agency.

Perverted.  You need very personal space. Your best case scenario is your parents’ basement.


You still love your lattes. So what can you afford to rent without sacrificing your high-octane habit? Coworking prices are amazingly affordable and really aren’t about amenities. They’re more about window seats, aisle seats and carry-ins. The best part is you get to pick:

A hot desk allows you to use one desk, then move to another. Pack up your stuff and take it home when you leave. It’s flexibility on steroids. $15-$70/day.

A dedicated desk is a place to hang your hat and cat poster. It’s your desk now—and tomorrow. $20-$95/day, or $325/month.

A private office with a door is personal and secure. I’m guessing that this comes with a door that locks. $500-$800/month.

A conference room a la carte is often included in monthly rent; some are available by the hour. The latter start at $25/hour.


Product is great, but working in a rad space is even more effective at elevating your coolness and fueling your success. Maybe you need to:

Impress a client. You’ll need spaceship-chic digs like NXT Lab, or a mod space like Forge Portland.

Change the world. Look for a non-profit, like Den.

Launch a company. Spaces like NedSpace specialize on nurturing startups.

Work and hammer. ADX Portland has a metal shop, a digital lab, and you can make all the noise you want!

Work and trade. You need space inhabited by a diverse group of filmmakers and students, like Clean Slate PDX (beware: Ruby Jewel is in the same building).

Have it all. You get that Pearl swank, a classroom, meeting rooms, and a giant, rad board room at Centrl Office.

Shower. Leftbank Hive has a hot shower plus indoor and outdoor bike parking.

Hide your bad hair day. Camouflage yourself in the Elvis wallpaper at The Factory.

Good luck finding your coworking space. And as always, happy freelancing to you.

Jacki Sturkie is a copywriter, brand strategist and comedian in Portland, OR. Her book, Sass Mouth, is now available on Amazon.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.