I can understand why people enjoy co-working at The Productive. It’s a comfortable, inviting, affordable space, perfect for anyone who needs to just walk in, plug in a laptop and get to work. Provided that you’re a member, of course, although Founder Susan Godfrey will let you try it out for a day for free.
Located in the heart of midtown – 38th between 5th and 6th – The Productive is just far enough from Tourist Central, over on Broadway and 7th avenues, to avoid the crush every time you walk out the door, yet close enough to Flatiron to quickly commute to meetings while avoiding the higher rents down there.
The space was founded with artists, animators and writers in mind. When animators were laid off from full time jobs en masse in 2008, they’d congregate in different people’s apartments so that they could work together, or at least provide each other moral support. But regular apartments couldn’t support the odd hours that some of them had to pull, so Godfrey got the idea to establish a dedicated space for the group that would be available 24/7. She began looking for a funding source, approaching investors and launching a Kickstarter. The Productive opened in March of 2011. You can read about the experience on her blog (Part One, Part Two).
The tech community is slowly discovering the space – especially since it’s one of the most affordable co-working spaces in town, centrally located, and with all the amenities. There’s a conference room, a kitchenette, coffee/tea, scanners, a laser printer, lockers you can rent, and 24/7 access. It’s also an attractive, civilized place to work. The open layout accommodates thirty-two members, and desks/tables are configured so you can work individually, or in a team. There is also a conference room available for private meetings. “It’s 2,500 square feet,” Godfrey noted, “which in New York City square footage really means about 1,600 square feet.” Members include the creative she originally had in mind, as well as journalists, copyeditors, event planners and, yes, tech startups too: SocketDigital, FairStreet and Rootbuzz, to name a few. Fees vary, depending on whether your using the space during prime time or off-peak hours. Check the site. There’s also a $100 initiation fee.
It’s decidedly not the social/party atmosphere you might find at some of the other co-working spaces around town, but members have been known to collaborate. One thing though is for sure: when your primary objective is to get away from the party, the distractions, the networking, and the general noise level found at some other co-working spaces, it’s the place to go to just get work done and be – well – productive.