For those who are still bound to an office and an overseer, coworkers can either be a distraction to your work or not, may add something to your day or not. On the other hand, if you freelance the office space you occupy at home means a share of nothing but distractions - the fridge, TV, the doorbell and the accumulating laundry. You don't even get the chance to regather your thirst (or sensibilities) among the animate - unless you own a dog. But Tarrytown does actually have a water cooler of its own that brings independent workers the best of both worlds.
“Coworking is something that is happening globally, and it doubles every year,” says Jenifer Ross, owner of the W@tercooler on North Broadway.
So if you show up with $35 in the morning, you’ll have access to one of the five temporary desks. This includes a computer and all the connective tech tools of any work day. “It’s sort of a Brooklyn open style loft,” says Ross.
Freelancers can also dispense themselves on a more permanent basis if they choose at a cost of either $475 or $525 a month - depending on the size of the desk. “There are five permanent desks,” she says, and this all also comes with master key, giving 24/7 access.
In between, part time membership at $35 month returns a daily fee of $20. "We have about 40 members who come in and use the space anywhere from once a month to every day," says Ross, who is also a freelance marketing professional.
Of course, if the printer blinks at 11PM, it’s Do it Yourself standard time but as far as 9-5 goes, it’s not your problem. Making sure the toner is prime, the paper bin is full and the wi-fi is functioning, she says, "it's all done for you and the coffee is made."
Still, caffeine isn't always enough to kick your Monday morning into gear. Since W@tercooler coworkers have more than the lonely walls at home imploring inspiration, it's a lot easier for them to find their personal clutch and shift into high. "People tend to get more done when they are surrounded by others doing inspiring things," says Ross.
Of course, the variety of occupations that are enclosed can't help but intersect into some nice synergy. "Lawyers incorporating other members, graphic designers lending their talents for website design, writers connecting to publishers," says Ross, "There's a constant natural networking."
The same goes for the whole concept of coworking when it comes to the surrounding community. "Coworking is not just about the environment that happens inside your own space but it's also about the community you serve," says Ross.
In turn, this has the W@tercooler offering discount cards and various collaborative initiatives with at least three dozen downtown businesses. "This way we can keep business here and drive business locally," says Ross.
But the W@tercooler doesn't just limit its business sense to the present and provides intern opportunities for students. "It gives that student exposure to a lot of different businesses and experiences," says Ross.
At the same time, the W@tercooler allows its members by nature to be part of an even bigger social consciousness. "If twenty people are under one roof, it's one coffee maker, one heating source, one printer so you really know that you're lessening the collective carbon footprint," she says.
And the radius from which most of her members stream in from is usually within ten or 15 miles so the sustainability adds up, while she's not shy about exalting in her business's point of origin. "Tarrytown is summer camp for adults. It has such a lively, energetic cradling group of people who are diverse and engaged" she says.
The view of the Hudson and all the 19th century architecture isn't so bad either on a lunch break. But if members get tied to their temporary desk for a day, she's more than happy to suffice for a breather when needed. "I'm often people's rest stop, but I don't mind, it's part of my job. I love to connect to people and I can get my work done when I get home," says Ross
No problem, the coffee should still be hot and somebody at home probably already walked the dog and returned all the incoming calls.