For the past 7 years, I have worked from home. I began my #WAHM (work-at-home-mom) career as an administrative assistant for someone living in Germany and eventually grew into a role that largely has me working for myself as a digital marketing and social media strategist from Kansas City.
During these past 7 years, our family also grew and I had children’s schedules to work around. Nap time was my work time. As soon as the kids were down for naps, I got an unseemly amount of work done.
Then they grew older and grew out of their naps. So I had to work around preschool schedules and planned quiet activities for them that they could do while I worked. Working from home with kids who no longer nap was definitely a challenge. I often felt like I was working all day and doing a poor job at mothering. I’m sure neither were actually true, but it just felt like I was never as good at either of those roles as I would have liked to be.
So when it came time for all of our kids to be in school this year, I decided it was time for a change for me. You see, I’ve probably spent about 75% of the past 7 years within the 4 walls of our home.That’s a lot of time at home! I do not regret it and I wouldn’t change anything. I am glad I was able to be at home and do outside work that was meaningful to me and helped our family financially.
But . . .
Getting out of the house and joining a co-working space in Kansas City has been a game changer and I’ll tell you why.
Work-life balance: When I worked from home, it was easy to let work seep into my time with my kids and husband. After all, my desk was just a few steps away. And we all know you never really get ahead with work. There is always more work to do. It was too easy to tell the kids, “I’m going to go back to my room and work for a bit” and find myself getting sucked into work an hour and a half later when I found the kids fighting with each other because they probably just needed some attention from their Mom.
Now, after spending uninterrupted time with my family before they head off to work and school, I get in my car and drive downtown to WeWork Corrigan Station. I head up to the 3rd floor, find a space in the “Hot Desk” area and get to work. I’m not thinking about the laundry I could be doing, or the cleaning that needs done around the house, I’m just thinking about work. It’s like my brain has a dedicated spot for my work productivity. I am “at work” so it’s far easier to stay focused on work.
I’m also highly motivated to stay focused because I know that I have to leave at a certain time to get the kids from school. Once they come home, I’m not on work time anymore, I’m on family time. Having the distinction of work and home has done wonders for my work-life balance.
Networking: I am currently working more hours than I ever have so I am not able or wanting to take on more clients. But if I was, WeWork would be an excellent way to grow my business. I’ve been asked by several WeWork members if I am looking to take on more clients because I have a skill set that would help their business. I will not be surprised if I someday do this, but for now, simply growing my network is a good thing for me.
I’ve also watched countless interactions between WeWork members where one person realizes the other person may have a skill set that benefits the other. Meetings between potential clients definitely happen here.
Socializing: Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to plan parties and be with people. I planned a really informal Taco Bar potluck a few weeks ago and the turn out was great. I met a British couple who run a branding and design company. One guy brought his very own nacho cheese machine because his company is called IT Nachos. Another guy I’ve gotten to know designs countertop displays in a very niche market. Everyone I’ve met does something a little different and it’s honestly just fun to be around people doing work they love.
If you’re looking to grow your network, joining WeWork is a fabulous way to do it. One other benefit I’ll mention is that when you join WeWork, you’re actually getting access to over 100,000 people worldwide. I regularly see posts within the WeWork member app where one company in another location is looking for a website build or graphic design needs or something else entirely. You may work here in Kansas City but you get access to potential clients from all over the world. This in and of itself is an incredible resource.
Now let’s talk about some cons. While I’ve painted a very rosy picture of this Kansas City co-working space, there are, of course, some cons.
Noise may be an issue for some people. I met one couple who started as Hot Desk Members which means they get to be in any open common area. This is my level of membership, too. They ended up going with a higher level of membership so they could have a private office and less noise. The noise doesn’t bother me and if I ever need a quiet space, I find another area or utilize the phone booths. Headphones also help if I want more calming music. So consider how you feel about room noise, conversation noise, and music noise before you decide to join WeWork in Kansas City.
It will cost you. Obviously, you don’t get access to this amazing space for free. I pay a monthly Hot Desk membership fee of $250. This gives me 24/7 access to the building and I can use any common area that I wish. I also get access to the phone booths on floors 4, 5 and 6 which is very helpful for conference calls. I would be saving $250 each month if I worked from home. So you need to weigh out the cost of your WeWork membership. I am in my 3rd month at WeWork and on the days when I’ve needed to stay home for some reason or another, my level of productivity plummeted. For me, it’s worth it to pay $250 a month. It gives me that work-life balance I was looking for and gets me into the community right here in Kansas City.
So that is my review of WeWork Kansas City. As you can see, I’m very happy here and highly recommend it. Feel free to comment below with any questions and I’ll be happy to answer as best you can. Now go schedule a tour and visit this brand new WeWork location!
P.S. I was not paid or compensated to write this review. In fact, the WeWork staff here in KC don’t even know I’m writing this. So if you’re wondering how honest this review is . . . it’s 100% my words. If you decide you want to join, this referral link is my personal link and if you sign up, I get a small discount on my monthly membership.