As someone that grew up in sports-crazed Wisconsin, I was conditioned from a young age to see people from Chicago as a type of rival. It didn’t matter whether those Chicagoans were fans of the Bears, Cubs, or Bulls. The way we saw it in Wisconsin, people from Chicago weren’t fans of us and we certainly weren’t fans of them.
While you won’t see me cheering for a Chicago sports team anytime soon, I will admit to being a huge fan of their city. Chicago is one of the best cities in the world for young professionals in 2018.
Like most metropolises in the US, Chicago offers great job opportunities. The real reason moving to Chicago makes sense, however, is its surprisingly affordable cost of living. While life in Chicago isn’t as cheap as many small Midwest US towns, you’ll still come out way ahead versus living in other major cities like New York or Los Angeles.
Chicago also has excellent architecture, good public transportation (by US standards), an excellent music scene, and some of the friendliest people in America. The Windy City is an excellent place to start your career, build a business, or even just head to for a coworking holiday.
Regardless of how long you stay, here are five coworking spaces that’ll help you make the most of your time in Chicago.
Located in the Uptown area of Chicago amongst a beach, golf course, and the famous Wrigley Field (home of the Chicago Cubs baseball team), The Shift is in the perfect location for those wanting to work in an exciting part of town. If you’re living on the Northside of Chicago, you’ll find The Shift is probably the best choice for a coworking space with a short commute from your home.
Even if it were a long haul, however, The Shift offers many amenities that would make your commute worth it. Offerings include free coffee, a speedy internet connection, printers, scanners, ergonomic chairs, and standing desks.
Best of all, The Shift has an incredibly diverse community of ambitious individuals dedicated to success. Some members come in from The Loop (the central business district of Chicago), while others pour in from the far north of the city.
Regardless of where they are from, however, you’ll find the other community members well worth meeting. Whether it’s a tech startup founder, attorney, consultant, or best-selling author, you’ll find the connections you make at The Shift to be incredibly fruitful.
A simple philosophy for your career is that you should do good work with good people. Fortunately, with a coworking space like DeskLabs, living by this philosophy has never been easier. The community at DeskLabs is always hosting educational and networking events.
Whether you’re curious about the best way to optimize your on-site SEO, or you’d simply like to grab dinner and a beer with friendly local professionals, you’ll find DeskLabs community events the perfect opportunity to expand both your mind and network.
While collaborating with others can be a good way to introduce additional creativity into your work, the reality is that oftentimes the only thing our projects need is our focused attention. DeskLabs understands this and does its best to facilitate a coworking environment conducive to deep concentration.
As a member of DeskLabs you’ll have access to both indoor and outdoor work areas. Community members can also take advantage of a kitchenette equipped with coffee, tea, and snacks to help them power through the day. If you’re looking for a coworking space in Chicago that welcomes community interactions but doesn’t force you to interact with others, DeskLabs comes highly recommended.
LifeWorking is an upbeat coworking space located in the northern suburbs of Chicago. As its name suggests, LifeWorking is dedicated to helping you excel in all areas of your life. While LifeWorking offers standard coworking facilities such as a comfortable work environment and complimentary coffee, members at LifeWorking also have access to some unique amenities as well.
Though some services may result in additional charges beyond your monthly membership fee, LifeWorking offers many conveniences rarely showcased by other coworking spaces. Some of these include: laundry service, package shipment, bike storage, and even food delivered to your desk!
LifeWorking also has an active community. Because the space’s community manager is focused on connecting professionals with similar interests or compatible businesses, you’ll find it’s easier to make connections at LifeWorking than virtually any other coworking space. This is a huge plus if you’re shy, or otherwise looking to expand your personal and professional networks.
Onward Coworking is a laidback coworking space located in the West Loop of Chicago. This part of Chicago is served by a number of bus lines and is also near several train stations if you’re relying on public transport.
Once you arrive, you’ll find Onward Coworking has a relaxed work environment. That’s not to say that its members are lazy — the community simply realizes excessive stress doesn’t contribute to producing quality work.
The best part about working at Onward Coworking is that the work area is hosted in a unique industrial timber loft. One positive feature of the work area is that it gives you abundant space to spread out your materials. Another is that the work area’s charming character has a way of inspiring you to introduce more originality into your own projects!
That’s not to say working at Onward Coworking is a perfect experience. As a member of Onward you’ll occasionally find yourself getting distracted or simply feeling too exhausted to work. When this happens, we recommend a quick visit to the space’s beautiful rooftop deck. Some fresh air and a rooftop view of Chicago’s West Loop always seems to revitalize members.
After another few hours of concentrating on your projects, be sure to check out some of the nearby restaurants for dinner. The West Loop is famous for its excellent dining options and some of Chicago’s best restaurants are within walking distance of the coworking space!
We couldn’t talk about Chicago without mentioning Brooklyn Boulders. As the name suggests, this coworking space was originally founded in Brooklyn, New York in 2009. In recent years this chain of coworking spaces has expanded to Chicago and Boston.
The thing that makes Brooklyn Boulders so unique is that it integrates physical fitness into your workday. Initially designed as a rock climbing gym with wi-fi, Brooklyn Boulders has since evolved into a full-fledged coworking space.
Seating options include tables as well as standing desks. Our favorite part about Brooklyn Boulders is that pull-up bars are located just a few feet above the standing desks. That’s right — whenever your eyes begin to feel tired and you need a rush of energy; all you need to do is jump to begin some energy inducing strength training.
Of course, it’s hard to ignore Brooklyn Boulders’ massive rock climbing walls available to members. While the space lacks some of the amenities of traditional coworking spaces, a modest monthly fee of just $125 still makes memberships well worth it.
If your health is a priority, and your work requires few amenities beyond wifi and a comfortable place to sit, Brooklyn Boulders is one of Chicago’s more intriguing coworking options.
Are there spaces we missed? Where do you like to work from in Chicago? Let us know in the comments!