Traditional employment continues to fall short of meeting the needs of modern employees nationwide, and skilled innovative professionals choose to leave the traditional workforce and strike out on their own. Chi-town is certainly no exception. Whether it’s part-time or full-time, more and more “solopreneurs” seek the unique benefits of Chicago coworking offices.
The appeal of shared office spaces goes beyond a collaborative design. Although traditional workplaces now integrate more and more collaborative space into the office layout, the advantage of coworking spaces is that they fulfill the need to control and invest one’s time and energy towards the work, as well as to choose the professionals with whom one interacts. So, in contrast to a traditional work environment, you get to “pick your pack” along with a coworking space—you can visit to make sure it has a vibe that will sustain your progress and dedication, and you are free to take your leave if it isn’t. Whether or not it’s a themed coworking hideout, there’s a curated community for everyone—check out the list below, read on to learn about each of these 30 awesome Chicago coworking options, and find your pack!
Downtown Chicago/Inner City Coworking Spaces
For entrepreneurs drawn to the Central Chicago coworking scene, there are plenty of choices—here are just a few to get you orientated:
The first coworking space to open in Chicago, TechNexus lies at the confluence of art deco and high tech, within the historic Civic Opera Building. This coworking launchpad caters to a curated, diverse community of startups, and incorporates state-of-the-art facilities and resources, 9 conference rooms, 13 huddle rooms, over 100 coworking seats, a podcast studio, and lounge space and gaming areas. Membership perks include concierge services, access to internal events (panels, hackathons, happy hours, and networking lunches), a fitness center, and access to the rooftop terrace.
Located in the iconic Merchandise Mart building, 1871 is a coworking space that doubles as a business incubator and accelerator—an “innovation ecosystem.” Just three years after first opening its doors in 2012, the tech hub ranked first in the U.S. and ninth worldwide among some 400 incubators that work with universities to support innovation and the entrepreneurial community. Moreover, in 2015, this River North incubator became the first in the world to offer a private healthcare and employee benefits exchange to member companies, individual workers and alumni who maintain membership. Find them in suite 1212 and take a tour!
Stationed in suite 570 of the massive Merchandise Mart, the Chicago Connectory is the fruit of a collaboration between global manufacturing leader Bosch and national innovation hub leader 1871. The Connectory (connection+factory) serves as the central hub for Chicago’s IoT (Internet-of-Things) ecosystem—dedicated to pushing the limits of IoT development, Bosch hosts the innovation space, provides expertise, a corporate and mentoring network, as well as its own IoT solutions. In turn, 1871 offers access to its community and resources, as well as co-hosting regular events and activities. Check out the C.C. calendar, schedule a tour, and apply to become a member!
Whether you want to go for community coworking or a private office, CoGen’s membership flexibility and rates invite you to love the way you work. Located on the second floor of a South Loop office building at 1132 S Wabash Ave., the coworking space includes a conference room, a private phone booth, a community lounge area, a projector and an event space that can accommodate up to 100 people. Membership advantages include 24/7 access via keyless control, unlimited coffee and beverages, onsite management on weekdays, access to the rooftop deck, and participation in monthly events and bi-weekly happy hours.
Nestled in a 5,000-square-foot loft in the 385 West Ontario Building in River North, evolveHer is a coworking space specifically designed to inspire the creativity and collaboration of women entrepreneurs. Founder and CEO Alicia Driskill curated a bright and beautiful workspace, and an array of uplifting educational resources, such as evolveHer core classes and events, a member directory and community board, a book exchange, and discounts on partner events. Schedule a tour, a call, or discuss a partnership and become part of this evolving community!
evolveHer is not the only (nor the first) collaboration venue that addresses the need for women-only coworking spaces—Ladies Room Chicago is a pop-up coworking community that operates inside Coalition Impact at 405 West Superior St. in the River North district. Join them on Wednesdays from 10AM to 6PM, and on the third Thursday of every month from 1 to 7PM. Share work space, resources, creative energy and ideas with other women and gender-nonconforming entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and freelancers.
Amata is a differently themed coworking space and community—pooling together a wealth of professional knowledge and experience, Amata Law Office Suites offers affordable solutions at five Chicago locations, co-counsel, referral and collaborative opportunities in work space that is tailored for attorneys, as well as business addresses that send the right message to your clients: 150 South Wacker Drive, within walking distance of the Willis Tower; 225 West Washington St., in the Marmon Building; 150 North Michigan, in the Crain Communication Building; 180 North LaSalle, and 161 North Clark in the Chicago Loop.
Get lost in this new workspace shaped by creative curiosity. Established in 2015 by Kickstarter co-founder Chris Adler, Lost Arts began as a social experiment looking at creatives working in a cross-disciplinary space. The Lost Arts coworking innovators have since found a home in the North Branch River Campus on Goose Island and have launched Lost Labs—a new accelerator for creative projects, which provides participants time and space to focus on their projects, as well as mentorship from a broad community of experts and professionals operating in diverse fields, from architecture, to art, to technology, to design, along with diverse and inspiring programming—applications will be open by mid-November, so keep in touch!
Looking for a cozy private office with amazing views and a never-ending list of perks? Signature Offices has got you covered. Located just steps from Grant Park, in the CNA Center, Signature offers nearly 80 private offices, conference rooms, and coworking space, all fully furnished, equipped, and ready for use. Perks include 24/7 keycard access, member-exclusive events with networking opportunities and access to capital, unlimited coffee, beer, access to the private bourbon room, reliable fiber and Wi-Fi connectivity, a full-service onsite athletic club, restaurants, a food court, and much more.
The workVAULT coworking community awaits you on Michigan Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s South Loop. Just a 10-minute walk from the park and the lakefront, the space features high-loft ceilings, beautiful lighting, coworking space, private offices, conference rooms, and a venue space that can hold up to 200 people. Membership perks include 24/7 access, high-speed internet, and a kitchen stocked with snacks and drinks to tend to the hunger pangs that eat away at your productivity.
Located on the third level of Water Tower Place in Streeterville, Cowork at the Mall is a modern innovation center that incorporates coworking, event space and live beta testing. Memberships range from virtual offices to day passes and dedicated desk rentals, and include access to rentable conference rooms, desk storage, incoming mail delivery services, and work resources such as projectors, whiteboards on wheels and group project tables. Moreover, Cowork at the Mall partners with prime Chicago eateries, and can hold up to 300 guests comfortably for any event you wish to host there.
You can find rent24 at multiple locations, in 11 cities worldwide—their Chicago coworking space is located on the top floor of the building at 444 N Wabash Ave., and a new location will soon be available at 500 North Michigan Ave. The rent24 “coworking and coliving universe” includes flexible and efficient open and private workplaces, conference rooms and shared events areas, and coliving boutique hostels to welcome international professionals with flexibility and comfort.
North Side Chicago Coworking Spaces
If you’re Uptown and would rather not trek to the Loop to get some work done, here are just a few of the many options available North of Central Chicago:
Regus operates 50 coworking spaces in the Chicago area, 14 of which are in North Side and in Far North Side Chicago. For instance, 939 W North Ave. is located between Goose Island and Lincoln Park, and its proximity to the Kennedy Expressway keeps you both close to Central Chicago and minutes away from the suburbs. The coworking center sports a boutique feel and features a comfortable business lounge complete with Thinkpods.
If you’re hailing from the North Suburbs of Chicago, check out the Regus office in the Prairie Glen Corporate Campus in Glenview—boasting scenic views of lake Michigan and of the Willow Hill golf course in a pedestrian-friendly area, this coworking space is equipped with videoconferencing technology and business-grade Wi-Fi. Similar options are available in the Northwest Suburbs—the Woodfield Preserve I in Schaumburg, where you can find state-of-the-art training centers ready to welcome up to 40 people, or the Rolling Meadows Regus offices in the 1600 Corporate Center, a 12-story building that boasts excellent views of downtown Chicago from the east, and is located 20 minutes away from O’Hare airport.
The AMPERS&ND coworking and event space in Logan Square accommodates freelancers, startups, and established firms alike, with membership options ranging from day passes to private offices. AMPERS&ND is easily accessible via multiple bus routes and is blocks away from the Logan Square CTA blue line L station. In addition to flexible seating plans, conference facilities, private phone rooms, secure storage, and other office services, the space includes a 2,000-square-foot rooftop deck complete with Wi-Fi and picnic table seating, so you can get some air &ND your work done at the same time.
The Creative Coworking members-only workspaces are designed to offer a quiet and comfortable environment, while adding a sense of community. They are currently open for business in two locations on the Chicago Far North Side.
The Evanston coworking hub at 922 Davis St. spreads across several floors: four offices in a central quiet zone, and a coworking lounge that doubles as an event space located on the first floor; a meeting room, kitchen, several offices and desks in a library-style setting, as well as an entrance to the spacious rooftop deck on the second floor; a phone-friendly collaboration zone, a four-person meeting room, additional kitchen, and a second entrance to the rooftop deck located on the third floor.
Creative Coworking’s second location is in the historic Colvin House in Edgewater Beach—one of only a few surviving lakefront mansions, the landmark property was originally built in 1909 and, after painstaking restoration efforts, is now home to Creative Coworking’s private offices, group work area, conference rooms, and event space.
Desklabs is on a mission to “connect the next wave of entrepreneurs, creatives, independents, and dreamers.” Packed into a 16,000-square-foot space in the heart of Lakeview, the DeskLabs dog-friendly workspace is spread across three floors and includes 13 private offices that fit up to eight people, several private meeting spaces, a full kitchen, and a 3,600-square-foot rooftop deck with sweeping skyline views. Schedule a tour today!
Looking to provide convenient, neighborhood workspace for individuals, teams, and small businesses alike, The Shift In Buena Park brings together a vibrant coworking community of professionals from techies to creatives and from attorneys to accountants. Membership perks include biweekly member networking events, “Show and Tell” presentations where “Shifters” can share knowledge with the community, free promotion on The Shift’s social media channels and in the weekly newsletter, gourmet coffee, snacks, board games, and other break time activities. Contact The Shift to ask about their team, student, and nonprofit discounts!
Second Shift is The Shift’s sister-workspace, which opened in Logan Square—it’s a community-focused coworking space, which strives to support, promote, and connect members, while driving positive social impact in the neighborhood. Free regular networking events, as well as knowledge-sharing presentations, are also hosted here every two weeks. The Logan Square location incorporates individual desks and group work tables in a bright, cozy, noise-controlled open workspace, two semi-private meeting areas, three private conference rooms, and five private phone booths. Perks include an impressive board game collection and snacks and beverages. Schedule a tour and get a free day of coworking in one of Chicago’s very best communities.
Platform coworking is a quiet, distraction-free workplace, home to a community of established professionals. Their services are available at three Chicago locations, in two vibrant neighborhoods. In Wicker Park, Platform Suites on North Milwaukee Avenue offers fully furnished private offices accessible 24/7 via secured entry, complete with a community manager, with all utilities and basic maintenance included in the membership. Platform Wicker Park on North Ashland Avenue is the most recent location, and offers flexible workspace options, as well as an outdoor patio. Last, but not least, is the quiet workspace tucked away in tree-lined Ravenswood. Unique amenities include an outdoor patio and grill, plus a rotating selection of coffee beans and snacks, not to mention the variety of small independent dining establishments that are located within walking distance.
Coworking in West and North West Side Chicago
A palpable sense of community is among the strongest traits of Chicago’s personality, as well as being perhaps the most unquantifiable perk of coworking—must be why the shared workspace movement has thrived so well throughout the city. Here are 11 of the best coworking spots on the Chicago West Side:
The BLUE1647 entrepreneurship and technology innovation center in Pilsen cultivates 21st century skills through personal and workforce development. The center hosts over 40 classes and workshops each month, ranging from mobile and web development, to entrepreneurship and digital marketing. Tech-oriented programs focus on developing a workforce that is ready to take on modern high-demand jobs. Engaging tech events can welcome up to 300 people (100 seated) and include hack-a-thons, lectures, meetups, speaker series with Data scientists, experienced entrepreneurs and company summits. Memberships at Blue Lacuna on Canalport Avenue range from day passes to individual memberships (discounted rates available for college students!), virtual or private office plans, as well as dedicated coworking plans for teams of up to 4 members.
Driven by the energy that makes people come together to create shared value for one another, Forum West Loop opened its doors in 2014 in the emerging Fulton Market district. Located within one block of Restaurant Row, Google’s Chicago headquarters, and CTA’s Morgan Station Green & Pink “L” trains, the Forum coworking space is a great hub for the Fulton Market entrepreneurial community. The space includes private offices, a bright and comfortable tech studio with individual and team desks, as well as large open work surfaces, a ground-level storefront loft with flexible interior layout, a catering kitchen, and more.
What started out in 2009 as a climbing gym in Brooklyn soon adapted to its members’ unique needs, incorporated work stations in the retail area, and ultimately became one of the country’s most unusual coworking environments. BKB now designs, builds, and operates hybrid rock climbing and coworking facilities where members’ innovation and creativity is stimulated by movement. In December 2014, BKB opened a 25,000-square-foot space at 100 South Morgan St. on the Chicago Near West Side—whether you’re a freelancer or an entrepreneur spending your days focused on your budding startup, choose BKB as your one-stop shop for your body and mind, and discover the advantages of mixing work with working out.
The Roof Crop tapped into another way to stimulate creativity, body and mind—bringing nature into the city via farming on the roof. The Roof Crop leases and operates rooftop farms (ultra-lightweight Omni green roof systems), providing a positive environmental impact building solution designed specifically for commercial building owners in Chicagoland. Acting as a “roof tenant,” TRC plans and oversees all maintenance and farm operations, creates new jobs for Chicagoans, helps improve access to sustainable, local foods, and so much more! The urban farm’s headquarters also provides shared work space, with coworking, conference room and photo studio space available for booking. You can count on the full-service kitchen being stocked up with the freshest, healthiest of snacks!
Looking for affordable coworking and event space in the heart of Humboldt Park? Be sure to stop by Homiey! Here, coworking space meets internet café, and event space meets community center, catering to students, independent/remote professionals, families, organizations, and anyone in between. Whether you are looking for a place to come together, host an event, meet clients, gather a study group, or just refuel and be productive, check out the wide range of highly flexible and truly affordable Homiey membership options. The space is open to members only or by reservation, so be sure to reach out and schedule a tour or get your free day pass!
Located on North Avenue in Wicker Park, just minutes from Downtown, Free Range Office welcomes entrepreneurs, startups, creatives, independent and remote workers, as well as part-timers. Membership options cover virtual office, part-time access, and day-passes, as well as 24/7 access for Club members, dedicated desk and office pod dwellers, and private office users. The FREO coworking hub includes meeting space, private phone booths, a gourmet kitchen, and an outdoor terrace, and is furnished with ergonomic chairs and spacious desks and couches.
A luxurious shared office setting, combined with high-end amenities and networking events where freelancers, telecommuters, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies can interact, collaborate, and brainstorm. With six locations being planned for other cities, Co-Optim is currently available at two Chicago locations: 21660 W. Field Parkway in Deer Park, and 550 West Washington in the West Loop. Luxury perks and amenities include programs that keep the kids busy while you focus on your work, reception concierge services, conference rooms for meetings of up to 20 people, a luxurious coworking lounge, a courtesy van service for quick pick-ups or deliveries, complimentary Starbucks coffee and snacks, and more!
Paying homage to Chicago’s rich history of manufacturing innovation, mHUB opened its doors as Chicago’s first innovation center focused on physical product development and manufacturing, to ensure that local crafters, makers and doers still have a place to grow and thrive. Fostering connections between local manufacturers, university researchers, and investors who are eager to support new businesses, mHUB strives to do its part in the continued growth of Midwest manufacturing, and tries to reduce the cost and barriers to entry for physical product innovation. Nestled within the hub’s 63,000-square-foot facility at 965 W Chicago Ave. in River West are 10 fabrication labs (electronics, plastic fabrication, metals, textiles and rapid prototyping) and a micro factory for small production runs.
The “Twenty-One-Twelve” incubator is the first of its kind in Chicago, focusing on the development of entrepreneurs and disruption in music, film, video and creative technology industries. Conveniently located off Interstate 90/94 in Portage Park–Northwest Side Chicago, 2112 is part of the 160,000-square-foot B2B creative industry ecosystem of Fort Knox Studios. Perks of a 2112 membership include access to educational programming, weekly networking events, and one-on-one mentoring sessions with industry professionals.
At the intersection of East 51st Street and Prairie Avenue in Bronzeville there is another community-oriented Chicago coworking hub, designed to support local businesses and lift local entrepreneurs. The Bronzville Incubator coworking community is made up of first- and second-stage entrepreneurs in the creative, culinary, and sustainability industries, all innovators in their fields, who share the goal of establishing holistic approaches to community development and wealth creation. The work space includes shared desks, dedicated desks, and meeting areas for up to 50 professionals. Membership options are for either a shared desk or a dedicated desk, and both include access to a conference room, the rooftop deck and garden, as well as select events, forums, and workshops.
Meeting the needs of small businesses and entrepreneurs since 2009, the Inspire Business Center provides virtual office and professional services, executive suites, and meeting rooms. The state-of-the-art facility located on West Jackson Boulevard includes window offices, high-speed fiber-optic Internet connection, fully equipped conference and meeting rooms, a presentation room that can seat up to 25 people, a training center that can fit up to 30, and a seminar room that can accommodate 50 participants. Perks include a walk-out garden terrace, professional catering services, and multilingual reception service during business hours.