Editor’s Note: We’ve been covering various coworking operators who are adding outdoor space in a post-COVID era. Today’s review is from a guest contributor who has checked out an ENTIRE outdoor coworking space.

If 2020 has done anything, it’s forced everybody to rethink and reimagine life during a pandemic and in doing so, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID) has reimagined coworking with a twist – outdoors. 

Across the Key Bridge from Georgetown is the Rosslyn area of tech-savvy Arlington, VA. As home of the under-construction Amazon HQ2, Arlington has redefined its landscape and what it means for BIDs to interact and adapt to the needs of community members and businesses.

The Outdoor Office, dubbed “O2”, is the Rosslyn BID’s solution to help accelerate a feeling of community while at the same time offering free, socially-distant, outdoor coworking space. Located at Gateway Park, O2 is 2 blocks away from the Rosslyn Metro Station, which makes public transportation accessibility on the Orange, Silver, or Blue lines a breeze.

RESERVATION

All users are required to reserve a space through an efficient reservation system that literally takes less than one minute to complete. Users have the option of booking a single person desk, standing tables, office space for two, or even seating with monumental views of DC. A “corner office” space was also available for large groups on a per request basis.

Each reservation is good for 90 minutes starting at 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM, with sufficient time in between for cleaning and sanitization between users by staff. Back-to-back reservations are allowed utilizing the same space or a new space within O2.

CHECK-IN

Photo Credit: Chris Chern

All users are required to check-in to O2, where a contactless hand sanitizer station is located. Each space is sanitized after use, but for added comfort, you can feel free to take some sanitizing wipes with you just in case you need it. Additional wipe dispensers are located throughout the space and a BID Ambassador will personally escort you to your space. If needed, blankets, chargers and a sun/privacy protector are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

COWORKING & AMENITIES

Photo Credit: Chris Chern

Each desk within the O2 space was sufficiently spaced from every other desk with partition walls made of greenery. Freebies such as mints and lip balm were also available. Floor signage was also present to direct a one-way flow of traffic throughout the space to prevent any cross-walking.

Free WiFi was available and there were no issues with live streaming a video conference call over VPN with download speeds at 45 Mbps and upload speeds at 24 Mbps. If it’s cold, blankets were also available at the check-in desk. 

Photo Credit: Chris Chern

Restrooms were clean and well maintained just in case nature calls.

One of the many benefits of the location of O2 was the close proximity to Rosslyn eateries, which include a mix of fast casual and sit down. For those looking to start their day with coffee, multiple options exist including East West Coffee Wine, Compass Coffee or Starbucks. 

Another benefit of booking a stay at the O2 is the special 10% off card at nearby Nando’s and District Taco. Users can request the special discount card at check-in, which is good for in-person visits for the Rosslyn locations only.

FINAL VERDICT

Overall, this was an excellent coworking experience. I highly recommend the standup tables (you can ask for a chair in case you get tired), desks at the Field Office and desks at the Counter/Corner Office which boast monumental views of the Washington Monument. The space is enclosed within Gateway Park to provide an urban oasis with plenty of trees to provide shade on sunny days. If you’ve never done it, I highly recommend reserving a space at the O2 (reservations currently open until the 3rd week of November 2020). 

Photo Credit: Chris Chern

Working outside definitely makes the time go by faster and research has shown that spending just 29 minutes outdoors boosts your productivity. Working outside definitely made the time go by faster. With the Outdoor Office, the Rosslyn BID has refined the workplace and made it a breath of fresh air.

The post Coworking Out in the Open: The Outdoor Office (O2) in Rosslyn, VA was first published on Coworkaholic.

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