Before I worked at Office Nomads I worked down in SeaTac. My morning commute involved leaving my house at 5:45 AM to walk 25 minutes to downtown where I would grab my bus for the 45 minute ride. The end of my day usually involved a delayed bus and traffic, stretching the commute to close to 2 hours. The only thing I miss about that commute is the speed at which I was able to fly through books.
Now I work 11 blocks from home. Usually less than 30 minutes elapses from the time my alarm clock goes off and I’m walking in the door at Office Nomads. Working at Office Nomads has eliminated my horrendous commute.
Thinking about this, I became curious about the commutes that members have to Office Nomads. How are people getting here? How long does it take them? Are we really a neighborhood location?
Not surprisingly, people either walk, bike, drive or take the bus. Turns out, nobody drops in via parachute. What was surprising was that cars and bikes came out as the top modes of transport with each being used by 29% of Nomads. Seattle likes to talk about its growing bike culture. Seattle Bike Blog put it, “Of the 25 largest US cities, Seattle has the largest share of people commuting by bicycle.” That huge number of bike commuters? 3.6%. With 29% of our Nomads commuting by pedal power, our small community is acting as an example for others to follow.
Indeed, 29% do drive in. The neighborhoods from which these Nomads are coming are not easily connected to Capitol Hill via buses. While our neighborhood seems to be arranged to discourage cars, some of these Nomads have found well-priced parking lots and or ‘secret’ spots that make it easier for them. This then allows them the ability to pick up their kids or run those important errands on the way home.
When Susan first thought of opening a coworking space, she envisioned places to work within each of our neighborhoods. Stroll a few blocks from your front door and find yourself at work. It appears that 24% of our community is doing just that. One Nomad said, “It’s the perfect 20 minute walk: too short to be taxing even in the rain but long enough to let me stretch my legs. Also, good for both me and the environment.”
18% of the Nomads use the bus to come to Capitol Hill. Most of the bussing Nomads said it was easier to bus than drive. Many said they have the ability to drive in but have decided that the bus is the best option. William Do said, “It’s most convenient for me. I could drive but parking is expensive. I could bike, but I’m not into biking. I also walk part of the way, sometimes depending on how I feel, I’ll walk 3 to 4 miles at least part of the way from Office Nomads to get home.”
We may not be right around the corner from most of our Nomads but the majority take twenty minutes or less to be part of our community. That’s less time commuting than the national average of 25 minutes.
These sorts of numbers make me more excited about coworking. If more of us are biking or walking, does that mean we’re healthier? And if we are driving but our time in the car is less than the national average, are we happier? I think so. It’s evident in the way people talk about coming to Office Nomads or any other coworking community. And it all starts with how we get there.