by Jodi LaMarco
Inspired by a movement known as coworking, Beahive is a place where independent workers can connect with like-minded peers.
Working at Beahive has a number of perks. At home, it’s easy to get sidetracked by the cats or the kids, and public spaces such as coffee shops can be equally distracting. In contrast, members come to Beahive locations to work, and are surrounded by others who have come for the exact same reason.
According to founder Scott Tillitt, the primary problem with working alone is missing out on the support of social interaction found in traditional office settings. If the thought of voluntarily working in an office makes your skin crawl, remember, Beahive is no ordinary office; there’s no boss, and no annoying office politics.
“The coworking movement really addresses the psychosocial aspect of work,” says Tillitt. “If you telecommute or work independently, there’s a loneliness, and there can be a lack of creative inspiration. With coworking, you’re surrounded by people who are doing the same thing. Even if they’re doing different kinds of work, they’re still in the same boat as you because they don’t have an office to go into.”
Hives also offer a number of programs and workshops.
“We’ve done Photoshop workshops. I’ve done branding workshops. So there’s that professional development aspect as well,” says Tillitt.
Tillitt moved to Beacon in 2006, and the “Bea” in “Beahive” is a nod to the location that he opened there in 2009. In 2008, with the country still in an economic recession, approximately one third of Beacon’s storefronts stood empty.
“Main Street in Beacon is a mile-long Main Street, and it really is the spine of the community. Everything is on Main Street,” says Tillitt.
Besides serving as a place where he himself could work, Tillitt also saw Beahive as a way to inject some much-needed vibrancy into the community. Since opening in Beacon, hives have sprouted up in other parts of the state. The newest location is situated in the recently-opened Lace Mill in Kingston, a 55-unit affordable housing complex for artists. Beahive is a free amenity for residents of the Lace Mill, but is also open to nonresidents for a fee.
Beahive members can purchase a pass for the day, or select from a number of plans. Most plans are month-to-month, and all plans allow users to work in any of the Beacon, Albany, and Kingston locations. The Beacon hive even offers a “resident studio” option, which gives members unlimited access to their own enclosed office space.
Of course, every hive has typical amenities such as desks, reliable Wi-Fi, copiers, and fax machines, but Tillitt says that those things are secondary to Beahive’s primary resource: people.
“It’s not about a copier or desks or printers or Wi-Fi,” Tillitt says. “It’s about this larger sense of community and community engagement. That’s a big part of why I started Beahive.”
Beahive Hudson Valley