Member Story: A Workspace Empowering Growth

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John Allspaw, CO-FOUNDER of Adaptive Capacity Labs working from his office at The Yard: Gowanus IN NYC.

As technological innovations have established an infrastructure for flexible working models, and welcome shifts in workplace culture dynamics have empowered employees to put their needs first, business structures have expanded far beyond the traditional office setting. According to Forbes Advisor, 12.7% of full-time employees work remotely, while nearly 30% have embraced a hybrid model that combines working from home, from an office environment, and even on-the-go. By 2025, more than 32 million Americans will have switched to remote work, accounting for roughly 22% of the workforce.

John Allspaw is the co-founder of Adaptive Capacity Labs, with over twenty years of experience in software systems engineering and operations, and a valued member of The Yard: Gowanus. “My colleagues and I help software-reliant organizations learn more effectively from the incidents and outages that they experience,” he tells us. “All of us have backgrounds in fields such as Human Factors, Cognitive Systems Engineering, and Resilience Engineering, and our expertise is in translating research in those fields to the pragmatic, concrete, and messy details of building and sustaining complex systems.”

John began his coworking journey at The Yard seven years ago, setting up shop in a two-desk private office. Since then, he and the Adaptive Capacity Labs team have gradually expanded into the six-desk space he currently calls home: “I have moved offices a few times here in the Gowanus location, and each space offered new features that genuinely supported my work. Probably the best part of working here has been the ability to adjust and evolve my workspace as my company has grown, and the types of projects that we work on have changed.”

Working from home comes with many advantages and practical benefits, though it may not be the best fit for you or your team. Whether you miss the connection to colleagues a healthy office culture brings, are struggling to separate your work and home life, or have simply settled into an unstimulating routine, coworking spaces offer a manifold solution. In a survey of 500 coworking members conducted by, one in two respondents reported that their income has increased since joining a shared workspace; nearly half noticed significant improvements in the quality of their work, their collaborative ability, and their mental health.

“When my colleagues and I started the business in 2017,” John explains, “I knew that I was not going to be able to get work done at home. This is less about my home being hectic or distracting—it’s not. Something that I’ve always known about myself is what makes a good environment that allows me to think and work through complex problems.”

We are shaped by our environment. Our surroundings indelibly influence our mood, comfort, and well-being. Many modern office spaces are intentionally designed to promote excellent performance and a positive, productive working experience by putting specific aesthetic considerations at the forefront. For example, different shades of color or intensities of light elicit different emotional responses. There are practical design elements at play, too: in a hybrid work ecosystem, technology is more important than ever to our day-to-day workflow, and an apartment or coffee shop may not allow for high-volume uploads or safe, reliable file access. Most importantly, the networks of relationships we build each day offer emotional, social, and even political support. This can be a powerful protection against stress and increase productivity in the workplace. Coworking spaces are built out for collaboration and concentration in equal measure, with common areas and reservable conference rooms for larger meetings and private spaces to duck into for a moment to yourself. Each membership option at The Yard grants you 24/7 access to a fully furnished shared workspace with a comprehensive amenities package including fast and secure WiFi, reservable meeting rooms, mail and printing services, and more.

No matter your organizational structure or team size, a coworking space can meet your specific needs and facilitate further professional growth. Shared workspaces like The Yard present hybrid and remote workers with a wide variety of offerings at a low cost, from monthly memberships in open coworking to dedicated desk rentals and private office space for small or large teams. These last two options perfectly balance privacy and community, preserving the collaborative elements of a shared workspace while favoring stationary setups, specific storage needs, and higher security standards. If you find, as John did, that the demands of your business have outgrown where you began on your coworking journey, and need to accommodate additional teammates or increased storage space, The Yard makes upgrades as simple, smooth, and cost-effective as possible.

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Shared space at The Yard Gowanus in NYC.

A lot goes into maintaining an office building, from rent and utilities to supplies, cleaning services, and a security system. The steep operational costs of a traditional office space can be a significant barrier to access for folks in the freelance economy, self-starting entrepreneurs, and growing companies with more limited resources. Coworking spaces cover these sometimes prohibitive budget elements for you. As a result, members of a shared workspace like The Yard can enjoy all the perks of a private office with savings to spare. The lower cost of a coworking space compared to a traditional private office rental allows members to invest back into their business, and the comparative flexibility of a coworking membership agreement removes the risks associated with a long-term lease. Simply put, the access, amenities, and on-site support you receive with a coworking membership frees you up to focus on the fundamentals.

The wide range of benefits that a shared workspace provides to modern professionals yields a diverse cross-section of industry within every member community, with different facets of its flexible structure appealing to different fields of work. Technology startups, freelance creatives, consulting firms, and more have all found a work home at The Yard. Shared workspaces like The Yard amplify the natural frisson between such varied professional backgrounds with regular event programming and exciting partnerships with local businesses, connecting space members to each other and their wider communities. The abundant personal and professional networking opportunities available to coworking members contribute to the unique energy of a shared workspace and to the continued growth of your business.

“I can’t think of one project that we have worked on that hasn’t benefited from ad-hoc conversations I have had with other members of the building,” John says. “There are so many different types of businesses here, and people with expertise in so many domains. On the way to refilling my coffee, I get to have conversations with experts in public relations, marketing, legal, software developers, and design. These quick one-off exchanges every day might not sound like a big deal, but these discussions have influenced in real ways how I’ve approached the projects that we work on. It’s also great if we are working on a deadline late at night and others in the building are in the same boat—we can commiserate!”

All The Yard locations share a regular event schedule, including a member breakfast every first Wednesday of the month, a happy hour every third Thursday, and a quarterly art opening featuring the talent of their local creative communities and thought-provoking curatorial themes. Each location also has a separate and unique calendar of events, with a number of one-time offerings that balance education and entertainment. Members at The Yard have a standing invitation to them all—not just at their primary location, but across all of our shared workspaces! Just this month, in fact, members across locations can attend an informative roundtable on trademark and patent legal strategies at The Yard: Herald Square, a mixer for startup employees on the Lower East Side, or an evening concert series kicking off in Williamsburg. Book a tour at your location of choice today and ask about these events.

Each The Yard location is run by a Community Manager who will answer any specific questions you may have about their space, schedule a tour at your earliest convenience, and—whenever you’re ready—give you a warm welcome into The Yard family. Beyond that, though, their energizing presence on-site and their distinctly personal touch reaches every aspect of your member experience: working with a dedicated maintenance team to keep up after the facility, collecting and sorting members’ mail, monitoring guests and visitors to the space, maximizing community engagement through event planning and cultivating partnerships—the list goes on!

Just last summer, The Yard surveyed members across every location to find out what keeps our coworking veterans coming back to The Yard year after year. Feedback from one location to another was consistent: a resounding majority of survey responses all spoke to the level of care and customer service our Community Managers bring to their spaces each day. With their extensive knowledge and coworking experience, thoughtful curation of their member communities, and ability to meet you exactly where you are, our small but mighty team facilitates a happy, healthy working environment by anticipating members’ needs before they arise. John has experienced this firsthand at every step of his coworking journey, and graciously shared his thoughts on his experience at The Yard: Gowanus: “I am continually impressed by what does not happen here,” he says. “By that I mean there is a noticeable absence of the sort of random disruptions one might expect to happen in an office building with this many people. The Community Managers make everything work so smoothly. I cannot think of any time the Community Manager has not been able to help me with whatever I needed. Eena Dietterick is a magician.”

If you’d like to share your member story with us, send a quick message to—we’d love to hear from you!


Sam Kurzydlo

Sam Kurzydlo

Community Manager @ The Yard: Greenpoint