This week I decided to visit Emberfuel Coworking in downtown Walla Walla for their monthly first-Friday open house. My faculty office opens onto the CS Commons, which I’m sure will fill up with students again once classes resume. So, I’m looking for other places to work during my sabbatical.
I’ve been curious about Emberfuel for a while. I learned about the open house from Meetup.com, which a LACS colleague persuaded me to join at our annual meeting about a month ago. Here are my first impressions.
- Upon entering, I had a lovely 15-minute conversation with the proprietor, Keith Nerdin. He was encouraging about my hope to meet others working on tech projects, as well as spending time away from students.
- It’s light and airy. There is a skylight with a large reflecting space to diffuse the light. While there are thoughtfully placed dividers to block views at seated eye level, the overall impression is of an open space. It feels very different from working in my office – which is quite spacious for a single-person office, but an office nonetheless.
- There are lots of choices about where to sit and work: Open tables, desks with partitions (with or without a large monitor to plug into), couches, rocking chairs, and an 8-seat conference room (which happens to have the exact same chairs I have in my dining room at home). After trying a desk and a couch, I chose a rocking chair.
- Furnishings are eclectic, stylish, and comfortable, with many DIY touches. The conference room wall built out of cardboard boxes and binder clips is particularly creative.
- It’s pretty quiet but for keytaps, light music (mostly instrumental), and occasional brief conversations. It’s nice to be around other people working without being interrupted, and without the noise and traffic of a coffee shop.
- Free cold-brew coffee in the fridge. Highly recommend.
- Lunching in is clearly welcomed: there’s a fridge, a microwave, and a small round table in the kitchen area.
- WiFi included, obviously. There was a little blip when I started writing this post, but comments from the regulars suggest that’s pretty rare.
- The bathrooms are a bit of a hike, but it’s no bad thing to get more steps and stairs into my day.
Here’s a panoramic photo taken from my seat:
A day pass is $20 – about 4-5 espresso drinks. I’m thinking that I’ll sign up for the part-time plan, at $80/month for 8 days of coworking and 24/7 access. A full-time membership is $200/month, an investment but not out of reach if I decide I want it to be the main workplace for my sabbatical.