Co-working space flourishes in downtown Vancouver

"Local paintings hang on the sun-soaked brick walls along the open second floor of an old downtown Vancouver building. Creative types mingle under cleverly designed lighting fixtures, and the coffee and beer is free.

This is no art gallery, however. This can be your office.

“We just wanted to make it a cool, creative workspace where people want to come to work every day,” said Max Mikhaylenko, a founder of the downtown Vancouver co-working space Columbia Collective.

The collective opened in April and already has 20 members, including freelancers and small companies, who rent space and share resources. No regular hours here: the members come to work when they want at 1010 Washington St. Suite 200.

In an economy where working remotely is increasingly commonplace, the trend is moving out of the home office and into communal spaces.

“Working in isolation is detrimental — I’ve done it,” said Mikhaylenko, himself a freelancer with space at Columbia Collective. “Our motto is ‘together is better.’ ”

Columbia Collective hosts individual offices (which are already all taken), permanent desks and “flex” desks for monthly fees ranging from $175 to $350..."