Cowork Vernon celebrates 7 years

Cowork Vernon began in August 2014 when four remote workers (Steve, Justin, Morgan, and Marco) decided to rent an office, and start working together.

Since then, we’ve had dozens of members, a major renovation, and continued expansion (we now rent three units in our downtown building).

The COVID-19 pandemic was definitely challenging in 2020 and 2021, but we’ve continued to be a home for remote workers and local entrepreneurs. In many ways, it was our coworking community that sustained us throughout the pandemic: being able to show up at the office and see a friendly face, have a conversation, go for coffee.

Our members include software developers, engineers, manager, remote workers, and entrepreneurs.

Want to join us? You can apply here.

Cowork Vernon celebrates 6 year anniversary

When we originally started Cowork Vernon in August, 2014 we:

Needless to say, our space needed a big upgrade. Thankfully, Lorinda and Monica spent most of 2020 redesigning and fixing up our space in a big way:

Our building was originally constructed in 1912, so it wasn’t an easy canvas to work with! Look at the floors before and after Lorinda refinished them:

One of the biggest improvements was made in the kitchen and eating area:

We also have a new corner office suite, which features two desks, and another phone booth:

And, as always, we have a big conference table at the end of the room for part-time coworkers (10 days a month or less):

Our members include software developers, engineers, manager, remote workers, and entrepreneurs.

Want to join us? You can apply here.

Coworking in Vernon celebrates five years

Cowork Vernon officially launched in 2014, but there were many events that lead up to that.

The idea for a local coworking came out of Geek Beers, which had been running in Vernon since 2012.

In 2013-2014, we started holding “Coffee shop Cowork Days” to test out the concept. We did some at Bean Scene, and a few at Triumph Coffee:

We promoted these coworking events by emailing our Geek Beers mailing list (which was about 200 people at the time).

By mid-2014, there was a group of four people who decided to become “founding members,” and get a real coworking location going.

Morgan, Marco, Justin, Steve

They structured it as a not-for-profit joint-venture and started looking for locations.

A loft space became available, on the corner of 30th Ave and 30th Street in downtown Vernon. It was right across from the soon to be opened Marten Brewpub.

They signed the lease, bought some desks from the old Kal-Tire office, and launched in August 2014:

The initial coworking setup

That first year there were seven members in total. Since then, we’ve grown an average of 13% per year. (Currently, in 2019, we have 15 members).

Here’s what our space looks like today:

Cowork Vernon, 2019

Our members include software developers, engineers, manager, architects, remote workers, and entrepreneurs.

Want to join us? You can apply here.

Four years of coworking in Vernon

I don’t know how this happened, but somehow we’ve been coworking in Vernon for four years now.

On August 2014, Marco, Steve, Morgan, and myself (Justin) got they keys to our loft suite on 3000-30th Street in Vernon, BC (right across from Marten Brewpub).

Back then we were just four remote workers who wanted a place where we could work together. We were tired of working from our home. We wanted some interaction!

Initially, we met at Geek Beers, and started discussing renting an office space together.

Coworking was the solution. Even though we were all working on different things, we were able to hang out throughout the day, chat on Slack, and go for lunch.

Coworking for remote workers and freelancers in Vernon, BC, Okanagan

This past year, the space kept evolving:

  • We now have eight full-time members: Daryl, Mikey, Rick, Jeff, Marco, Morgan, Steve, Justin.
  • We have a new dedicated area for our part-time members: a large conference table, set up with four monitors.
  • We now have Telus High-Speed Fiber (200-300 mbps up and down).
  • The space still has “the vault” for private phone calls, and a private office across the hall that can be booked for meetings and video conferencing.
  • We also have a kitchen, fridge, Aeropress, and Italian coffee maker.

Coworking in Vernon, BC 2018

Our members are a mix of folks working for tech companies, profesional remote workers, and people building their own companies.

Interested in joining us? You can apply here.

Coworking advantages – enjoy your work more and be less lonely

Coworking for remote workers and freelancers in Vernon, BC, Okanagan

Coworking has many advantages. In a survey done at the Global Coworking Conference, attendees cited that these coworking benefits:

  • 84% were more engaged and motivated
  • 67% had enjoyed more professional success
  • 69% felt more successful overall

If you’re working remotely, or running your own solo freelance business, you probably don’t need a desk. Your biggest need is likely human connection.

In Steve King’s HBR article, he describes the drawbacks of remote work:

According to Vivek Murthy, the former Surgeon General of the United States, increasing numbers of remote and independent “gig economy” workers is one of the key reasons for the growing “loneliness epidemic”. Murthy also points out that loneliness is much more than just a social problem. It’s also a health problem, “associated with a reduction in lifespan similar to that caused by smoking 15 cigarettes a day and even greater than that associated with obesity.”

Getting out of the house, and interacting with other people, is essential for human health. King found that after joining a coworking space, 83% of members felt less lonely and isolated.

Interested in coworking in Vernon, BC? Check out our space here.

2017 International Coworking Day

Today, August 9 2017, is International Coworking Day.

Brad Neuberg started the first coworking space back in 2005. He wrote a blog post describing the benefits:

Traditionally, society forces us to choose between working at home for ourselves or working at an office for a company. If we work at a traditional 9 to 5 company job, we get community and structure, but lose freedom and the ability to control our own lives. If we work for ourselves at home, we gain independence but suffer loneliness and bad habits from not being surrounded by a work community.

Coworking is a solution to this problem. In coworking, independent writers, programmers, and creators come together in community a few days a week. Coworking provides the “office of a traditional corporate job, but in a very unique way.

The early members of that space talked about the benefits in this video:

Now, in 2017, more than 1 million people will work from a coworking space.

Want to join an awesome coworking space in downtown Vernon, BC? Check us out!

11 Incredible Coworking Statistics

Remote working in the Okanagan

My family and I moved to Vernon, BC in 2012. I’d been working as a Product Manager for an Edmonton-based software startup, and had convinced them to let me work remotely.

One of my first objectives after arriving in Vernon was to connect with like-minded locals who also worked in the technology sector. I was leaving a thriving technology scene in Edmonton, and was worried that I’d become rusty without good community.

What I found surprised me: world-class software developers, designers, creatives, and business people living right in Vernon. This eventually lead to a bunch of us deciding to rent an office, and work together.

That became Cowork Vernon.

What started as a small group of 4 original founders has grown to 10 regular members. Our main suite has high ceilings, large windows with lots of natural light, a small kitchen (with fridges, microwave, and sink), a soundbooth, and a comfy couch. We also have a separate private office for private phone calls, meetings, and audio recording.

Why do I remote work from Vernon?

There are many reasons!

First, it’s a beautiful place to live; it’s the hidden gem of the Okanagan. Most people drive through and don’t realize how many beautiful spots are around Vernon. The lakes, beaches, mountains, and natural areas around here are amazing.

Second, Vernon is a great place to raise a family. My wife and I have 4 kids, and we’d talked to people who were raising their kids here and loved it.

Third: recreation! Our whole family skis. We can be from our house to the lift at Silver Star in about 20 minutes. That’s incredible. There are very few places in North America where you can do that. We also love going to the beach, swimming, and hiking. There are great options for all of those things, all less than 15 minutes away.

Fourth: I really like the actual city of Vernon. I think it has lots of potential. It’s a good size, not too spread out. I bike to the coworking office most days. If you live in East Hill, or other communities around the city center, there are a lot of places that are within walking distance.

Interested in trying coworking?

Our address is 3000-30th Street, Vernon BC (right by Marten Brewpub). We don’t currently accept drop-ins (but please fill out our survey if you’re interested). You can email us at or find us on Twitter: @coworkvernon.

Justin Jackson

More resources:

One year of coworking in Vernon, BC

“Coworking is about making the choice to work along side other people instead of in isolation.” – Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance

Cowork Vernon recently celebrated it’s one year anniversary. In August 2014, we met at 3000-30 Ave in a space that looked like this:

Original co-working space in Vernon, BC - best in the Okanagan!

We’ve come a long way! Here’s what we accomplished this past year:

  • We welcomed 10 new members.
  • We built a sound booth in a former bank vault.
  • We rented an additional private office / meeting room across the hall.
  • We filled the candy machine 12 times.
  • We built a kitchen: sink, counter, fridge, Aeropress, Italian coffee maker.
  • We painted!
  • We added 9 desks, 7 additional monitors, 2 couches, and 1 love seat.
  • We had 19 “words of the day”
  • Went for 56 Friday lunches.

Cowork Vernon was started by four locals who wanted a collaborative workspace downtown: Morgan, Justin, Marco, and Steve.

We’ve just signed our second year lease. We’re excited about the future of coworking in Vernon!