Working remotely can have its pitfalls. Maybe you feel isolated and lonely working from home all day, or maybe you’re spending too much money signing up for a coworking space or parking at a coffee shop for eight hours.
That’s where WorkStrive comes in. Starting this week, the new coworking concept will turn local gyms and fitness studios—often empty during the 9 AM to 5 PM block—into quiet areas for folks to work. Included in your day pass is a fitness class or an hour on the gym’s machines.
Founder Sarah Hostyk got the idea when she was doing door-to-door sales for another startup she founded (the app Place Tempo, which matched remote workers with the best spots to post up based on their real-time needs).
“I would go by all these gyms and yoga studios that were in all these high-rent areas that were completely empty during the day,” she says. “I said, ‘There’s something here,’ and that was the lightbulb moment.”
WorkStrive is rolling out its services at four locations to start—Mint Gym in Dupont Circle, the Yoga Heights locations in Petworth and Takoma, and the Bikram Yoga Works in Riverdale Park. Hostyk plans to launch more locations in downtown DC, Maryland, and Virginia by early fall, she says.
When conducting market research for WorkStrive, Hostyk discovered remote workers lacked a feeling of connectivity with other people. The idea is that having a space where people both work and exercise will give them something to bond over, she says.
“People feel very isolated and lonely even in coffee shops and coworking spaces full of people,” she says. “WorkStrive allows people to have something to talk about. Hey, what workout are you doing? That’s a convo starter.”
Plus, it’s affordable in the grand scheme of things. WorkStrive day passes are $36 (Hostyk eventually plans to introduce a membership plan), and that includes both a space to work and a fitness class. In comparison, purchasing a day pass at a spot like Cove ($30) and then a workout class at CorePower ($27) will run you more.
Hostyk describes WorkStrive as “Airbnb meets WeWork meets ClassPass.” Most spots are open to coworkers from 9 AM to 5 PM, and folks can go online and see how many seats are available that day at each location.
Each spot has a designated area for WorkStrive users, like a barre or yoga studio outfitted with tables and chairs, and, as with Airbnbs, amenities vary from place to place. All spots have free Wi-Fi and water, says Hostyk, but some may also come with coffee or tea or access to various office supplies.
An added bonus? You’re more likely to exercise post-work if you’re already at the studio, says Hostyk. And you may even make a new friend out of that graphic designer who ends up on the treadmill next to you.
“We’re social creatures. We need to be around people and get out and exercise,” says Hostyk. “WorkStrive is creating the best of both worlds.”