FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: Let’s Imagine a Coworking Space Just for Us

Happy Friday! Me again! Here to talk to you on this lovely (though cold where I am) day.

This week my day job moved offices so I’ve been thinking a lot about workspaces. And I often, while talking to my fellow TV Team-ers about entertainment news or year-end best/worst lists, etc, wonder what it would be like if we were in the same place instead of working remotely and having these conversations via Slack. Basically, what if the Straddleverse came to life??

So I wanted to take some time with you, gentlereaders, to imagine what Autostraddle would look like as a physical space. A nice big building that we could transform into the coworking space of our dreams. What would your favorite room to be in look like? What would be in the common areas? What colors would fill the space, would there be art on the walls? Is there a room with music playing, a room with white noise, and a quiet room? Is there a room with an entire wall that’s just a screen playing queer ship fanvids? What kind of snacks or drinks are available to us? Are we working on projects together? What kind of projects? What does your personal workspace look like? Is it a desk? A beanbag chair? Do you need a closed office? How do you decorate your space?

Dream big and dream small and tell me what, in a perfect world, would make you the most efficient/creative/productive person you could be at Straddleverse HQ!

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Valerie Anne

Just a TV-loving, Twitter-addicted nerd who loves reading, watching, and writing about stories. One part Kara Danvers, two parts Waverly Earp, a dash of Cosima and an extra helping of my own brand of weirdo.

Valerie has written 560 articles for us.


  1. Working remotely sounds like so much perfect heaven that I can’t even imagine anything better. I guess the grass is always greener?

    • I like the idea of working from home but I’m afraid I would literally never leave my apartment/see other people if I did it. So I think I’d need at least the option of somewhere to go!

  2. I would love a retro art deco/dieselpunk office theme. 40’s style movie posters on the wall (but updated for modern art techniques), a futurism wall mural in the common area, desks done in dark wood (or maybe bamboo for sustainability), even the windows can be done in that style.

  3. In my perfect workspace, I would bake cakes filled with rainbows and smiles and everyone would eat it and be happy and…

    Sorry, I’m back now.

    I’ve worked in offices and have been fortunate enough to have flexible arrangements where I could work at home if I wanted to, and while it was nice to work in from of the TV, I much preferred working in an office. It’s nice to bounce ideas off of people or take your headphones out for a few minutes to chat before going back to work.

    If we had like…a WeWork just for Autostraddle, I’d love it to be bright and open and airy with tabletops for us to work on our laptops, a room that is basically the fangirl bar of our dreams complete with framed photos of our ships and altars to the ones we lost. Oh! And a screening room to live-react to our favorite shows and movies.

    Can you even imagine when Breaking Queer News hit and we were all in one place and ran to a conference room to debrief about who Kristen Stewart was just seen out with!? THE DREAM!

    • There’s a bottle of champagne with people’s names on it we think are queer but haven’t come out yet that we can pop when they do! haha

  4. I would very much like there to be the following things:

    1) A big, open kitchen where I can make snacks and drinks and meals for everyone!
    2) Lots of outdoor space (with heaters if it gets cold)
    3) A huge desk in a corner/nook where I can escape to whenever I’m overwhelmed by people
    4) Puppies


      I’ve been saying our office needs an Office Pup for years but no one seems to be on board. Or even like BYOP! I just want more dogs in my life on the day-to-day.

    • Puppies!! Can we have a kitten room too? I’m thinking about fostering kittens next spring and I feel like all offices would benefit from more fuzzy babies.

      We could have good air circulation / openable windows / a roomba(?) so those of us with allergies will be less affected.

      (That’s the least glamorous wish list ever, but as someone working in an office with inadequate air flow where we’re all sick as soon as we arrive, it’s my dream…)

  5. I work in a large open plan office which I find horribly noisy most of the time, so will often put in headphones to listen to music and block it out.

    Ideally, I would like my own office, so I can listen to the cricket commentary if I want to, when it’s in season. And I would have an office cat, because I’m not a dog person.

    My office would be light and airy and the perfect temperature – I got exiled to the back corner at work because I have to have my fan on constantly and the other people who sat near me all complained to their respective line managers, as apparently we’re all twelve, not mature women aged over 40 (yes I am still bitter, over a year later, even though I now sit with the guys and can talk about cricket, instead of listening to their inane chatter about kids and whatever reality crap they’re watching etc)

    • I mostly just don’t want to be judged for watching TV on one screen while working on another hahaha

  6. well it would definitely be in an area where coffee shops and a variety of lunch options are walking distance from the office. Tons of windows and naturally lighting. There would be an area that’s open all the time for anyone to go and work silently. Like nap pods, but with the option to be your own comfy quiet work dome. Full of blankets and pillows and different shapes of couch.
    My current office is a cube farm, where you can often find cliques congregate in centrally located cubicles. If, like i do, you have the misfortune of sitting near the Moms Who Are Always Dieting cubes, may whatever deity you believe in have mercy on your soul.

    • Your ideal working space sounds amazing, I wish you peace and patience to cope with the dieting moms club

      • my unofficial goal for 2019 is to get better at tuning out those convos/become less annoyed by them (idk maybe i’ll meditate?)

        • Noise-cancelling headphones. Either that or join in. “OMG ladies I _know_ right? Every spare cubic millimeter of cellulite is evidence I am failing the white capitalist cisheteropatriarchy! What is the most annoying thing I could possibly eat just barely enough of to survive to assuage my guilt?” But you have to really sell the sincerity. Points for tears. (Yours or theirs.)

  7. My perfect workspace is bright and airy, has excellent lighting and ergonomic furniture. There’s also healthy snacks and tereré. I’d like it to have a nook for naps, with blankets and an Oscar Isaac body pillow because I firmly believe that you don’t have to be sexually attracted to men to find comfort in hugging Poe Dameron, who frankly has big lesbian energy.

    How was your week? I have a newish client and I’m excited for the extra income. I’ve been apartment hunting with a friend and last but not least I’m kinda dating someone?

    It’s all new and exciting and I feel like I’d forgotten how easy it is to click with a special someone, how you work for it but it doesn’t feel like a burden or like you’re in it on your own. We’re being intense in that we’ve had 4 sleepovers in less than two weeks and already have spent over 24hs together, and frankly I’m here for it! This is a huge departure from my last situationship and I really needed a break in the feelings department.

    • “I firmly believe that you don’t have to be sexually attracted to men to find comfort in hugging Poe Dameron, who frankly has big lesbian energy.”

      Comment award???

    • Tereré? We need to talk about the bathroom situation, because that could mean a long line of waiting…

      • My ideal workspace definitely has bathrooms where all employees feel comfortable enough to poop just as if they were home.

  8. Maybe cause I am into tech a bit too much, the common room will probably have one big 80in tv(or multiple tvs in an array) playing the L Word uncensored on loop, except for movie nights where it’s the movie of the week playing. There will be section for coffee, tea, and juice, which will be next to the ice cream bar. Then next to that will be the pizza and food section where there will be vegan and meat options, including pineapple on pizza. Then in the back is a full bar with all our favorite drinks. The room will be a clean soft white with rainbow colored furniture all around and pics of our favorite celesbians, straddlers, and from the classic autostraddle calendar.

    How is everyone’s week going? My week has been a bit rough. My co-worker employee decided to quit his job(came to work and said won’t be working here anymore, not even a two week notice). We have a feeling it’s related to something he did outside of work in the area and rather not deal with it. So, we are at an impass on what to do. I’ve also had the cold for the past two days and almost out of me today. Fortunate for me it was raining hard yesterday so work was easy. It’s sunny and warm-ish now. I bought a few items of clothing online and thankfully they all fit. Along with that got my bff her Chanukkah gift, which I hope she likes. I usually like to buy fancy whisky as a gift for people, but I am trying something a little different as I know she’s been looking for this for a while.

    I spent my Sunday at Cuties and had a delightful time as always so I wasn’t in nature. Might be a cuties again Sunday, nit sure as where to go in nature since a lot of it was on fire and now the rain brought debris flow that has closed some of the roads temporarily. Here is an image from Zion National park from two weeks ago.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

    • Oh that sounds like a big change at work, hope you get a new coworker soon or something is done so you don’t get saddled with that person’s pending work.

      The rainbow furniture and celesbian pictures sound amazing. 10/10 would work there.

      • Thank you, but I doubt it as there are people who are way better than I. The likes on my images on tumblr a bit of clue I think.

  9. but in all seriousness, I love an open office with large windows (need that natural light!!) and plenty of different seating options, plus private soundproof rooms for those who can’t focus with other humans around or just need a break and some silence. And an intuitive kitchen layout. And good coffee/tea.

    • (ugh the gif I tried to embed didn’t work #tragic anyway it was Jared Dunn saying “I’m a sucker for an intuitive kitchen layout”)

    • it really comforts me how many people are also writing in wishing for silent individual work spaces with natural light and couches!

      • Right?? That’s all I really want in my life – an open office is great if you’re constantly collaborating on projects but sometimes I need to have my own space where I can close the door and just work without getting distracted or feeling like I’m trapped in a box the way I feel in cubicles.

        (I’ve been interviewing at a lot of law firms and I keep seeing a pattern where the partners’ offices are basically just giant glass fishbowls and it might be great for lighting but that is literally an office design out of my nightmares.)

  10. I’ve spent this entire week working from my bed, like I usually do but I haven’t had to leave for class/work so it’s been a longer stretch of productive time than usual. I’m most productive in very cozy spaces, under blankets, and with snacks around. I just wish there was an easier way to have better posture in bed, I’m having some back/hip issues. I wish there were work spaces that are around people but cozy as well. I never do well working with people cause its usually around tables or stiff chairs, can’t we all just be cozy!

  11. Ugh. This week I’ve started to realize that I’m probably going to have to leave my job in the very near future. So this post topic is hitting me pretty hard. I’ve gotta figure out what work I want to do before I can design the workspace, but being surrounded by autostraddle folks seems like the dream (if the dream also includes an empty room I can occasionally sneak off to hide in).

  12. My ideal would be a fancy/comfy private office but also lots of shared workspace I could wander into when I want. A kitchen, lots of snacks, a gym and the only truly important ideal: I could bring my (future) dog to work.

    I currently have a shared office, just 3 of us and it’s spacious. It has changed my worklife. I used to just have a shared between a million teachers staff room where I had only a cubby hole to store anything and nowhere to really work. When I could actually arrive early to work and sit down at my desk and get things out of my filing cabinet to get stuff ready for class, my stress levels dropped by half.

    My co-workers are very discrete and often teaching when I’m not, so it’s fine sharing. But I do like being able to talk to myself a bit when I work and not feeling like I should police how much frustration I’m showing when things are tough. I would love to have a space where I can hide away when I need to go ARRRGGGHH.

    I was also recently watching a behind the scenes of Doctor Who thing that showed their on-set snacks and I regretted every professional decision I’ve ever made that has led me to 33 years of working and never having work snacks (besides as a camp counselor where snack was stale bread and soft apples, which were not the worst snack but it wasn’t a long-term job).

    But I would work snack-free in terrible open-space if I could have a dog with me and breaks to walk the doggy etc.

  13. My workspace is wherever – my bed, the classroom, the mall, the park, by the riverbank etc. The thought of actually having to sit in an office behind a desk surrounded by other working people every day gives me hives. I can’t thrive in an environment like that and that’s probably why I’ve never tried for an office job and never will. Instead, I do a lot of freelance gigs that allows me to work remotely so all I need is my laptop and wifi. Honestly though, my dream workspace would be to work from my bed in a cozy onesie where a movie or TV show is playing in the background while I work. I’m happy hermitting.

  14. Tried to post on my phone during lunch break but didn’t pan out.

    It’s pretty much a combination of features I’ve liked in public and private libraries, and study areas in colleges.
    Mix of open and closed spaces but with plenty of sound proofing measures all over. Sofa adjacent furniture[insert bisexuals don’t do chairs joke] with very adjustable tables attached to them or next to them.
    Roomy wooden study carrels that don’t face the walls but are like adjacent to them. No matter how safe a place an unprotected back is stressful for some people.

    A not standard add on that I’ve love as a hypermobile person is some kinda of physical activity room where I can stretch, move around, maybe do some exercises without feeling like an exhibitionist. And watching pacing really stresses some people out so it’d be a good place to do that.
    I’ve heard some businesses in Korean and Japan have meditation rooms or meditation salons in the building/in commercial districts and nap capsules which I think would be awesome.

    I think a test kitchen/studio kitchen would be great, but it would have to maintain something close to a home kitchen not a commercial kitchen so recipes etc would maintain a realm of repeatability for the userbase yannno.

    A staff kitchen next to a viewing room would be awesome so recappers/reviews could have snack access.
    How a staff kitchen should be formatted I really don’t know cause I nearly never sit in them in. My job is lowly minion of outside contractor, all I ever use the kitchen for is water and microwaving lunch. Coffee and tea options with electric kettles for proper tea, none of those creepy naked tea bags in a box, good counter space, multiple microwaves so a person in a wheel chair doesn’t have to wait for the only one in reach for them is as far as I can get. Ooh and maybe booth seats with one side open for any kind of chair to pull up to them.

    Decor? Impressionist prints which I know sounds very basic bitch but hear me out…commissioned prints or the original paintings by queer artists in an impressionistic style. It’s cozy style that can get very lively if you use the right colors.

  15. Suddenly I had a thought of a modern homage to Manet’s Olympia(because impressionism makes me think of Monet then Manet because art alphabet reasons, I know it’s a realist painting).
    Have Cardi B posed in place of Victorine Meurent cause what that painting but the Mid 19th century embodiment of Bodak Yellow? Also the sole of the shoes are quiet visible.

    Context for non-art nerds:
    Western art has this long history of painting nudes of sex workers(famous and not) in the thin respectability veneer of painting them as mythological figures looking all soft and coy, not directly looking at you, gently cupping their mound et cetera, very passive object, some of them even sleeping.
    Manet’s Olympia is staring right the fuck at you, her hand is on her mound like she owns it, her accessories, the scenery are very contemporary no attempt set her as a neo-classical figure. Secondly the name itself was supposedly a common courtesan name in Paris at the time.
    Lastly yeah there is a black servant in the picture, she is an art model known as Laure and some historians believe she may have been a Caribbean immigrant, Cardi B is of Caribbean descent. So she’d be replaced both figures as just a single figure on the chaise.

    In that time period it was rather confrontational to have a female figure depicted with a direct gaze, but a female figure that is all but announced to be a sex worker save for titling the work
    La Prostituée, or La Courtisane or Le Demi-Mondaine with such resting bitch face and her ownership grip on her mound? It was a SCANDAL.

    So yeah Olympia is a sex worker who has busted ass, made it and is fucking owning it which is what I’m pretty sure is what Bodak Yellow is about.

    1am thoughts y’all.

  16. Guise if you ever heard of Ibeyi I just found this full concert of theirs and it is the bomb

    If you haven’t heard of them I don’t know how to put it into words.
    Deathless is undoubtedly an anthem of resistance to annihilation, a live performance of it with a crowd is something to see.
    “What ever happens, we are deathless” chanted by crowd is just…

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