The 1999 flick Office Space taught us a lot about flair, hypnotherapy and how there is no greater love than the one between a man and his stapler. It also showcases how working a nine-to-five in the same building—five days a week, year after year—can start to feel trite and uninspired. Enter co-working spaces: a solution for folks looking for a change of scenery (with fast-as-hell Wi-Fi) to host meetings and tackle their compiling to-do lists. Oh, and for individuals who don’t have a physical office space to use, of course.
In case you haven’t noticed, New York has gained a few co-working spaces over the years, and some of them have been downright innovative. There’s women’s-only networking and cool-girl hangout The Wing, as well as several health-conscious and meditation havens such as Nap York and The Assemblage NoMad. The latter two appear to be the biggest trendsetters, as both of these brands are trying sell the idea of merging together business and relaxation to help New Yorkers achieve that sought-after work-life balance.
It’s not a terrible thought considering how work-related stress unifies us all. That’s why this Brooklyn spa is hopping on the work and wellness bandwagon by marketing itself as an “Office SPAce.” Body by Brooklyn in Clinton Hill is a relaxation hub where you can get a massage, sit in the sauna and then answer all your emails.
Located at 275 Park Avenue (which is not the most convenient location unless you already live in north-central Brooklyn), the spa offers a membership for $225 per month that includes access to the “Dry Lounge” (aka your standard work space with various sized tables, benches, chairs and one fireplace). You get other amenities such as entry to the Wet Lounge containing a Thermal Hot Tub, Arctic Cold Plunge Pool, Swedish Dry Sauna, Russian River Rock Sauna and a Turkish Aroma Steam Room in addition to discounts on massages, facials and body treatments. You’re feeling more relaxed just thinking about these perks, right?
Well, we gave the experience a go, and while we weren’t disappointed by the one-hour Swedish massage (my masseuse had magical hands that relieved every knot in my back without making me wince once) or the spa’s other amenities like the steam room and hot tub, we wouldn’t recommend working there on a daily or even weekly basis.
If exposure to natural light is important to you, there’s really only one area where you’re exposed to any. That’s in the “full kitchen and bar” area, which will likely be the busiest. And during my visit, it was a little noisier than I was anticipating. Then, when this writer tried to order some lunch from the kitchen (which is what was advertised), all the spa had to offer were some tortilla chips and pre-packaged guacamole for $10. There are also several signs in the Dry Lounge that ask spa-goers to avoid using their cell phones, which means any conference calls need to be made outside. That wasn't particularly an issue for me, but it would be for many who work remotely.
Let us reinstate the services and spa facilities are wonderful and clean, but the Dry Lounge—which is where you're putting in a full seven hours of work, if you're a commendable employee—is a bit dark and drab, and the area can be distracting. If you're looking for a zen and quiet place to do work, there's a chance there will be groups of people there chatting. I don't mind listening to other people banter. If anything, that made me miss working in my office, where I am fortunate enough to be Monday through Friday along with my cool-as-hell coworkers.
If I wanted to work in my bathrobe all day, I would rather do it at home every once in a while where there’s more food and better tunes. There is only so much meditation music one can take before falling asleep on the job. Which, if my boss is reading this, I totally did not do.