cove's Big Idea: Government Gets Productive

Two of my good friends work for the government in some capacity. Both spend a lot of time at their desks. As we all know, sitting in one place can easily lead to boredom and dampen motivation (yes—your boss knows it too!). One actually closes her office door and takes a nap on a semi-daily basis (I wish I were joking). Before I go on, let me be clear—I have a very limited lens into the ins and outs of how each government department and agency works, and I know government employees and contractors work hard every day—but working in any one environment over and over leads to, well, a lack of productivity. I find myself thinking if government employees had the opportunity to work from cove with me, how much more efficient would those employees be? How much happier would they be to mix working from their office with bursts of productivity here? 

First, allow me to explain what cove is and what cove is not. Let’s play a game. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “coworking?” I think of a bunch of entrepreneurs and startups working at shared desks and individual offices in a Google-type setting. Cool, but not necessarily what everyone is looking for.

Let me paint a picture for you: think of a place where you go and just get all your stuff done. There are tables and chairs, outlets galore, reliable wifi, and unlimited coffee, as well as spiffy conference rooms for meetings and a little closed door time when you need it. That’s it. Everything you need to be productive. Did I mention a whole community of people looking to be productive just like you? That’s what cove is, hence why we call it a productive space. It’s a network of neighborhood productive spaces where people get things done. All for the price of a latte by the hour.

What if your team, whether in a government agency, a scientific institution, a large nonprofit, etc., spent time at cove each week? I realize spending all 40+ hours per week at cove is not feasible. In fact, cove is not meant to be a dedicated, full-time solution for anyone. But what if one day per week, your team got to get out of the office and spend the day at a nearby cove? I’m watching it work in the private sector - a development team from National Geographic comes to cove Capitol Hill about once every other month to get out of the office and work on a project for the day. No distractions from phones, colleagues, and piles of paper; no sudden meeting requests; no opportunity to get lost in a daydream at the lunch table.

In the spirit of Collaborate’s mission to shake up the way government, nonprofits, and business work and interact, I think reimagining what it means to work in one of these sectors is a worthy consideration. Offering the opportunity for a change of scenery with little opportunities for distractions could do wonders for productivity and efficiency—oh, and your happiness! Nontraditional spaces aren’t just for startups.

I’d like to personally invite you to come check out cove. Everyone gets a free trial for your first visit, so sign up at and come get your productive on!

By Erin Gifford


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