This is part of a Patch series highlighting why technology and media companies are choosing the North Shore over Boston. If you have a local, innovative business on the North Shore, and actively chose this area over Boston, let us know: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
BEVERLY, MA – Latitude may be somewhere else today if it wasn't for the Beverly Public Library. The library's high ceilings, historic architectural details, and natural light inspired Steve Mushkin to create his company there, at a public computer in 1999.
Mushkin has lived in Wenham and Hamilton over the years, but the Beverly Public Library was his workspace of choice. Latitude – which helps companies create content and digital experiences through market research – started at the library, and has since stayed in Beverly. The company moved from the library to the office space above Cityside Diner, and recently to the castle (for lack of a better term) on Broadway.
Mushkin said Beverly just has a good vibe, between its downtown setting and nearby oceanfront. The low cost of rent added to the appeal, but the company didn't have to sacrifice a hip atmosphere.
"We thought about moving the office to Cambridge or Boston about five or seven years ago to attract people," said Mushkin. "We decided that we really liked it in Beverly and we could continue to attract people there."
He said some potential hires have decided not to interview with them because they didn't want to work in Beverly, but other employees have relocated to the North Shore from New York. Latitude has also hired several North Shore natives, and has employees that live in Salem, Beverly, and Hamilton. A couple employees do the reverse commute from the city, and many work remotely: Mushkin lives in France.
"Everyone's always really charmed by Beverly," said Kadley Gosselin, Latitude's director of content and visibility. She moved to Beverly for the job, and currently commutes from Somerville.
Though the 45-minute commute has become her way of decompressing after work, when she doesn't feel like she has 45 minutes to spare, she has the option to work from home.
Claire Stehfest, a research analyst with Latitude, said most of their clients are in L.A. or New York, so even if Latitude was in Boston most of the client work would be remote. The company uses Slack for instant messaging, so while employees are all over the world, it feels like they're in the same office.
"We're so in touch with each other that if someone's working from home it feels like they're there," said Lizzy Astulfi, another research analyst.
It can be tough to make networking events or market research seminars in Boston, said Gosselin, but Latitude employees have been going to InnoNorth events to stay connected to the North Shore tech world.
The decision to stay in Beverly also has something to do with rent prices: For less than the price of a standard office space closer to Boston, Latitude gets a castle.
To learn more about Latitude, click here.
Image via Latitude