Office Space
New shared workspace listings sites reflect a growing freelance movement
Life / 28 Sep 2011
The current state of employment may be rendering job security obsolete, yet many in the modern workforce don’t view that as a negative. Independent workers now comprise 30% of the workforce and, as Gen Ys aspire to professional flexibility, co-working spaces are proliferating around the globe. In turn, apps and sites that facilitate the freelance lifestyle are also flourishing.
Let’s Meet and Work
The coffice has become a staple of urban living, particularly among creatives whose income bracket inhibits the size of their domiciles and leaves the couch and its nearby distractions (televisions, game consoles, stocked kitchens) as the only home office option. Enter designer/developer Alasdair Monk, whose new app, Let’s Meet and Work, maps public venues (coffee shops, galleries, museums, book stores) that double as efficient work environs. Anyone with knowledge of a space in NYC or London can suggest it for the respective city’s map by filling out a simple recommendation form, although Monk ultimately makes the call as to whether or not it’s up to snuff.
Not to be confused with DeskTime, a tracking app that lets employers keep tabs on their employees’ computer activity, Desktime caters to a workforce without HR departments. The site pairs freelancers searching for a place to get down to business with available co-working spaces. Listings (currently in Austin, New York, and Chicago) include desks or entire offices, conference rooms, and other shared spaces that can be rented by the day, week or month. Users can feel confident in the service’s legitimacy, since Desktime creator Sam Rosen, a Chicago-based web designer and developer, knows a thing or two about co-working spaces, having founded his own.
Loosecubes differentiates itself by emphasizing the valuable professional connections facilitated through co-working establishments—a distinction that’s made in the service’s self-identification as a “community marketplace.” The site’s main function is to act as a sort of Airbnb for offices, but in order to post and respond to listings, users must first become members by setting up a profile specifying their primary profession, a descriptor of their vibe (among the options are “hacker,” “fratty” and “awesome”), whether or not they are accepting new work, and location. Consequently, Loosecubes also has the potential to function as a more casual, yet more intimate, version of LinkedIn.
©The Intelligence Group