Freelancers can work productively anytime, anywhere. That flexibility and control is perhaps our greatest advantage. We are not tethered to a particular place for a specific time. The many amazing technological advances that have occurred over the past 20 or so years have allowed us to be mobile.
But sometimes, conducting business from the kitchen table, coffee shop or library is neither practical nor sufficient. We may need access to certain technical equipment or we may need appropriate meeting space. We may need to demonstrate to a certain prospective client that we are not only capable, but also “real” and occupancy in the right office space may be part of the sales pitch. Temporary shared office space is the solution. Shared offices give Freelancers access to workspaces that look, feel and function like traditional office space.
The phenomenon of sharing office space, called coworking, reportedly was born 10+ years ago in San Francisco. Coworking spaces are now available in many locales, but finding the kind of space you need when you need it may not be easy. You can always search Craig’s List, but now there is a website that specializes in connecting Freelancers to the coworking spaces we need and at affordable prices.
Loosecubes http://loosecubes.com calls itself a community marketplace for workspace. Loosecubes has office spaces available around the globe, from St. Louis to Sao Paulo to South Africa. You must join the (free) service and then you can browse and sign up for office space that fits your needs. It’s also possible to offer workspaces for rent on Loosecubes. Anyone with available space can post a listing on the site. Interested Freelancers can contact the space owner and negotiate a rental timeframe and payment.
Workspaces can be categorized in any number of ways to reflect the types of businesses they would best serve, e.g. architects, photographers, web designers, writers, etc. Amenities provided is anther way to filter: printing and scanning, parking and access to public transit, Power Point LCD and screen, coffee and tea. Loosecubes is linked to social media and members can obtain recommendations for workspaces based on their needs and preferences on Twitter, Tumblr, Meetup and Facebook.
To evaluate the service, I searched Boston and found workspaces listed for $200 – $600/month, both in the city and near suburbs. Per diem listings ranged from $0 – $50. Nearly all listings were accompanied by a photo.
Loosecubes promotes also the intangible benefits of their service. Through coworking, Freelancers will meet and interact with peers and have opportunities to build relationships, expand professional networks, create referral arrangements and even team up to work together on projects.
Every once in a while I need a good space to meet a client and a restaurant or coffee shop just won’t do, much less my home office. I just may check out Loosecubes to see what’s available. It sounds like an excellent resource for us Freelancers (BTW, I’m not on their payroll).
Thanks for reading,