The Co-Working Revolution: Your Office Away From Home

There’s nothing like being able to work from home. But even what so many people strive for can end up being less than ideal. I enjoy the freedom I have to work on my own schedule, however, working from home doesn’t mean you always get more time to do your work. I also find that working from home instead of in an office setting can be isolating. I am not within earshot of peers who I can bounce ideas off of or hear the latest industry developments firsthand.

I’ve been fascinated by businesses popping up around major metropolitan areas that create a shared workspace for independent workers. Imran Ali wrote about the trend of co-working spaces back in April, and I’ll be exploring the trend further as I look to set up a co-working space in my town.

Office Nomads in the Seattle area, for example, is a co-working space where workers can leave their homes to work in a shared environment. The company provides:

  • Spacious desks
  • High-speed internet access, both wifi and ethernet
  • Conference rooms
  • A kitchen
  • Unlimited network printing and faxing
  • Couches and lounging area
  • The requisite water cooler

They are also dog-friendly.

They target everyone from web designers, writers, consultants and anyone else who has portable work. Pricing ranges from $25 per day for drop-ins to a Regular membership at $375 per month or a Resident membership at $475 per month plus a deposit for a more permanent space.

Imran mentioned a co-working space in his piece called Jelly which is more like a co-working event. The concept is that you can start your own Jelly by opening up your home to other indy workers in your town. You need to provide seating and wireless internet either at your home, a wired cafe or someone’s place of business.

The Jelly wiki now has a page explaining how to hold your own Jelly event. Current Jellies take place around the globe, from Australia, Africa, and Israel to Mexico, China, Canada and the Philippines to random cities across the United States.

For ongoing information about the co-working trend as well as a list of co-working spaces, check out the Coworking Community Blog and keep your eye on WWD as I explore setting up my own Jelly in Anchorage, Alaska.

Details and photos to come.

Have you worked in a co-working space? In your mind, what are the pros and cons?

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