Southwrite

Telling stories

Take Your Work and Get Out – of the Home Office

Posted by southwrite on May 30, 2014

Station Works

If you’re like most freelancers you’re probably working at home right now. Maybe it’s a nice sundrenched office with a desk, lots of plants and a dog resting nearby. For some, it’s a closet because you need the rest of the room for living. Whatever your office looks like and no matter how much space you have there comes a time when you need to get out.

You want a change of location. You need to see people – the dog isn’t enough anymore.

For most of us that could be a trip to Starbucks to camp out for a while with an iced coffee. But what if a temporary outing isn’t enough anymore. You’d like to have more “water cooler” time with other people to stir the creative juices. If you’re feeling confined, maybe it’s time to look for other digs. Maybe it’s time to get a real office away from home office.

You have a lot of options. There are traditional temp office buildings that can be found just about everywhere. Some companies are also sub-leasing desks in the cube farm or even office to outsiders as a way of cutting expenses and creating new streams of revenue when it’s not feasible to downsize. You can find many of them on CraigsList.

Then there’s Vancouver-based ShareDesk which provides individuals and small teams access to a network of shared workplaces on flexible hourly, daily, monthly, or extended terms. The company calls itself the “AirBnB of office space.”

Popular these days are coworking spaces. Usually found in urban areas in converted industrial buildings, they feature big open spaces where you can rent a desk or an office either long term or on a daily basis.  A good example among many is Atlanta’s StrongBox West. Tucked away on a quiet street in West Atlanta, this former warehouse has the cool industrial look favored by creative techies. Inside bare brick walls surround a large open space filled with tables and desks. Inside you can find desks in open spaces with some separated from others by large curtains hanging from the high ceiling.

It’s the kind of space where creative people can meet, exchange ideas and even form a partnership.

According to DeskMag.com there are more than 110,000 people laboring away in one of the nearly 2,500 coworking spaces like this one around the globe. The website for coworking says that “compared to last year, there are now 83% more coworking spaces that serve a total of 117% more members! Considering only workdays, we see 4.5 new coworking spaces have emerged daily for the past twelve months. During the same time, the number of coworking members increased by 245 people on average each work day.”

If you choose coworking, you’ll have lots of company.

And, while coworking can be good for freelancers – writers, graphic designers and PR practitioners – they are also attractive to small startup companies of all stripes.

There are of course many others around the city and they’re even moving out into the suburbs.

Outside Atlanta in the small town of Douglasville, Station Loft Works recently opened up as proably teho only coworking space on the side of the city. Developer Barry Oliver purchased a former 1940s era brick building downtown that had once been home to a car dealership.

“We first looked at it for loft apartments, but Douglasville wasn’t zoned for apartments,” recalls Oliver. “So we started thinking about other things that were needed here.”

He hit upon the idea of a coworking office suite arrangement for the growing population of entrepreneurs and freelancers who were moving out to Douglas County. He reasoned that many of them work from home, but could benefit from flexible office space for meetings or collaborations.

The cavernous building has space for about 60 permanent tenants in various configurations from full time office space to temporary desks, along with a variety of “virtual” tenants who only need a desk and office a few days a month. Up front is a coffee shop offering free beverages and pastries to tenants and encouraging the sort of collaboration that co-working spaces are designed to create.

“We see our clientele being someone who works in teams or with groups and so they would have the need to be able to scale back and forth as far as space requirements,” says Oliver. “By using the co-working space they can collaborate and jump start projects.”

Maybe coworking is just the move you need to jumpstart you project as well.

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One Response to “Take Your Work and Get Out – of the Home Office”

  1. […] why then am I so fascinated by the coworking spaces that keep cropping up just about […]

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