Imagine for a minute that you’re a freelancer (it’s not hard for those of us who live it every day). You’ve just gotten a call from a potential client who is based in another city. They are here for a few days and want to meet up to see your sales pitch.
They ask to meet at your office.
A few years ago this would have been a huge challenge. Before the recent tremendous growth of coworking, freelancers and independent workers mainly operated out of their homes. And while it’s great to work in your pajamas and not have to commute, working out of your house had some big drawbacks when it came to professional meetings.
So you’d probably have scheduled your meeting in a coffee shop and spent it hunched shoulder to shoulder with your prospective client peering at your laptop screen while you tried to make yourself heard over the sound of milk being steamed and lattes being ordered.
Then came coworking – collaborative, professional spaces where freelancers could, for a reasonable price, have professional office space complete with meeting rooms, a real desk, and often a prime downtown location. The rise of freelancing has led to an explosion is the resources, tools, and communities that connect independent workers like never before.
So what’s it like to spend time in a coworking space? Here’s a video from Boston based Oficio to give you an idea:
Coworking spaces come in all shapes and sizes, and are now found in cities around the world. Some focus on specific industries or interest areas such as high-tech, education technology or nonprofits. Many host events and meetups to help coworkers connect with clients and with the community. As more and more people transition to being independent worker and freelancers, resources are springing up to help them be successful.
photo credit: mars_discovery_district