Coworking Europe Interview

You can see a video of my presentation as well as the slide deck I used here:

Coworking Rocks the Press (again)

Coworking continues growing in popularity, and demonstrates it’s “darlingness” in the press this past week with some great national coverage!  Coworking hit the big time in the Wall Street Journal as well as on NPR this week, featuring several spaces throughout the country.  Check out some of these excerpts and click on the links for full articles:

From the Wall Street Journal, New Year’s Eve Edition (with one minor error included – we do not have closed-door offices available):

For those who lack a conventional office, shared, or “coworking,” spaces promise to solve some of the dilemmas of working alone. These facilities provide environments where professional nomads can work in relative quiet and even socialize around the coffee pot, or copier.

…Both coworking spaces we tried in the techie Northwest were bigger. Seattle’s Office Nomads, located in youthful and artistic Capitol Hill, can accommodate several dozen workers with its mix of closed-door offices, open desks and lounge areas. Office Nomads didn’t require a reservation and won’t charge for the first visit. Office Nomads was well-lit, with abundant plugs and desk options.

Coworkers—as well as the site’s founders—introduced themselves and offered help. We weren’t sure if we visited on a particularly friendly day or if this was the norm. Office Nomads appeared to place an emphasis on creating a community for its members; there was a “State of the Nomads” monthly meeting at midday. A bulletin board listed in-house social options as well as visiting speakers slated to appear, and also featured quirky photos and fun facts about members. Office Nomads also offered the most extensive weekday hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

And today, our friends at New Work City were featured on NPR’s Morning Edition!

New Work City is part of a trend that started a handful of years ago on the West Coast. Newly mobile tech workers with laptops liked their freedom but still missed the human interaction they got from going to an office. So they formed meet-up groups: casual, once-a-week deals at different locations — sometimes even people’s living rooms. Today, Bacigalupo says more and more people are working independently — either by choice, a layoff or both.

“The same way that [during] the last century work shifted from blue collar to white collar,” Bacigalupo says, “I think we’ll be seeing in this century, we’re going to be moving away from the idea of a centralized Monday-to-Friday, 9-to-5 workplace, and we’ll be moving much more in this direction. People will work when they want where they want.”

All in all, quite a week for coworking.  As usual, if you’ve been meaning to get yourself out to a coworking space but somehow haven’t managed to, there has never been a better time than the present.  Make yourself a 2010 resolution to get more work done and have a better time doing it and get out to your local coworking space.  Find the one near you at the Coworking Wiki.

Entrepreneur Magazine piece features coworking

solo-not-aloneOffice Nomads is incredibly proud to be part of a wonderful piece on coworking in October’s Entrepreneur Magazine! Along with coworking representatives from The Hive (Denver), New Work City (New York City), and Cubes and Crayons (San Francisco area), Office Nomads was highlighted as part of a rising trend of innovative, collaborative workspaces. Here’s a snippit:

The appeal of co-working seems clear: It provides people like Brunelle a professional and social package that most alternatives can’t match. For starters, there’s the real-live-human camaraderie you can’t get from Facebook or text messaging, as well as the potential for networking and uncovering new business opportunities. A co-working office can also offer a sounding board for ideas in an informal setting. And it relieves, for the most part, the energy-sapping world of office politics–not to mention blood-draining commutes.

Pretty awesome! And yes, they’re talking about Resident member David Brunelle, also in the photo above. Definitely take a look if you get a chance, and be sure to pick up a copy of Entrepreneur Magazine when you get a chance – this month is ch0ck-full of great articles.

News flurry!

Yes, it’s going to be nearly 100 degrees in Seattle today and I’m using snow references. 😉

It has been a huge week for both Office Nomads and coworking in the news! Here is a quick break down of some of the recent articles, news clips, and blog posts that have rocked our world during the last week, in chronological order:

  • Tony Bacigalupo of New Work City kicks off the week of coworking clips last Wednesday with his article on – A glimpse of the future of work.
  • Also on Wednesday, Business Week features a variety of coworking spaces in Portland, highlighting souk, NedSpace, and The Hive!
  • The Washington Post features coworking over the weekend, giving an overview on how coworking functions as a part of a new way work is getting done – where independents choose their own coworkers
  • The buzz stays alive on Monday, when NWJobs features Seattle coworking spaces including Office Nomads as great places to beat the heat and get to work in air conditioned spaces as Seattle’s heat wave begins.
  • Tuesday starts with the Wall Street Journal, fresh off the stands, with an article on how start-ups share spaces, including coworking spaces, to cut costs. Office Nomads’ Pink Slip Special is mentioned, and we bask in the glow of national press!
  • Last but not least, local station Q 13 airs a feature on Office Nomads, highlighting the use of shared spaces as an alternative for independent workers.

Whoa! What will the next week bring, I wonder? Oprah, give us a call whenever you’re ready.

Bring on the paparazzi - coworking's here!

Thanks to Flickr user internets_dairy for their use of this photo under the Creative Commons license.

Beating the heat in Seattle

Well, if you’re in the city, you know it’s been HOT of late! Not used to all this sun and heat, freelancers and telecommuters alike are seeking refuge from the sweltering (in Northwest terms, of course) outdoors. Michelle Goodman, author of The Anti-9-to-5 Guide and My So-Called Freelance Life recently popped a great post up on the NW Jobs site that is worth a quick read. Here’s a quick exerpt:

I’ve been working from home long enough to know that trying to be productive while beads of sweat roll down your back and drip onto your keyboard is a lost cause. Once my office breaks 80 degrees, all I’m good for is a siesta.

If like me, you’re a home-based worker with no air conditioning, there’s no need to panic about this week’s forecasted heat wave. The Puget Sound area offers plenty of places where freelancers and telecommuters can escape the 90-degree summer sizzle.

Among Michelle’s suggestions are local public library branches and coworking spaces, including Office Nomads. Thanks for the nod, Michelle – we hope to see you in the office soon! The AC is going, fans are a blowing, and we even have the lights off to keep the space nice and cool!

Another way to cool off in the heat

Thanks to Flickr user Powderruns for use of their photo under the Creative Commons license! This shot makes me want to head down to Crater Lake and take a dip!

Coworking Captures Attention, Again

I’ve probably said this here before, but when it rains, it pours coworking and Office Nomads coverage. This week already there are three articles on coworking in the blogosphere, and it’s only Tuesday!

First up is a fabulous overview of coworking and why businesses should try it over at It’s a long-ish piece that explores the origins, reasons and mechanics of coworking (though it does use the hyphen). It’s by far the best piece on coworking that I’ve seen yet and well worth the read if you’re new to the concept or if you’re well versed in coworking but still sometimes getting the “blank stare” when you explain it. This piece will give you plenty of good, clear language that helps entreprenuers see the value in coworking.

The venerable Web Worker Daily posted another piece on coworking, this time focusing on the history of their coworking coverage. It’s a handy guide to stories describing coworking in general, covering unique business models in coworking and even one on some exotic coworking locales. Read up and join the ongoing discussion there. It’s lively and informative.

Finally, slightly West of us, Jennifer Hargrove at The Kitsap Sun (yes, an actual print newspaper) caught wind of the coworking movement. They published a short piece about coworking and used Office Nomads as the example. Thanks for the kind words and the shout out about the Pink Slip Special!

The image is appropriately titled “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain” We used it under the Creative Commons license thanks to flickr user Krikit.

We ain’t afraid of no recession

While the rest of the world quivers in fear of our shared economic doom, a stalwart group of entreprenurs the world over is quivering a bit less. Coworkers are less fearful of the recession because recessions can be powerful incubators for innovativon. As more and more people lose their jobs, more finally try out the unique ideas they’ve been baking in their heads for years. In this scenario, not only does innovation (and innovators) thrive, but so do coworking spaces. It’s a concept I’ve written about before here (thanks to a post I read on the Launchpad Cowworking blog). Now that idea is starting to gain currency in the mainstream media too.

Yesterday, Reuters ran a piece called “Co-working [sic] has a wider appeal in recession.” The thesis is that people are flocking to coworking spaces (note the lack of a hyphen in “coworking” Reuters!) as they lose their jobs in search of community.

But the recession has made the idea of working amongst strangers appealing to a broader range of people, from those that recently lost their jobs to consultants eager to stay in the loop.

Sound familiar? Anyway, it’s a good piece and worth a read in these bleak economic times. If nothing else, it’ll help ease

the mind of anyone who might be thinking of launching their own space in these strange times.

Oh, and it mentions our Pink Slip Special at the very end, so there’s that too!

I couldn’t help re-use this image I originally found when searching Flickr for “Looking Up.” Orange kitties just rock. Thanks to Flickr user ex.libris for putting it there under the Creative Commons license.

Pink Slip Special Launched

Seems like interest in a our very own Capitol Hill Stimulus package is high. Before I could even get a post up on the blog about our just-launched Pink Slip Special, it got picked up by both Seattlest and Slog.

Yeah, it’s pretty great, and the iffiest aspect in the abstract–the “community”–is the most impressive part in reality. All my fears about “Community!” were patiently dispelled by a roomful of individuals with shit to do, who nevertheless come together momentarily throughout the day to make small talk or big talk or laugh at videos of cats running into sliding glass doors. From what I can tell, the natural ebb and flow of the socializing is just about perfect. (Meaning, not once did I ever have to remind someone I was there to work, not communitize.)

With coverage like that, who needs a press release?

What’s the Pink Slip Special you ask?

For a limited time, first-time visitors to Office Nomads who show proof they were laid off can get a free one month daily-drop-in membership – a $375 value! You’ll get a desk and free high-speed Internet access, and be a part of a strong, fun office community again. And even if you’re not ready to commit to a month, your first day is always free. So come down, meet the other Nomads, and get started on your next big thing.

In short, we all thought that this recession is a bummer of an event to be living through and being laid off is one of the worst things that can happen to a person so we wanted to do something to help folks not feel so adrift. We’re all here for the community that we missed when we willingly left our jobs with offices, so it just seems that the loss of that community would be felt even more by those forced to leave it.

So if you or someone you know is feeling adrift during the “normal” workday and is sick of sitting in coffee shops while looking for jobs, c’mon on down and bring your pink slip. We’ve got a place for you!

The image is called Goodbye Party Work and is by Flickr user snofla who gave it a Creative Commons license. Check out the pink slip in the hand of the guy on the left. This recession sucks!

Office Nomads Last Days!

When David Schmader wrote Last Days at Office Nomads, he made some friends.

When David Schmader wrote Last Days at Office Nomads, he made some friends.

No, we’re not closing, but I got ya with that headline, didn’t I? Actually, once again, this week’s Last Days column in The Stranger is all about Office Nomads. Just like last year, Jacob and Susan bought the right to have the column be about whatever they wanted in The Stranger’s annual Strangercrombie auction. As always, it’s an honor to be a part of what I think is the best part of The Stranger.

While the winning bid was lower than last year, the value was even higher because this time Last Days’ author, David Schmader, had experience with ON, letting him see the difference between last year and this year (huge). Better yet, he had a ton of Nomads to feature in the column and included us in its creation. Each day last week when he was working here, David shared some possible topics for this week’s edition and asked for comments on each. It was a ton of fun to see the sausage being made, so to speak. From videos of babies eating lemons to stories about people watching bestiality porn (see Wednesday’s entry) in public places to the opportunity and abortion donuts (See Thursday) to wax poetic on President Obama’s Inauguration and the recession, it was a completely unique and entertaining experience. Plus, we got to ask him questions about his world-renowned Showgirls commentary.

Once again, thank you to David Schmader for the awesome coverage, to The Stranger for the opportunity and to all of you for reading and passing around the column.

New Year’s Predictions

If this doesnt say Happy New Year, coworking style, I dont know what does!

If this doesn't say Happy New Year, coworking style, I don't know what does!

The New Year’s holiday always brings lots of predictions and lists: The top this, the best that and the coming trends. Personally, I think these kinds of lists are a little silly because, with a few exceptions (such as the one I helped put together for Sustainable Industries) they tend to be off the mark or i just don’t agree with them.

But, with the massive growth of coworking around the world (I just read about the first coworking space in Urugay today), and the economic downturn, I think it’s safe to say that 2009 is poised to be the year of the coworker. I’m not alone either.

For example, Thomas Fey, senior futurist (what a great title) at The Davinci Insititue thinks coworking is going to be a big part of 2009. He just doesn’t know what it’s called:

As I started pulling my notes together for 2009 trends, I instantly became overwhelmed by the sheer volume of changes currently in the works. The number of moving parts seems to exceed the number of stationary parts. All of our markets, systems, and technologies have become incredibly fluid, and much like a floating vessel, we are heading to parts unknown

Number three on his list of 2009 trends is “The Coming ‘Empire of One'” which he says will grow out of the staggering unemployment numbers we are likely to see thanks to the recession. All of it means, “we will see a strong entrepreneurial push and a realignment of the systems supporting entrepreneurs.” Combine that with trend number four on his list, “Business Colonies,” and I think you see what I am getting at. Someone who has one of the coolest sounding titles ever thinks coworking is where it’s at.

Others think so too. There’s the tech writer in Austin, freeNewsDelivery, and others. Shoot, just take a look at how many coworking spaces there are around the world now.

So, it’s shaping up to be an excitng 2009 in the coworking world and it’s also going to be an amazing one here at Office Nomads too. Jacob sent me a list of all our members for a project I am working on, and both Susan and I noticed how long it has grown. The sheer force of all that energy in this space will surely bring us some amazing happenings. But we’ve got a few in store for you too. So please stay tuned and have a happy and healthy 2009!
I found the picture on the Flickr page of FlyGuy92856. Thank you!