It’s NYT time again!

Well, it’s official. The New York Times loves coworking. They’ve taken notice at least twice since Office Nomads has opened, and those are just the articles that we’ve picked up on. So I wasn’t very surprised when yet another article came across my desk this morning – “Losing the Income, but Also the Camaraderie.” A quick excerpt:

Working from home, I lack not only the third-place socializing I used to enjoy with my congenial coworkers, but I also miss out on the basic human contact that usually comes standard in a second place…The lack of human interaction — aside from the one-on-one kind I share with my husband in the evenings — is starting to take its toll. In addition to the loneliness, I’m finding it harder to maintain a sense of perspective, and humor, about my life, and when I am finally in a group situation, I feel out of practice and like the shy kid I used to be.

In an effort to create a better balance for myself, I’ve tried taking my laptop to Starbucks. I know from its marketing materials that it seeks to be a third place, but I’ve found that no matter how many people are sitting there drinking coffee and tapping away at their computers, the experience is essentially solitary. With little wit, laughter or lively, engaging conversation among regulars — and no free coffee — it bears little resemblance to my ex-office…

More than five million people have been laid off in the United States since December 2007, so I know I’m not alone. While that makes me no less lonely, it does suggest that there are hordes of people out there who, like me, have suffered from a double loss: their income, as well a place that provided a special form of social nourishment.

Third Places, community, camaraderie – author Catherine Bergart has got the language down. I’m thinking that I should e-mail her directly about our Pink Slip Special and see if that gets her to come out and work with us for a month from Seattle. Ms. Bergart’s conclusion at the end of her piece to seek out a coworking space is a spectacular example of how coworking is becoming not only more mainstream, but a truly new way of defining how we will work in the future.

Ms. Bergart says it well – “more than five million people have been laid off in the United States since December 2007, so I know I’m not alone.” I’d add, many of those people have decided that instead of traditional employment, they would start their own small businesses. How are these nomadic workers being served? It only seems natural that coworking has evolved in response.

Thanks, as usual, NYT. We’re so glad you love coworking as much as we do.

Feel the coworking camaraderie!

Office Nomads Spring Open House

Andrea Huysings xxx Rootbeer. Happily, I get to look at it all day long at Office Nomads right now.

Andrea Huysing's "xxx Rootbeer." Happily, I get to look at it all day long at Office Nomads right now.

Spring is in the air and it’s time for another open house at Office Nomads!

WHEN: Monday, April 27th, 6:30 – 9pm (lightly programmed portion of the event to begin at 7pm)
WHERE: Office Nomads – 1617 Boylston Ave, Second Floor
WHY: Our spring open house & BALLE Seattle networking event!
FOOD/DRINK: Provided.  Please don’t forget to bring your own cup!

There’s a ton of great stuff going on at the Spring Office Nomads Open House, we hardly know where to begin:

  • We have room for new members and want people who have been curious about ON to see the changes in our space, including the new library! Since our Pink Slip Special is still going on, now’s a great time to check us out.
  • It’s time for new art from photographer Andrea Huysing, who says she’s “been capturing shapes, pieces & parts and color for as long as I can remember” in “photography [that] is not specifically complex,” but she hopes, “create curiosity and emotion.”
  • We’re co-hosting with BALLE Seattle, a networking group that aims to connect, educate and promote King County businesses supporting local living economies. They’re adding a new spice to our regular Open House format: the opportunity to take part in a few short breakout discussions about building the local economy from a business and consumer perspective. BALLE Seattle + Office Nomads =

For more detailed information, read on, or just come by on Monday, April 27th from 6:30 – 9 and remember to bring your own glass for beverages!

BALLE Seattle + ON =
We are incredibly excited to co-host this open house with BALLE Seattle, who is teaming up with us to run their quarterly networking event.  Never heard of BALLE Seattle?  Well, it’s about time you did – these guys are awesome.  BALLE Seattle is the local Seattle chapter of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.  BALLE Seattle’s mission is to connect, educate and promote King County businesses supporting local living economies.  Pretty great, right?  They achieve their mission by hosting educational events, connecting local businesses to support one another, and promoting local businesses through their network.  They are an incredible partner of ours, and will create an incredibly dynamic addition to our classic open house model.

Along with plenty of networking, there will be a chance to delve into the challenges of building the local economy from both the business and consumer perspectives during short breakout discussions.  These are a new addition to our open house model, and should provide for some great, relevant conversations to independent business folk in the neighborhood. These conversations are meant to be casual, and are a great time to connect with others on the topics that impact you the most.

Spring featured artist: Andrea Huysing
We are excited to open our doors to show off the space and the new artwork by Andrea Huysing! A little bit about Andrea:

I’ve been capturing shapes, pieces & parts and color for as long as I can remember.  My friends and family know me as the shutterbug, always with camera in hand, finding beauty in the simplest things.  I find so much happiness in charming and bold moments of everyday life.

My photography is not specifically complex, however if it can create curiosity and emotion, I have succeeded in relating to each person.

I hope you find even one photo that seizes your attention, creating feeling and thought that you enjoy experiencing, sharing and revisiting.

To view the rest of my work, please visit

Support ON!
Please come and join us, and bring a friend or two!  We have room for more members at the office and are excited to have interesting, fun indie workers join the office community.

Additionally, we are still running our Pink Slip Special for anyone who has recently been laid off.  So if you’ve just gotten your pink slip handed to you, come on over to the office for a free month of coworking with us!  We like to think of it as our own little economic stimulus package.

Hope to see you on Monday the 27th!

Sad News in Seattle Coworking

Jacob first told me about Giraffe Labs back in early 2008 or maybe even late 2007 when it was just called Saturday House and we were looking around for communities we had a natural kinship with. Although I never personally met the people who were a part of Giraffe Labs/Saturday House, I loved their story and model and know that Jacob was very much a fan of them. So it was with great sadness that we read late yesterday that Giraffe Labs’ founders decided to close up shop and move on to other things.

According to TechFlash:

A dwindling membership base — not to mention a lack of windows and an expiring lease — sealed the fate of Giraffe Labs.

Apparently the founders had other things going on that demanded their attention more than building membership numbers and in this economy, realized that was not a sustainable model.

We congratulate Brian Dorsey and Anders Conbere (the founders) on their run as GL and wish them both all the luck in the world on future endeavors. We also hope the Giraffes who worked at GL land safely and happily in a new community. With a wealth of great coworking spaces in Seattle, we’re sure you will. To help, we’re extending the Office Nomads Pink Slip Special to any of them that want to come and try us ouf, since losing one’s workspace is akin to being laid off. We also know that StartPad is doing the same thing.

Good luck and Good bye Giraffe Labs!

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!