As the sharing economy has grown, there has been an expansion out from merely renting your spare rooms to travellers, with a wide range of organizations renting out things such as spare office space, and spare conferencing facilities.
A new Swedish platform are trying to reverse the trend. They’re tapping into the rapid growth in self-employment around the world, and have setup a platform to allow people to share ‘office’ space with other sole traders.
Of course, remote office environments are certainly not new, and a number of facilities have sprung up in cities around the world to offer professionals the chance to network and work alongside other freelancers.
For many, it’s a welcome escape from the potential isolation that a self-employed lifestyle can bring. Inviting your self-employed peers into your own home office however seems another matter entirely.
That’s the proposition of Swedish company Hoffice. At the time of writing, there wasn’t a community setup for London, but I checked out the Parisian group.
You sign up via Facebook and are connecting with other home workers in your area. You can then choose to either host your own Hoffice event or join an existing one.
The aim is to try and replicate a structured work day as best as possible, albeit with a greater degree of social interaction.
For instance, people are encouraged to start each day with a bit of mindfulness work, with the day then segmented into 45 minute work chunks, with 15 minute breaks in between.
A facilitator is present at each event who monitors the flow of the day. It sounds rather rigid, but members are apparently free to abandon the structure should they prefer to work differently.
Each event is free, although sometimes there may be a request for some help to cover any costs incurred. There is a strong Hoffice presence in Scandinavia, with two groups in America and one in Paris. Members are encouraged to start their own groups up if their own area is currently under-served by the platform.
Whilst it’s an interesting proposition, I’m not sure it’s something that’s all that needed by the market. I quite like the peace and quiet that working from home affords, and I can easily go to a co-working space or cafe if I want some company.
Would you want to work from someone else’s home? Or indeed have people working from yours?