October 04, 2011

Tech Startups Tap Shared Workspaces to Save


It’s a new kind of office scenario, one in which Bob from Acme Computers arrives to work at 9am, coffee in hand, sits at his desk in an open platform layout, says good morning to his desk neighbor, Jack, except Jack works for ABC IT Consulting, Inc. They share office space, but they don’t share employers. How does that work, exactly?

In the tech sector, the new trend is shared workspaces. Set up as an open platform space, tech startups, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, are enjoying the cost savings of renting a desk for a pittance of $275 rather than leasing an entire office for a heck of a lot more.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Loosecubes is one of these shared workspace companies that lists more than 2,300 spaces across almost 500 cities and 60 countries, and claims 7,000 registered users.

Loosecubes connects members with an empty desk, studio or sofa with other members who need a productive and inspiring place to work. All a user has to do is sign up, search, apply to cowork and then get to work.

Through their platform, users can post a space in their office, set the price and let members know when they can cowork. As a social media twist, Loosecubes will recommend members to users they think that one would enjoy working around.

“Nowadays with the shared workspaces you don't need to buy furniture, you don't need to set up Internet, you don't need to sign a long-term lease,” said Saeed Amidi, founder and chief executive of Plug and Play Tech Center, a co-working space in Sunnyvale, Calif., with about 1,000 workers, the WSJ reports. “You can just get started...within two hours of walking in.”

One of the many bonuses of sharing a workspace is the doors it opens up (literally and figuratively) to networking opportunities. Startups can share with possible investors and designers, PR companies pair up with entrepreneurs and creative types can share with designers and photographers. How? With all of the worksharing going on, meeting others from other industries and having them as your desk neighbor makes it that much easier to meet new people as opposed to having to rely on networking lunches or cocktail parties. Worksharing takes care of it all.

Earlier in September, OpenDesks, a mobile social app, launched an interactive map to help those looking to book workspace on demand, a similar trend in the shared workspace arena.  

“Workspace Map” is an interactive map that helps mobile professionals locate and book places to meet and work on-demand.

“We designed Workspace Map to meet the unique and increasingly diverse needs of the mobile workforce,” said founder and CEO Chris DiFonzo. “The growing market for on-demand workspace necessitates providing a greater range of space options, along with a highly customized yet streamlined booking process. This is where OpenDesks consistently distinguishes itself.”




Michelle Amodio is a TMCnet contributor. She has helped promote companies and groups in all industries, from technology to banking to professional roller derby. She holds a bachelor's degree in Writing from Endicott College and currently works in marketing, journalism, and public relations as a freelancer.

Edited by Jennifer Russell