Could New Airbnb Model Answer Your Co-Working Space Needs?

July 17, 2015  |  

Sharona Coutts needed a place to work outside of the home that would offer a bit more flexibility than a cafe, but could not find exactly what she was looking for until she created SpareChair.me. It’s a new site among a growing number that offer nomadic workers temporary places to work often inside of someone’s home.

“It made little sense for me to pay for a co-working space full time, because I’d then need to pay for a dog walker,” Coutts told Crain’s Chicago Business. “And I had no desire to volunteer for the daily Brooklyn-to-Manhattan commute if I didn’t have to.”

SpareChair uses the Airbnb model of renting out spaces for a short period of time to those in need of workspaces. Freelance workers or those that own their own business can now try various co-working spaces or even share a home office with another individual.

Sites like SpareChair and Desktime let workers choose from an array of eclectic workspaces from dining room tables to recording studios. The co-working spaces also appeal to travelers not fond of working from hotel rooms and in need of a less crowded and noise-controlled place that coffee shops just don’t offer. Plus, you could possibly score an amazing view of the beach if coastal and other cool sights not found elsewhere.

“We’ve been fascinated to see that some hosts have deliberately created mini co-working spaces within their homes,” said Coutts. “This seems to be a particularly millennial approach to life, work, and community.”

If you are interested in renting out a co-working space, prices vary depending on the amount of time needed and space desired. On SpareChair someone’s living room can be as affordable as a few bucks a day, while a private office or photo studio, can rise to a few hundred dollars for the same amount of time. In Chicago, co-working spaces start at about $5 per day with more creative spaces such as the Manhattan jewelry studio running for $15 per day.

But are nomad workers truly interested in working in a strangers home?

“The potential for weirdos is too great, and $20 or $30 simply isn’t worth it,” Julia Schweitzer, a Brooklyn-based startup employee who works remotely told Crain’s.

Would you be open to trying it out?

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