Have you been to a Starbucks lately?
People aren’t just buying overpriced lattes and oatcakes.
They’re meeting clients, they’re tweaking websites, they’re studying for finals, they’re grading papers.
Starbucks has long been the office away from your office. Freelance writers, IT consultants, wedding planners, mom bloggers — anyone in need of an office space (and who was tired of being distracted by laundry piles and daytime TV at home) would pack up computers and cords, put on sweats and head to the nearest coffee shop with free WiFi.
I’ve done. In fact, I enjoy writing in noisy cafes where I tend to focus and get more done.
But these spaces aren’t open 24 hours — at least not in Hawaii — and I don’t feel right about spending eight straight hours using a table that I paid for with just one cup of hot chocolate and maybe a piece of lemon cake.
There are places where you can rent desks — per day, per hour, per week, per month — in an office space equipped with printers, coffee machines, meeting spaces and, yes, free WiFi.
This new workspace concept has exploded in popularity around the world, with co-working facilities on nearly every continent. (Check out this co-working wiki for a list of cities.)
Honolulu got its first co-working space — The Box Jelly — last month and already the group is looking to open new locations in downtown, off Nimitz Highway and on the North Shore.
I visited the site last week and, for $10 a day, it’s a great option to the busy, noisy, bustling coffee shops, which don’t have printer services or refrigerators where I can store my home lunch and Diet Coke.
Too bad I have an actual office. I’d consider working here, instead.
I have read about this on Non-Stop and I have yet to stop in and check it out. I personally don’t like working at Starbucks or any other coffee shops because I feel there are more distractions. And you made up a good point about being in your seat the entire day with only one or two small purchases.
I think this would be a lot different because instead of being surrounded by random strangers, you are surrounded by other creatives whom you can feed off of.
You’re right about being surrounded by random strangers — but I kinda like that. There’s something about being in a space where no one knows you, no one will come and talk to you, you can actually focus and get work done.
That’s my only concern about a co-working space. Sometimes I don’t want to collaborate or work with others. (Whoa, that sounded snobbish!) But you know what I mean… Sometimes you just need to be in your own space and work. That’s why I like to work from home versus in an actual office. Offices have their function, for sure, and there are times I like having people around to ask questions or talk story. But I really need to work, I like to be alone. And coffee shops can simulate that “alone” for me.
But those chairs are only comfortable for a short time!
I was at the Coffee Bean in Manoa this morning for a couple of hours getting some work done and had two nice conversations with people I hadn’t met before. You’re right Cat, being surrounded by strangers can be a good thing at times!
He he he, I’m a hardcore coffice junkie, working from Starbucks for 6-8 hours a day. It’s interesting that, like you, I find focus in the noise. I guess because it’s just random noise its easy to tune out and get work done.
I’m interested in trying out these new co-working spaces but not sure if I want to spend $10/day which, unless it comes with 3 free soy chai tea lattes, is about $10 more than camping out at Manoa Starbucks =)
The one nice thing would be high speed internet access which is usually lacking. I wonder if the environment will be like a library where everyone is using hushed voices, or more vibrant and noisy like a coffee shop? Oh, and I hope they have free parking!
I figured you’d respond to this blog! LOL!
It’s the white noise that works. I’m used to working in chaos or noise. I can’t actually work with music, though. It’s gotta be everyday noises. I can work with the TV on, but not the radio. How weird is that?
Maura, the owner of fishcake, is a good friend an associate of mine. I took some photos of this space for an article in Hawaii Luxury magazine. Here are the photos for a more detailed look into fishcake:
This concept is great and hopefully with work out for Rechung and his partners. When I had a satellite office in Austin TX from 2000-2006, my biz partner and I had an office space at an Executive suite center. It was great. This is sort of like that concept, and long overdue for Honolulu.
cheaper than a hotel if you only need the room for an hour or so. For a nap or some peace and quiet, i mean!
btw Cat,thats not wierd. i’m the same way.tv not too much a problem,but any loud stereo music with that thumping bass is a nightmare! the root of all evil: the love of money and loud,thumping,booming ,continuous bass.
For years I have held meetings at Panera Bread. We used to call it our remote office. The thing I like about it is getting out to do something. Had a meeting today at a place called Cup of Joe. It is near NCSU. Seems everyone is doing what they can to attract the remote meeting crowd and it is a great idea. In Savannah Georgia there is a place called the Sentient Bean and it has sofas etc… mostly organic items… a real treat.
yes…speaking of which, can you bring pizza and beer to these places?
I’m pretty sure you can bring your own food! LOL!
wait…their site says $35/day for individual desk. where is the $10 option?
Not sure… I checked on Loose Cubes, too, and couldn’t find it. But that’s what I was quoted by the owner. Just call and ask. I’m sure he’ll honor it!
Great stuff, Cat! I’ve been championing Rechung and his guys for a bit now — we need to drive people to The Box Jelly for some coworking!
Pretty sure the space is $10/hour and $35/day, $100/week and $300/month, but Rechung can clarify.
It won’t beat a coffee shop in price but amenities, creative commons and residual business ops should more than make up for that.
I’m working on opening a coworking innovation hub called “The Green House”. Slated for an October 31st grand opening.
You’ll hear more about this in the coming weeks!