For people who telecommute, the options for workplaces are, generally: home -- where you have everything you need in one place, but lack any sense of community); coffeeshops -- where you get a good atmosphere but drink costs can add up fast just for the right to jockey for an outlet; and coworking spaces -- which can provide a good community but can be pricey for freelancers or students. In Amsterdam they've developed another option, your neighbor's living room.
Huiskamerkantoor (meaning "living room office") is a new coworking platform that connects telecommuters in Amsterdam, through Facebook, with people who want to open up their living room to a coworking community. Pop-Up City spoke with Misha Velthuis, the creator of this new coworking platform:
Huiskamerkantoor encourages its members to share their living rooms as co-working spaces. People without a workspace, such as freelance workers and students, can contribute in the form of donating coffee, cookies or whatever else they want. Everybody is better off this way, says Velthuis. “We spend less, work at prettier places, and although a healthy dose of peer pressure ensures that the work gets done, there are always opportunities for a little talk.”
While one of the benefits of coworking spaces is that they offer the opportunity for independent workers to connect, that ability to connect and build community with other telecommuters likely increases when you're sharing a living room instead of office space.
Velthuis says he hopes to transition the concept from a Facebook page to a community that can be accessed through a website or an app. No word if he plans to bring the concept to other cities.
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