I recently was on a Skype chat with a colleague who works with me, and is based in France, she generally works from home, but she mentioned she was going offline to try out a “Co-Working” Space. I had heard of these before, but never investigated them further, I usually go to bars or cafe’s to get a good wi-fi spot when I am out and about, but I had never actually considered setting up an external office style space for a longer period of time.
She logged off and later logged on to Skype me to say that she had arrived, apparently it was quite empty but the place was very new, and I think the concept to the French was also new. I know when I lived there, every time I tried to explain to a French person what I did, I think they thought I sat at home all day playing on the computer. Some understood, while others simply could not grasp how it was possible to work with people, and get anything done when you were not physically in the same location.
Anyway back to the co-working spaces! This was basically a workspace, which is open to people to go there and pay for either a half day €5 or a full day €10 – they are open Monday to Friday between 9am and 7pm. The one my colleague went to was in Nantes. They describe it as a third place between home and office, where you can come and work for the day or half day. They set up the space for independent students, researchers, artists, entrepreneurs and employees who want to work and exchange – or be social in what could sometimes be a lonely kind of job.
They basically provide a comfortable office style environment, with posh desk chairs and tables and a wi-fi connection. The pictures from the website show paper plates and cups, but I have no idea whether people took a flask or it was available on the premises.
I like the idea of this, and certainly for singles, or people working from home without children with them, I think it’s a great idea. I have a feeling, if more and more people are choosing to become digital nomads or virtual assistants, then these communal style working environments will become more and more popular, for either a regular office space or simply a place to take a break from the routine and hang out with other people “Co-Working”.
Here’s what my colleague said about this co-working space:
“Hi, as I’m writing this, I’m actually sitting in one of those comfy chairs!
It’s the second time I’ve come here to work, and it is actually a really nice change. There’s music in the background, people exchanging and nice surroundings.
I think of coming here for an afternoon every week. It allows me to interact with people who are in the same line of work as I am, and it does take me out of the house for a bit to do the same work I’d do at home, but with a nice change of scenery.
‘La Cantine numérique’ opened a couple of months ago, but I know there are places just like this one all over the world. I advise all of those who can to go and see similar places, the experience is unique!”
If you happen to be in Nante take a visit to “La Cantine” http://cantine-nantes.org/ where you can hook up to the wi-fi and get to work!