The life of a freelancer isn’t easy. I tried it myself last weekend. Here’s a little taste of what went on in my head:
Oh, there’s a table, I hope no one snags it. I have to sit near an outlet. Should I get reduced fat coffee cake or splurge with a cookie? Or neither? Let’s do the cookie. “Grande skinny vanilla latte please and a chocolate chip cookie.” $6.30! Rip off! Do you really think I need a receipt? How long does it take to make one of these latte things? Ahh! Some jerk just snagged my table before he even got in line! He just dumped his stuff on it! Calm down. You’re just mad because you know you should have done that first.
Now what? There are no tables. What, do I just stand here and wait with my oversize laptop? Do I start drinking my drink? It is hot, but I feel like I should wait until I get a table. That guy looks like he’s getting ready to get up. Is there an outlet by that table? Yes! I guess I should go over there and stand close by so no one else snags it first. But I can’t stand too close because then I’m hovering and awkward. Look at all these laptop people.
OK the guy is getting up. Here we go. Thanks. OK! Plug charger in. Turn on laptop. Crack knuckles. Sip drink. Laptop turning on and ... ahh! The volume is turned up, and it played the Windows start-up music really loud! I’m embarrassed. Why should I be embarrassed? Who cares? People did look up though. I’m a rookie.
A new breed of worker, fueled by caffeine and modern day technology, is taking over the coffeehouses of Los Angeles. Just walk into any Starbucks and you’re bound to find people sitting in front of their laptops, chatting on their cell phones, surfing the Web and doing the sort of work that would once have required a fully-equipped office. And they do it all for no more than the price of a cup of coffee and a muffin.
It’s a whole new way of working that’s becoming increasingly popular. That’s why architect Jerome Chang decided to start Blankspaces. Blankspaces is a modern, communal workspace environment where freelancers can come in and work when they want to escape from the house and get a more social atmosphere.
Blankspaces combines the social elements of a coffee shop with the productive, functional elements of an office. Unlike Starbucks – where you have to fight for a table near an outlet – BlankSpaces provides individual cubicles, private offices and conference rooms. The facility is also equipped with mailboxes, color laser printers, copiers, fax machines, high-definition projectors, WI-Fi and most important, parking.
Some people drop in for a few hours, while others seeking a more permanent space can rent a private desk for a monthly fee. Either way, Blankspaces gives freelancers and entrepreneurs the ability to network and share ideas in a creative environment.
But if you start to miss your Venti Chai Latte, there’s surely a Starbucks one block away.
For more information, visit www.blankspaces.com.
Article posted on 4/28/2008
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