Has this innovative company made flexible work even better?

flexible work
Scotia Lockwood

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written on January 25, 2017

With the rise of the freelance economy and flexible workplaces, more of us are finding ourselves getting things done outside of an office cubicle. But what about when your local cafe won’t cut it for flexible work? This new co-working space could be the best solution yet.

Over the past decade, we’ve seen a whole host of flexible work arrangements come in – and out – of favour. We’ve read about Amazon’s ‘biosphere’ where workers can escape the office and work alongside an artificial stream for a few hours. And the Huffington Post’s US offices, which have nap pods so workers can recharge. There’s no shortage of stories about companies coming up with innovative programs that give their employees more flexibility.

In Australia, co-working spaces for freelancers and flexible work employees are popping up all over the country – this story highlights 11 of the best.

They’re designed to provide you collaboration, a community of ideas, shared innovation, access to events and a way to increase your networks.

One of the most recent innovations in flexible working options comes courtesy of Sweden. It’s called Hoffice and a recent story published by the BBC delves into exactly what makes it unique.

So, how does Hoffice work?

Founded in 2014, Hoffice brings a new twist to the co-working model by inviting freelancers, full time employers and entrepreneurs to enagage in flexible work remotely in each others’ homes.

Attendees are required to work silently in 45-minute sessions and then encouraged to chat over coffee, exercise or meditate together during short breaks. The aim?  To both boost productivity and reduce the social isolation of working at home.

An antidote to “freelancer cabin fever”

As a former full time employee who now works as a sole-trading coach / facilitator / HR consultant, I can personally attest to the challenges of working from home.

The isolation can be particularly stark during the first few months of your transition, when you are used to having colleagues around to chat to or bounce ideas off throughout the day.

Now when I start talking to the walls I set up a remote office at cafes with good coffee and free wi-fi. However, this level of social engagement doesn’t replace what’s missing in my day; I might exchange pleasantries with the barista but what I’m really craving is intelligent conversation.

The Hoffice flexible work concept appeals because it offers you interaction and social engagement with like-minded professionals or entrepreneurs – as well as a quiet space to work.

It is also more cost effective than traditional co-working spaces – a plus for sole traders, or those just starting out.

Could this work for you?

Am I wrong in thinking there is huge scope for a Hoffice concept for those engaging in flexible work in Australia?

I know many HR practitioners who have taken the plunge into working as an independent HR consultant or coach. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have an ‘HR’ Hoffice to work from on a regular basis to collaborate, innovate and chat over coffee?

What are your thoughts? Tell me in the comments.

 

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Comment

3 thoughts on “Has this innovative company made flexible work even better?

  1. Hoffice, is a great concept. I have worked remotely for 7 years and while working from cafes and libraries gets you ‘out and about’ – it doesn’t provide the ‘much needed’ intellectual stimulus.

  2. I love this concept. I live in a large regional Victorian town and I know there is an open plan office space set up in the CBD where freelancers and other people who usually work from home can rent a desk for minimal cost. I think its being called “business hub” or something like that. This is a great idea as in the same way “Hoffice” does, it gets like minded people in the same area and although the nature of what they do might be different, e.g HR consulting compared to online shop, it is a chance to engage with others.

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