Cowork­ing spa­ces and mem­bers’ clubs around the globe

Cowork­ing spa­ces and mem­bers’ clubs are an al­ter­na­tive to the tra­di­tional of­fice or home study. But what are the ben­e­fits of sign­ing up and which are the best?

Business Traveller - - CONTENTS - WORDS JENNYSOUTHAN

By 2020, it’s es­ti­mated that as many as one in two work­ers in the UK will be free­lance or self-em­ployed, col­lec­tively con­tribut­ing more than £51 bil­lion to the econ­omy. The same trend is be­ing ob­served in the US. And it’s not just the self-em­ployed; be­ing adept at re­mote work­ing has be­come an es­sen­tial skill for any­one fre­quently op­er­at­ing out of over­seas lo­ca­tions. The par­al­lel rise of cowork­ing spa­ces and pri­vate mem­bers’ clubs has made it eas­ier for lo­cals to ac­cess of­fice en­vi­ron­ments and pro­fes­sional net­works in their home ter­ri­to­ries, but when you are trav­el­ling it is not so easy to find out what your op­tions are or even gain en­try to th­ese fa­cil­i­ties. Of­ten you make do with work­ing in your ho­tel room, the ex­ec­u­tive lounge or a cof­fee shop with free wifi.

How­ever, find­ing a tem­po­rary work­place is be­ing made eas­ier by plat­forms such as Copass (copass.org), which gives ac­cess to more than 750 hubs around the world from €49-€299 a month, and Co­worker (co­worker.com), which lists 7,000 spa­ces in 125 coun­tries com­ple­mented by user re­views. Another ex­cit­ing in­no­va­tion is the launch of in­vi­ta­tion-only web­site Onda (on­dal­ife.com), which of­fers en­try to pri­vate mem­bers clubs, health clubs and cowork­ing spa­ces around the world for £80 a month.

The venues it lists are “care­fully vet­ted”, says Luca Del Bono, founder of Onda (and the South Kens­ing­ton Club in Lon­don), and in­clude sites such as Camp David in New York, The Bureau in Paris, The Stack in Cape Town, Grif­fin Club in Los An­ge­les and Alma in Stock­holm. Del Bono says: “With the ease of re­mote com­mu­ni­ca­tion that tech­nol­ogy has given us, en­trepreneurs and start-ups are on the rise, and so is the need for a ver­sa­tile work­ing en­vi­ron­ment. More peo­ple want to share time in places they feel com­fort­able in, and that of­fer fa­cil­i­ties and ac­tiv­i­ties that suit their life­style, while be­ing part of a com­mu­nity.”

Lon­don un­doubt­edly leads the way when it comes to clubs and cowork­ing. Re­cent open­ings in­clude All­bright (for women only), White City House, Mor­timer House and, of course, We Work, which is ex­pand­ing rapidly with new lo­ca­tions through­out the city. Next year, Lon­don’s Home House founders will be de­but­ing a new con­cept called Home Grown (home­grown­club.co.uk), in Marylebone.

Why will Home Grown, which will also have 35 ho­tel rooms, suit busi­ness peo­ple? An­drew Richard­son, manag­ing di­rec­tor of Home House, says: “Rais­ing cap­i­tal and grow­ing a busi­ness is a skill and we aim to cre­ate the ex­clu­sive go-to com­mu­nity for en­abling this. We will have an ex­ten­sive events pro­gramme that cov­ers how to se­cure fund­ing, men­tor­ing ses­sions with renowned busi­ness lead­ers, and col­lab­o­ra­tions be­tween in­vestors, high-growth en­trepreneurs and in­no­va­tors. The club will also have a range of beau­ti­ful pri­vate meet­ing rooms, pitch­ing spa­ces, ex­ec­u­tive lounges, a chic restau­rant, study café and bar.”

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