via fastcompany + hoffice by Julie M. Rodriguez
While working from home can be a great thing, it can be hard if you’re the kind of person who needs human interaction to stay inspired, or if you have trouble staying focused outside of an office. And for some people, the cost of renting a desk in a co-working space is a little too steep. That’s why a Swedish project, Hoffice, is designed to help freelancers and telecommuters transform their homes or apartments into temporary co-working spaces.
Hoffice events pop up around Stockholm several times a week, with one freelancer offering up “office space” for 10-11 other people through a local Facebook group. Hosts offer couches and tables to work on, space to store lunch in their fridge, maybe even a quiet bedroom to take calls. This arrangement doesn’t just help freelance workers stick to a schedule and maintain discipline — it also helps them remember to take breaks and avoid burnout. Every 45 minutes, an alarm goes off reminding everyone in the group to take a quick break and stretch their legs, although you’re free to ignore this schedule if you’re on a productive streak.
The project started in 2013 when freelancers Christofer Gradin Franzen and Johline Zandra invited a handful of people to join them in their home office. The event was an immediate hit, and how hundreds of people participate in Hoffice events throughout Stockholm each week. The trend has spread throughout Europe, and Hoffice groups have started to sprout up as far away as North and South America, Southeast Asia, and Australia. (If you’re interested in starting a group in your city, Hoffice has a whole page full of tips to help you out.)
While it sounds like this might be a perfect concept for a startup to rent workspace, Hoffice hosts are not paid. They might collect donations for the pot of office coffee or other supplies, but unlike traditional co-working spaces, part of the appeal of Hoffice events is that they’re free to attend.