Saturday, May 21, 2011


I met this word for the first time today in The Telegraph . Of course I Googled it and got 27,600 results on 0.19 seconds, so it’s probably only been around for seven minutes.

“I should expect companies rapidly to adopt distance working practices like teleconferencing and small communities to build suitably sized local offices (telecottages) for those of us who find it hard to work from home.”

I like working from home, but I also like working in the company of other people.

I know (but have never used) of the shared-office concept, where one rents a room for a fixed schedule each week and shares a receptionist/secretary, or just uses the facilities as a mail-drop and boardroom.

I know (but have never used) the other extreme of working at that long table in the public library or that cheap table in the coffee shop.

I’m thinking of an alternative of setting up a spare room or corner in one’s own abode where solo entrepreneurs can come to sit and work quietly, or (at a mutually convenient time) indulge in conversation.

I have a spare bedroom with a table, chair and cable to my router.

I have a friend and colleague who stays overnight occasionally and/or uses the room as an office.

Now I wonder how it would be if I offered it as a retreat or facility where people could

(1) Book a specific time each week to come and quietly work through their business finances, sort dockets, issue invoices, chase overdue accounts and do data-entry.

(2) Stare at the leafy trees outside the balcony and jot down creative thoughts for a new approach, with paper on pencil.

(3) Avail themselves of coffee, tea and home-made cookies at scheduled tea-breaks (10:00 a.m. 11:00 a.m.) and possibly share a light lunch.

(4) Get that project wrapped up and tested on a different machine, or in isolation from the regular land-line. As deadlines approach it would be as if they were working-on-site for another client, but are secretly bunkered down in my place.

I wonder how many of us have a spare corner somewhere that we could weave into our network?

Talk to Me !

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