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Alternative Workspaces March 20, 2007

Posted by Stacey Swift in environment, Internet, Technology, work-family balance, Workplaces.
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The invention of the Internet made working from the home a possibility for many employees. Technology such as telephones, laptops, fax machines, and even web-cams helped to make home offices a great alternative for many people. Whether its being home with the kids or working on a different coast, people no longer need to leave their home in order to conduct business. Recently, people are discovering the advantages of “alternative work-spaces” rather than isolating yourself in a home office. Darius Roberts is a 27 year old starting a company that prefers to work out of a coffee shop rather than his apartment. Those who work at home often complain of loneliness and lack of a social network. With access to wireless and coffee and the opportunity to meet other developers he finds the coffee shop to be a productive “office.” In addition to informal work spaces such as coffee shops, more structured communal work spaces have been introduced. Roberts found a flyer for the Hat Factory, a community office space that offers a communal kitchen, a desk, private meeting room, and a lounge for just $10 a day or $170 a month. He says this encourages more meaningful connections than just a coffee shop. It is a great place for entrepreneurs to share not only resources but also ideas and network.

co-working facilities help fill the social needs people have as well—either informally, by simply bringing together a group of people with similar interests, or formally, through networking events, holiday parties, and even softball leagues.

Last week in class we discussed social networks. The use of technology has broken down many social networks, eliminating a lot of the personal interaction that used to be necessary. Do you think working from home is a good option? People do have social needs, does working from home destroy these social networks, or is being able to conference call to an office a sufficient alternative? I think as long as a certain level of personal interaction is maintained working from home can be a great alternative, especially for those with children. Additionally, for those who feel lonely at home or are just starting up a business I think the use of community offices is a great way to create social networks. People who would otherwise be working in isolation can share their ideas with others in similar situations. How much social interaction does one need to work?

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Comments»

1. wilson7 - March 20, 2007

I think that for some people working at home may be the best option. Several individuals are not very sociable so they enjoy working by themselves or in a secluded area. On the other hand some people cannot be trust working by themselves. They do not do work without someone watching over them. Working at home is not the best thing for everyone it depends on the type of person that they are.

I do believe though that working at home does destroy some of the culture of a company because instead of actually having a conversation with the individual you are just conversing over a computer screen.

2. Abby - April 8, 2007

This can be linked both to the ‘Secrets of Human Resources’ post, and that on Google. Workers work better when happy, and to be happy they need to have their home-life and work-life in balance.

Working at home is a good option for those who can control it… What I mean is, if you can bring your work home, you will either be too distracted at home, or work constantly at home. Some people need the division.


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