Telework Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely
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  • wigwag

    “There are now nearly 800 commercial co-working facilities in the United States, up from a little more than 300 only two years ago, and about 40 in 2008, according to an annual survey by Deskmag, an online magazine that covers the co-working industry.” (Via Meadia)

    There are actually alot more than 800 “co-working” facilities; that is if you count Starbucks and public libraries. It is amazing how many teleworkers actually conduct their businesses from Starbucks and/or libraries; they migrate to these venues to escape the alienation and loneliness that comes from working at home all of the time.

    Another feature that Starbucks has to offer is that it is the perfect place for a business meeting (assuming you can find a seat). When teleworkers need to conduct business meetings, it is usually pretty uncomfortable to invite business associates to their homes. Starbucks (and similar coffee houses) offer the perfect solution. They are ubiquitous, they are generally clean, they tend to have an upscale clientele and, for the most part, they are relatively quiet.

    My guess is that Starbucks is perfectly aware of this trend and doing everything they can to capitalize on it; forward thinking library leaders are also aware of this trend. As the proliferation of E-books and the coming phenomonon of E-book lending threatens the business model of “bricks and mortar” libraries, it would not surprise me if libraries reinvent themselves as a place where teleworkers can congregate to work in a public space that is business-like yet friendly. Of course, to make it work, libraries will have to dispense with the “no-talking rule.”

    Nor would it surprise me if ten years from now private institutions like Starbucks and public institutions like libraries actually install the software (e.g. meeting software like “goto meeting”) and hardware (high definition cameras and microphones) that make telecommuting more productive.

  • I’ve never been lonely working by myself. As long as you have a phone and an i’net connection, you’re not alone.

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