Coworking is one of the most interesting phenomena of the digital era. Tired of solitary coffee-shop-hopping, freelancers and professionals around the world are increasingly awakening to the pleasures of coworking. This is no coincidence: coworking spaces accurately reflect the new work ethics upheld by Millennials. Networking, knowledge sharing and partnership building make the new code of conduct, leaving behind “old world” norms like secrecy, exclusion and elitism.
Coworking spaces also tie in with the recent years’ resurrection of grassroots movements : they force people out of their pajamas and into a real office environment, facilitate interaction and collaboration between strangers and form fascinating human labs of offbeat, geeky and insanely creative individuals.
Another important social aspect of the coworking trend is that many coworking spaces are free. Anyone is welcome to walk in, plug in and do their day’s work without having to pay for overpriced lattes or – god forbid- rent.
If you feel coworking is something you’d like to explore, here’s a list of world’s top five coworking spots you can visit for free:
1. Wix Lounge, New York
Online web design platform, Wix.com, has its very own coworking space in the one and only city of New York. The Wix Lounge is a spacious, gorgeous and absolutely free space that is open 5 days a week. In the evenings, the Lounge is hosting unique events for professionals of various business fields. The space is not the only thing that is free in the Wix Lounge – coffee is also on the house.
2. Betahaus Cafe, Barcelona
One of the coolest coworking institutions in Europe, the Betahaus greets creative professionals in Barcelona with an awesome industrial space of over 2000sqm. While most of the space is rented for various rates, the Betahaus Cafe is open for all visitors to drop by, order a drink and get to work. This is not just another coffee shop down the street. This cafe is filled with the Betahaus vibe of sharing creativity.
3. The Factory, Berlin
A cooperation between tech giants like Google, Mozilla and other internet giants led to the creation of this unique space. Located just where the Berlin Wall used to pass, the factory acts as a “campus” and accelerator for upcoming startups, entrepreneurs and innovators. Entering the Factory for a residency involves an application process. Admission means you don’t only get to use the Factory to work on your project; you also get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with the best minds in the European digital scene.
4. [freespace], San Francisco
In the capital of tech innovation, it’s only natural for a community to form around the free coworking concept. [freespace] started out in San Francisco about a year ago and has been spreading globally since. It offers individuals and teams a vision, space and resources to realize their ideas. Creative thinkers of all kinds are invited to join this collaborative program – from artists to eco-engineers. [freespace] sees itself not merely as a coworking spot but as a movement, and with 26 locations across the globe (and growing!), it has every reason to.
5. Freeware, Jakarta
This wonderful space in the Indonesian capital invites small businesses of any field – technology, fashion, media, etc. – to co-work and network in a friendly and well-equipped environment. Freeware is yet another sign of the thriving entrepreneurial market in Southeast Asia. Seats in this space are limited, so you will need to submit an application and set up dates in advance.
Tagged with: Coworking . Freelancers . Networking . Wix Lounge