Tools of the Trade: Loosecubes makes it easy to find coworking near you
The Loosecubes homepage features its "Spaces We Love," which includes a Tropical Island Retreat coworking space. Screenshot of loosecubes.com.
If you haven't heard already, the coworking phenomenon is spreading across the country. Right here on Silicon Prairie News we've covered CAMP in Omaha, Foundry Coworking in Des Moines, Meso in Sioux Falls and most recently Vault Coworking in Cedar Rapids. It seems if you're an entrepreneur, why would you work anywhere else?
But what these spaces really come down to is great people getting great work done. So where do you find that productive workspace near you? Have no fear as I have the solution for you, introducing Loosecubes, a community marketplace for workspace.
The "How It Works" page on the Loosecubes site states, "We connect members with an empty desk, studio or sofa with other members who need a productive and inspiring place to work. Whether you are looking for coworking companions by the day or longer term studiomates by the month, Loosecubes makes it easy to find the right people to share your space with."
On Loosecubes you can find Silicon Prairie News' Des Moines HQ, located in the Midlands Building. Support the space by giving them another fan. Screenshot from loosecubes.com.
I recently had the opportunity to exchange emails with Loosecubes founder and CEO, Campbell McKellar, to learn more about this fantastic marketplace.
Silicon Prairie News: Tell me about Loosecubes and what you do?
Campbell McKellar (left, photo from twitter.com/cmckella): Loosecubes is a workspace sharing community. Our goal is to connect all the "loose cubes" in offices around the world with people who need a great place to work. You can become a member for free and check out the workspaces shared by other members of the community, who we call "Hosts." Hosts can offer a space in their office, studio, home, coworking space or workshop. Spaces are available for sharing by the day or month, and many spaces are offered for free for a day or so. We like to think about it like we are helping people who have a space bring the magic of coworking into it on a daily basis.
SPN: When did Loosecubes launch and how did the initial idea came to be?
CM: We launched in June of 2010. I have always really enjoyed traveling but needed to work in order to do it. I was up in Northern Maine on a remote work arrangement during the summer of 2009. I realized that I could live this lifestyle all the time if I only had a productive place to work … sometimes. I was looking for something between working at home and an office lease – something that would be more productive than a cafe and hurt my back less than working on my couch!
SPN: How does the Loosecubes experience differ between a person looking for a workspace and a space looking for tenants?
CM: If you need a place to work, you should connect your account to Facebook so you can see if you have any social connections to spaces in our network. We’ll show them to you on your dashboard. When you search by location, you’ll see our most popular spaces first. These spaces are ones that members of the community are fans of. If you see a space you think looks cool, be sure to show the Host some love and become a fan! It helps promote these spaces to the rest of the community.
It takes just a minute to add your space to Loosecubes. Most importantly, you connect your Facebook account and tell the community which professions you are interested in sharing with. That way, when you get matches for your space, there's a higher chance they will be great if you share some mutual friends or are working in complementary professions. While there's a lot of "spaces" on our site, Loosecubes is really all about connecting people with people. That's where the fun starts.
SPN: How does Loosecubes find new workspaces to feature and list? I noticed you have 436 cities in 57 counties. That's awesome.
CM: It's been so cool to watch it grow! I still cannot believe it when I look at the ticker on our About page. People are hearing about Loosecubes through word of mouth (and awesome blogs like this!). Brooklyn has a really tight knit and thriving creative community that we feel proud to be part of. You can see lots of our spaces are either design studios or coworking spaces. These communities are connected online and I think our message resonates. We had a space pop up the other day in the Ivory Coast … it's amazing how small the world has become.
Another way we add spaces is that a number of our members are both Hosts and guests! Several members have come to New York and booked a space for their work trip. Then we see their office pop up back in their hometown when they get home. People are really digging the people they meet in Loosecubes environments.
SPN: What do you say to someone considering finding a coworking space? How do they know it is right for them?
CM: People have many different reasons for joining a coworking space or booking a Loosecube. We did a member survey and the number one thing was "Be more productive." I think it's important to think more broadly about productivity when joining a coworking space. Productivity may not mean just working quietly or getting work done – it's often about meeting the right people. It can take hours off your day knowing the right person to call with a question rather than searching online. Even better if that person is sitting in a desk next to you.
So how can I tell if this is the right space for me? At the risk of sounding cheesy, I think it's all about the vibe; and the vibe is all about the people. Are they friendly or more reserved? Are they super focused on work or more social? We try to do everything we can the capture the vibe of a coworking space through our site – and lots more is coming on that front!