Hoffice Converts Your Home Into A Temporary Office For Freelancers
For all the 9-5 office goers, working from home seems like the ultimate nirvana. On the other hand, employees who work from home, or freelancers, believe there is more productivity and less procrastination in a proper office environment.
That is true of course, one can not expect to write a journal or code a snippet when the cat is purring in your lap, kids watching TV in the next room, the vacuum cleaner blaring over your head. That is exactly why a Swedish project, Hoffice, has decided to turn apartments into temporary coworking spaces.
So in the morning, 10-12 people will come into your home, and comfortably arrange themselves in their favorite spots – your coffee table, your bedroom, your kitchen counter, and set to work on their laptops or devices. Though completely unconventional, this method helps the freelancers to focus more clearly as it sets a somewhat office-like aura.
However, part of the concept is not new. Freelancer Amit Gupta began inviting other freelancers over to his apartment as he missed the brainstorming in an office. This idea, called Jelly, became successful and spread over to a 100 cities.
But Hoffice works in a more structured manner. Everyone in the group works in 45-minute shifts – based on a research which suggests humans’ constant concentration power works for 40 minutes at maximum. So when the shift time is up, an alarm goes off, and the group takes a 10 minute break to exercise, eat, talk or do whatever it takes to relax them. Just before starting, they all discuss what each member is hoping to achieve in the next shift, which creates a little peer pressure to accomplish something.
Journalist Agneta Lagercrantz describes a typical scene:
The day I’m joining for this story the apartment is full. Amrit gets help setting up extra tables on trestles and Gösta takes his favorite spot in a Lamino armchair. 45 minutes at a time, we only hear the wall clock – tick-tock, tick-tock – and laptop key sounds. Or how someone suddenly gets up, and whispering disappears with the mobile phone. Then comes the alarm signal. It is time for the ten-minute break with stretching, meditation – or, why not, disco dancing?
Hoffice was started by freelancers Christofer Gradin Franzen and Johline Zandra over a year ago as an experiment. But hundreds have now signed up for Hoffice across Sweden and Denmark.
“To open up your home to others within the Hoffice Network is a gift,” Franzen writes on the Hoffice website. “We give because we want to … and don’t require anything back.”
A host might set out a donation bowl to help cover expenses like coffee, he says, but otherwise won’t be paid. But working in the groups tends to lead to other benefits–like when you discover that someone in your group has the coding skills to help build your new website, or the group gives feedback on a new idea.