Freelance writers, would be self-publishers and creative café coffee drinkers, it’s time to get serious about your craft by joining the next wave of social interconnection on the raise. It’s called co-office sharing or office hotels and it’s the first of its kind in Chicago ‘s Rogers Park area by a start-up called CoOffice Connect.
What’s CoOffice Connect?
If you’re a creative freelancer that works long hours, day in and day out writing, editing or illustrating on your laptop in your PJ’s-or in your bedroom office and yet, crave a work environment where you hear live people tapping their keyboard on a personal laptop, CoOffice Connect is for you.
As a freelance writer, I know first hand it can be maddening if you are an extravert type who needs people around you to stay creative-but due to job change, layouts or a new entrepreneurial direction you want to go, being at the local coffee shop doesn’t give you the free coffee or the fax machine you might need on Tuesday and Information Technology (IT) help all in one place.
Autumn Franger and Greg Vaughan long lovers of the far north-side of Chicago in the heart of Rogers Park on Morse and Glenwood, decided to make the move to entrepreneurial freedom by helping others do the same.
I asked the business partners Franger and Vaughan, why they wanted to start a business in Rogers Park in 2010 in this economic down turn? Franger stated, “For me, I wanted to start a business where I felt comfortable-the last place I worked was very corporate very zombie like; and very anti individual and I realized I’m probably going to have to work the rest of my life. I wanted to develop an environment I personally can thrive in and enjoy working.”
Vaughan who has 10-years of experience and owned an independent IT company, he was “feeling a bit isolated” and wanted a much more communal place where he could thrive.
Why Rogers Park is a great place to network and share ideas
One of the great things about Rogers Park is that the 49th Ward has been changing in the last years, with new shops, restaurants and an updated movie house. The co-owners felt it was a great place to set up roots. “This is the greatest neighborhood,” Vaughan stated and feels it’s their target market. Franger stated “It’s just has a really urban feel without losing personal community. It’s still urban but it’s full of so many interesting people who are building relationship. A lot of people have left their corporate jobs, and there’s an opportunity to network and make some money [as freelancers].
I asked them were they scared of starting a business in this economic downturn. “It’s a concern, Vaughan stated, but I think it can also work to our advantage because there have been a lot of people who have been laid off, doing the kind of work that we’re looking for, they are looking to freelance. Because they’d come from a corporate environment where they’re use to going into an office, with an office environment and support, they’re potentially are not looking to work alone: It’s sort of a shock so we think we can help bridge the transition to freelance, better than working from home.
What’s happening in the corporate world and around us with layoffs, perhaps, many have finally decided to do what they always longed to do and why many are getting out of the race and creating for themselves new opportunities. Franger goes on to say, “Because so many people who have left their corporate jobs, there’s a great opportunity to do networking. And to help each other out and probably in some way, help each other make some money in a whole new economy.”
You’re getting real creative and motivated. People can not trust corporations, to give them jobs, keep jobs or even be any real influencers in the world anymore. Then you get real creative about what you want to do. All things can happen when you give up the idea of being an employee and how you can take care of yourself.”
As we start to deal with the new technologies, with social media, new startup companies, perhaps, just human interaction will be the start of sharing ideas, moving more into collaboration and yes, sitting down with a group of strangers that soon will become your new co-workers of ideas.
CoOffice Connect has affordable day passes, part-time tier and monthly rates. To learn more about Co-Office Connect, check out their site, or better yet, stop by and say hi and join them for a day of sofa sharing, conference tables or just a spot of tea.
1409 W Morse Ave
Chicago , IL 60626