The problem with working on the road is there's nowhere to work. Wouldn't it be great if you could sit in a good-looking office for a few hours—with a real desk, high-tech amenities, and meeting space—instead of an airport lounge, hotel, or coffee bar? "The need is there," says Charlie Grantham, cofounder of the Work Design Collaborative. And how. Grantham says he routinely witnesses sad sights like a full-blown flip-chart presentation at a Starbucks.
Our dream of a worldwide chain of cool temporary work spaces—Officebucks?—remains just that. But there are flexible-office operations aimed at local startups. They also happen to make sense for the out-of-towner who needs a place to work. The best part? These places don't market to business travelers, so you won't have to fight the airport club crowd. Not yet, at least.
|Cost||Locations||What you need to know|
|Four days are included in the $225 membership fee, then it's $15/hour.||New York; Boston; Orange County, CA||No need to prebook; perks vary by location but might include Design Within Reach furniture, or a gym/spa facility with tanning, massages, and a full-service cafeteria.|
|$25/hour (office); $50/hour (conference room); full-day rates available. No membership fee.||10, including Denver, Philadelphia, and New York||No need to prebook; perks include real-time videoconferencing on plasma screens, and complimentary Starbucks coffee. Prices may vary by location.|
|$18/hour (office), $25/hour (conference room) with a $50/day or $110/month membership fee.||34, including Miami; Chicago; Dallas; and Washington, DC||Call a few days in advance to secure a spot; amenities may include videoconferencing and kitchens. Prices may vary by location.|
A version of this article appeared in the November 2006 issue of Fast Company magazine.