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Ever Wanted to Try Out Coworking Office Space Without Committing?

Have you ever wanted to try out a coworking office space without committing?

Although coworking spaces have done their best to accommodate even infrequent members, some remote workers are still hesitant to commit to the monthly fees of a dedicated coworking space. In some cases, they hesitate because they travel a lot. In others, they’re don’t want to spend the cash. Still other workers would rather enjoy some variety in their work locations, or try different spaces before settling on one.

But now, even the most hesitant would-be coworking customers have an increasing number of low-commitment workspace options, thanks to several new apps. Remote workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs can work from among a variety of coworking spaces, restaurants, cafes and hotels — all for less than a typical coworking membership.

Could any of these new arrangements fit your work routine? Find out more about them below.

Coworking Office Space Samplers

ClassPass, the popular fitness app that lets users pay a flat monthly rate for classes at various studios and gyms, has paved the way for a similar concept for coworkers. Several apps now make it possible for coworkers pay a monthly rate for a set number of sessions at a number of coworking spaces across the country — or even internationally.

Deskpass, for example, lets users pay for either 4, 8 or 20 visits per month at 175 coworking spaces in six major cities. Croissant, also in six major domestic cities in addition to several abroad, offers plans with 10, 40 or 120 hours per month at various price points depending on the city.

There’s even an international version of this concept: Copass, which encourages users to take advantage of their location independence to hop around to different spaces across continents.

For more details on international coworking, download our bonus resource: Ready to Take Your Office Global? 3 Types of Travel-Based Coworking.

Coworking Samplers Are Great For:

  • Solo workers looking for desk space on a budget (including freelancers with variable monthly income)
  • People who approach coworking as a way to break out of their routines
  • Workers who travel throughout bigger cities throughout the year (coworking credits can transfer to participating spaces in other cities)

Coworking Samplers Are Not as Great For:

  • Workers who want to settle into a routine using the same space regularly
  • Workers who want to be a part of a community (it’s harder to establish relationships without regular contact) and take advantage of perks like events and mixers
  • Companies and startups that need office features like receptionists, mailing addresses and answering services

Restaurant-Based Coworking

Who says you can only cowork in coworking spaces? Some companies are leveraging empty daytime restaurants to provide an even more affordable workplace option for remote workers.

In bigger cities, many hip restaurants don’t open until dinner hours. That means that restaurateurs are happy monetize prime office hours during the day by inviting coworkers to use the space. These restaurants are already equipped with tables, chairs and the ability to provide refreshments. They are also often beautifully designed, which can make for an inviting change of scenery for the work-from-home crowd.

Coworkers can even hang around after their work shift for happy hour, which adds another fun social element for workers trying to escape a solitary work routine.

Because these coworking organizations don’t have to cover the overhead costs of their own space, the rates are much more affordable. For example, Spacious has locations in New York City and San Francisco and charges $129/month for full access to inspiring spaces with unlimited coffee and tea. Austin-based Switch, a similar concept, is just $49/month for an unlimited membership.

Restaurant-Based Coworking Plans Are Great For:

  • Workers who are often in different areas of their metro area throughout the day for various commitments (members can typically pop into the nearest participating restaurant with little notice required)
  • Freelancers and remote workers who want a coworking community without the higher price tag of coworking spaces or even other coworking apps

Restaurant-Based Coworking Plans Are Not as Great For:

  • People or companies who want features like dedicated desks, ergonomic office chairs, their own space, big monitors, and space to store their personal things.
  • People located outside of a few limited metropolitan areas (these apps are only in a few cities so far).

A Caveat: While these restaurant-hopping apps generally great for city-living variety-seekers, there are also individual restaurants in other areas that have turned their spaces into independent coworking spaces by day. These sometimes do offer benefits such as lockers, phone booths and basic office amenities. For example, CoWork Cafe has established exclusive space in Arlington that is $150, but that fee includes a $50 food credit and several office amenities.

Working in Other Unconventional “Offices”

Restaurants during non-dining hours aren’t the only non-traditional spaces that can make great daytime workplaces.

Places like hotels, museums and galleries, as well as restaurants and cafes during their open hours, all have the seating, WiFi, and refreshments that can make for a solid workday.

Want to get even more unconventional? Let’s talk co-working abroad. Learn more in our bonus download: Ready to Take Your Office Global? 3 Types of Travel-Based Coworking.

The app Work Eat Play lets users book a seat in these types of participating spaces for as little as $5 per session. Users are ensured access to an electrical outlet to charge their devices, free coffee and tea, and full access to the venue’s waitstaff and other offerings. Users can book a seat quickly online, and leave whenever they’d like. They can also filter their space search results to find places with meeting areas and quiet rooms when needed.

Although Work Eat Play doesn’t provide the community or consistency of an established physical coworking space, it does offer a list of member perks, including discounts at various boutiques and fitness outlets.

Work Eat Play is Great For:

  • Solo workers who want lots of variety in their work spaces and need to be in various places throughout their cities
  • Workers looking for an affordable workspace option
  • Remote workers who need to have occasional in-person meetings (reserving tables in open restaurants may be ideal for that)

Work Eat Play May Not be as Great For:

  • People or companies who want features like dedicated desks, ergonomic office chairs, their own space, big monitors, and space to store their personal things.

Other Coworking Office Space Options

All this desk hopping sounds great for individual workers, but what about for organizations that occasionally need more consistency and features?

Some companies may let their semi-remote employees choose where to work on most days, but still rent a small or shared office space for limited or occasional use. In addition to coworking spaces’ options for businesses, there are also plenty of desk sharing programs that list pre-furnished office rentals with flexible leases. These offices can be a great alternative for remote workers who don’t live in a city currently served by the other space-hopping apps listed above.

You can use a tool like Turnkey Office Space to find a space like this. Start your search for turnkey office space here. There are also tools like PivotDesk, which list individual desks and office sharing arrangements.

One thing is for sure: Companies and individuals no longer have to spend each and every day in the same office environment like they used to. And with workspace options that seem to increase every day — and get cooler and more interesting by the minute — remote work has never looked better.