Hoffice: Airbnb for Homepreneurs
Get together with other home-based business people by opening up your office.
Earlier in the week I was doing some research for the co-working section of the book I am writing about overcoming the challenges of working from home and came across an idea which really appeals to me. It's called Hoffice and was started in Sweden in 2013 by Christofer Gradin Franzen who started out by inviting one friend to his home to work in the same space on their own individual projects. The idea was to overcome the loneliness of solo working, to use one home's resources instead of two and to get some motivation and accountability for getting on with a particular project.
There are now Hoffices all over the world, with the majority based in Continental Europe. If you are interested in finding one near you there is a location map here: Hoffice Location Map.
How does a Hoffice work?
There are a couple of roles which a Hoffice session needs – a host and a facilitator. One person can do both but a shy host might welcome a more outgoing facilitator. A Hoffice is promoted via a Facebook group called Hoffice [name of the town or area]; for example, Hoffice New York City. You simply invite people to join the Facebook group and then set up a Facebook event for the date, time and location for your Hoffice session. It's really up to the host to decide on the start and end time. For me 9.30 until about 3.30 or so would be just about right, with an hour for lunch.
The aim is to be focused for the whole day as opposed to using the day to catch up and chat. It's great, but not essential, if there is another room for making and taking phone calls or for 1-2-1 meetings between people who are wanting to learn more about each others' businesses. For my Hoffice we will use my kitchen as the main work zone and my home office for meetings and phone calls.
Hoffice – Hertfordshire
My Hoffice – Hertfordshire day would look something like this:
9.30 – Start with a run down of the time-table for the day, introductions and coffee/tea.
9.40 – Each person states what they want to achieve by the end of the day as the idea is for everyone to have some accountability.
9.45 – First session starts with a timer and silence for 45 minutes (headphones for people who want to ‘zone' out)
10.30 – Break for 15 minutes, top up of drinks, etc
10.45 – Second session
11.30 – 2nd break
11.45 – Third session
12.30 – Break for lunch. Everyone can bring their own picnic lunch or the host can provide a simple soup and salad for a nominal donation.
1.30 – Fourth session
2.15 – 4th break
2.30 – Fifth session
3.15 – 5th break
3.30 – Round up of progress throughout the day.
Each host can make it their own adding in some time for meditation, some training, a 10 minute life talk. You can mix it up as you wish and it will no doubt evolve over the weeks and month. The overarching aim is to make real progress with a project and you never know you might find some useful contacts too.
It is probably best to stick to a regular day of the week and time that members get used to so that Hoffice becomes part of their routine. When it comes to the expenses of running the day, it's done on a donation basis – a contribution for refreshments and the hosting.
So, what do you think about coming to a Hoffice day? Leave me your comments below. When Hoffice – Hertfordshire is up and running check back in as you'll be most welcome. I will be setting up a Facebook group in April and see if the idea catches on in my neighbourhood.