Copass: The world is your oyster-office.

Photo by Stefano Borghi Cartier

I encountered this spirited group of schemers at OuiShare Fest 2014. Hard to miss, they were, in their royal blue jumpsuits. They are COPASS, creators of a network of several hundred inspiring co-working spaces all over the world, where you pay a monthly fee that allows you to just show up and work in any of them. Perfect for the frequently-traveling freelancer.

Here’s a tidbit from Copass’ brilliant and beautiful “travel diary“:

Collaborative spaces have been popping up everywhere on the planet at an ever increasing rate. Coworking spaces, Fab Labs, hackerspaces, maker spaces and all sorts of spaces have become obvious for a lot of people. The flexibility they offer, the relationships between people inside them, the way they let people experiment and learn matches the expectations of a new breed of people.

They act like servers, connecting talents and know-hows locally. Now what happens if you connect those spaces on a global scale ? What happens if instead of being connected to your local communities, you would be connected to a global community of local communities ? What happens if anywhere you go you can find a nice work environment and a community of talented and open-minded folks ?

(from this visionary post by co-founder Eric Van Den Broek)

Co-working offices are truly the hotties of the office world. If you haven’t tried working in one yet, you are missing out.

I remember when, as a temp worker (over a decade ago), I got placed at Pixar, and arrived for my first day of work. It was freaking Wonderland. Snacks stations offered gummy bears and Reese’s peanut butter cups. Every creative’s cubicle was its own wild, colorful self-expressive orgy, adorned with toy action figures, or decorated like a French bistro, or outfitted like the inside of a spaceship. The place blew my young mind, the idea that you could spend your 9 to 5 like this. (The bliss ended 4 days later when the executive producer –whose administrative assistant I was hired to be– summarily sacked me for being “too eager.” The one and only time in my life I’ve been canned. She, who shall remain nameless (though a little research will undoubtedly yield the one female executive producer operating a decade-ish ago), was known for eating her assistants alive. She might be an alien for all I know. I mean, who fires me?)

Digression! It must be the heat. The point is, when I discovered co-working, first in Brooklyn and then in Berlin, and since then in all manner of places, I realized I had again found Wonderland.

And this time I could stay as long as my heart desired.

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