Blankspaces: For Freelancers Who Miss Their Cubes

foil_cube.JPGIn catching up with my email last week I came across this gem from Thrillist heralding the coming of the “promised land” for freelancers: a business called BlandSpaces BlankSpaces that will rent you a cube. And I just need to ask: WHAT ON EARTH IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Okay I get that there is a high speed network and you can use the copier and paper cutter and they’ll sign for your UPS packages, but c’mon people is all that worth having to get out of your pajamas? I think not. Why do you suppose they call it freelance work anyway? Because you’re free–free to not comb your hair and go barefoot, free to take a nap in the afternoon, free to play the Black Eyed Peas at high volume, to fart out loud and yell “fuck” when your computer PC does something stupid. And what do you want to do? You want to rent a cubicle so that you can work in a building with 30 to 40 other people, because god knows, what fun is work unless you can hear other people sneezing and giggling and munching on their snacks. I know when I do freelance work I miss the commute and the joy of sharing a bathroom with dozens of other coworkers. What a genius idea to save people from the loneliness and isolation of working from home. They’re even going to have a social networking site. Shackles never felt so snug and comfy. If I were a freelancer, I’d sure be rushing right out to lease myself a piece of that monolithic insanity.

Foil cube pic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

13 Replies to “Blankspaces: For Freelancers Who Miss Their Cubes”

  1. This simply can’t be true – people actually MISS eating shitty birthday cakes and getting sick five or six times a year?

    I haven’t worked in an office since 1998 and have been sick maybe three times since then. Maybe.

  2. You’ve got to be kidding! I left office/cubicle life almost 5 years ago for a life of working from home as a freelancer and have never looked back.

    Never again will I voluntarily be trapped in a confined space day-in and day-out with a group of people with varying degrees of undiagnosed mental instability. If I miss that, I can take a walk downtown.

  3. I agree that blankspaces doesn’t present itself very well, but this is part of a growing and not entirely ‘monolithically insane’ trend called ‘Coworking‘ where freelancers work together and share resources even though they have no business relationship. If I were a freelancer I might be interested in the concept, but rather than renting a cube amongst 30 strangers, I’d probably try to find a very small group (4 or 5) of people whose company I already enjoy to share a comfy lil’ office.

  4. Fair enough, thedaniel. If I needed fancy equipment or the like, I could see coworking, but to me, misanthrope that I am, the joy of freelance work is the no-co aspect of it. I’m with Sartre on the whole “Hell is other people” thing.

  5. I don’t know, Travis. The vitriol is kind of high here on this topic. Fourteen years ago, after my daughter was born, I rented a cubicle in a mid-sized real estate office for my freelance writing. I went to “the office” every day at 9:00 and left when I was done for the day, whatever time that might be. Going to an office with few other distractions — no TV or radio to distract me, etc. — instilled a sense of discipline I never had before that.

  6. OMG I liken the cube dweller to the cave dweller only shackled harder with a cyclops montoring every keystroke of the day. A cube is just a different name for a cage. Hell the last employer gave us electronic keys that not only unlocked doors but monitored our every movement in the freaking building. The knew whether you stood in front of urinal 1 or sat in stall 2 and for how freaking long. Awful.

    I left the cube 5 years and 5 months ago and count my days of freedom. I will never go back. Rare I use an absolute but that one is for certain.

    Man nor beast was never meant to be kept in a cage. That is why I meander and follow the greatest curiosity.

  7. I disagree… I actually just signed up for Blankspaces and am really looking forward to getting out into the real world again. I’ve been working from home for 2 years now and although I do love having freedom, I also miss listening to KROQ on my morning drive, and my daily morning routine. I also miss having interaction with people on a daily basis and started getting sick of my apt. Unlike the other stuffy exec. office suites that I looked at, Blankspaces has a modern decor and actually allows you to choose the time and day that you want to come in. I got a private office for three days a week 11-6pm (so I dont have to sit in traffic). The best part is that I have friends coming in to work next to me so we can all collaborate on things together. I think the co-workspace concept is genius. Who can afford a color laser copier and projection screen on their own? I also get to use the conference room at my leisure so I don’t have to do the “Starbucks Pitch” anymore. Oh yeah… It’s right across the street from Busby’s (which has a killer happy hour). I guess it depends what kind of work you do really… For instance, if you’re a writer, you wont want any distractions… I’m an entertainment publicist and need interaction!

  8. OK, Wow, I think we are all missing something, YES we love the life of being a freelancer (working in your PJ’s and not working with the crazy people) HOWEVER, how professional is meeting at Starbucks or in you’re living room……. I guess everything is different for everybody…this place sounds interesting!

  9. I’m not a person who makes dreams happen, but say I were, unless I lived right by Wilshire why would I want to come to your fake office on Wilshire? I would think if I’m the kind of person that could make dreams happen I’d want you to come to me. I want you to come to my office in Beverly Hills or Malibu or wherever it is that people who listen to pitches live. I may tell you to meet me for drinks, but come to your fake office on Wilshire with that freakin’ traffic. Do you validate my parking?

    That’s like telling your date you have a fabulous loft in downtown when you actually just live in a one room SRO. Yeah it’s kind of like a loft because the whole one room thing, but no ones buying that and no one is going to buy that you’re more professional than someone who pitches at Starbucks because you were the kind of sucker who rented a cubicle.

    Now if this company was a little more on the down low in regards to publicizing the whole “fake office” thing, but you know who isn’t a google maniac now? People give me an address and I’ll google it, not just for maps, but for info.

    You lease an office, not a cubicle unless your credit is really f**ked up. A real office will pretty much give you the same thing this cubicle thing will give you and it looks alot more professional if that’s the bs look you’re going for.

    Now if it’s for building relationship with other lonely freelancers then ok. There are some people who want other people around, I think it’s weird, but there are people like that. I have a friend who keeps coming by when I’m trying to work and I’m not sure how she makes money, but doing this to be more professional that debate I’m not going to buy it.

    Browne

  10. I can see the need. I’ve rented office space from a small business but it was a little uncomfortable because I always felt squeezed out. I’m having a lot more success just renting conference rooms when I need to. I think that a large office like that would be too high turnover. I’d me more comfortable with a small suite shared by other freelancers.

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