The Coffice Connects Freelancers with the Perfect Place to WorkBy Kylie Jane Wakefield October 30th, 2012
Coffee shops are becoming the go-to place for independent workers around the world.
They are productive places where freelancers get work done. Forty-two million people in America alone (nearly one in three) are now freelancing, according to the Freelancer’s Union. While those numbers used to be limited to writers, artists, and other creative types, now people in all kinds of professions are joining the independent workforce.
Teresa Wiltz of The Guardian writes, “Today’s contract workers are lawyers, journalists, daycare workers, graphic artists, accountants, videographers … whatever the job description, independent living frequently means floating from project to project, cobbling together a living from many different sources. If you’re lucky.”
These facts are familiar to Sam Title, who runs The Coffice, a website and Twitter account devoted to a diverse group of freelancers who work in coffee shops. The site’s motto, “They call it ‘going for coffee’ ~ We call it ‘going to work’,” represents the group of people who frequent the site and participate on the Twitter feed. “I’ve found online and in my travels that sure, a lot of people are freelance something, but it just speaks to the greater growth of the telecommuting sector,” he says. “A lot of people are doing it. Some just hapen to choose the coffice as an option.”
Over two years ago, Title was talking with a friend at Starbucks, who planted the idea in his head for The Coffice. He wrote it out as a manuscript, and then decided it would be much more effective as an online project. The site is currently going through a revamp, which will be finished later in the fall, and will feature information about coffee shops around the world. Coffee shops in countries like the United States, Canada (where he’s located), Australia, Singapore, and Malaysia will be on there, among many others. “It’s amazing, the people that come out of woodwork when you create this culture,” he says.
Right now The Coffice offers its own blog, but it will be much more interactive after the revamp. The research on the coffee shops is either going to be exclusively done by Title or combined with crowdsourcing the information from freelancers, he says. That’s currently the function of the Twitter, where he tweets/retweets about the various coffee shops and tips for the workers. One recent tweet read, “Cofficers! Enjoy your weekends. But if you must work, try a different Coffice location to mix it up a bit #CofficeTips.”
The account boasts 3,132 followers, mostly from Title conducting his own research and finding people who follow coffee shops and talk about them. “It’s part of the community building and cultivation I’ve been doing,” he says. “When someone says ‘I’m looking for a place in Brooklyn,’ I catch wind of those tweets and I follow them.
Title, who is a full-time freelancer, working in the communications and marketing fields, was inspired to do the site, in part, because he holds coffee shops near and dear to his heart. “I know why it works for me,” he says. “Working from home doesn’t. I like the hustle and bustle. I like action. It gets my creative juices flowing. I like being among people, and the coffee and Wifi. It’s an environment and a culture that rings true to me. Everyone else has their own reasons for wanting to work in coffee shop but I couldn’t begin to speak to everyone who does it.”