Have you ever gone on vacation and wished you didn’t have to return home for work that Monday?That’s what happened to 32-year-old Campbell McKellar, founder of NY-based Loosecubes.
Her company, which has $1.23 million in funding, wants to help people work out of any office in the world, wherever a cubicle is free — kind of like a Regus office merging with a Craigslist roommate posting.
Any company can list an open desk and charge workers in similar fields to fill it for days, weeks, or months at a time. Cubicles are listed in 186 cities worldwide, with destinations ranging from Miami to Poland.
Currently, Loosecubes does not charge for any of its listings or transactions; McKellar is more focused on growing the product than generating revenue, although payment-focused features will be rolled out soon, she says.
McKellar came up with the idea for Loosecubes while working out of a cottage in Maine. “[During the recession] my office was depressing,” McKellar recalls. “I told my boss, ‘I’m not going to quit, but can you give me three months to work remotely? So my boyfriend and I went up to northern Maine and worked from a cottage.
“I realised I could work sustainably, remotely. I though a lot of other people could too,” she says.
The problem with working from Maine though, were all of the distractions. “My boyfriend and I would be fighting for the one place with mobile service in the house, things like that. I ended up really wanting an office I could work out of that would allow me to come back home to the cottage and have a glass of wine at the end of the day. I thought, Oh my God, if I can pull this off I’ll never have to go back to New York! I had this dream of being able to do this all over the world — doing my job in places that inspire me.”
She’s a social person and doesn’t want to work alone. Instead, she wants to work virtually from anywhere but keep the office in the picture. With Loosecubes, she hopes people will be able to walk down the street to an office of their choice, and meet new people to work alongside.
We like the idea of being able to work from anywhere — like from this pool in Miami. But will our bosses really be ok with that? McKellar thinks so, and research seems to suggest that the world is moving in that direction.
A GigaOM study found: “In a recently conducted survey of both users and decision makers, 62 per cent of businesses reported having employees who work remotely either full time or part time. Of these businesses, 34 per cent of employees conduct work away from the office, spending about 40 per cent of their time at either a client site, at home or in public spaces.”
“The American dream has changed,” she says. “But the office hasn’t caught up with it yet. People want to have total control over what work they do, and where they can do it. Loosecubes is remaking the office for the digital age.”