Excellent article in Sunday’s New York Times, “Destination: Laptopistan,” about “creative laborers” who hunker down in coffeehouses around the country so they don’t have to work at home alone. It’s kind of like co-working, but without the official structure of the co-working space.
Here are my favorite excerpts:
“Laptopistan’s is an entrepreneurial economy, driven by solitary thinkers…Here, people have large ambitions,” Mr. Olinger said. “Some have resources, some don’t. They don’t have career plans mapped out, but they have a career in mind. They’re not looking at a particular ladder to climb, they’re looking at a mountain to conquer.”
Laptopistan provides structure, and freelancers, like children, secretly crave structure. You come to work, for two or four or eight hours, and you take comfort in the knowledge that everyone else is there to work as well. There’s a silent social pressure to it all.
“It almost sounds sick,” said Selena Ross, a fellow Canadian freelance journalist I sat next to one day, “but the fact that people are watching me do my work helps me be what they expect me to be. It’s like working exhibitionism.”
Anyone out there working in a coffeehouse right now? What do you think?