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In this series, The Way We Work, Entrepreneur Associate Editor Lydia Belanger examines how people foster productivity, focus, collaboration, creativity and culture in the workplace.

Picture the archetypal gig worker, freelancer, contractor -- or anyone who works remotely from a computer -- and you’ll probably imagine someone sitting in a crowded coffee shop, typing away on their laptop, taking calls through their earbuds and asking the person at the next table to watch their stuff while they’re in the bathroom (speed-washing their hands while praying that the stranger is trustworthy).

It might have been the third coffee shop they tried that day, after they arrived at the first couple of spots to find every seat, or every seat near an outlet, full. 

Related: Here's How WeWork Pinpoints the Perfect Locations for Its Co-Working Spaces in Neighborhoods 

If the worker is lucky, financially speaking, they might be able to graduate to a coworking space. But for those who don’t want to shell out several hundred to upwards of $1,000 per month, there’s a middle ground: restaurants that double as coworking spaces during the day.

KettleSpace co-founder Daniel Rosenzweig used to work on WeWork’s real-estate team, where he saw firsthand the high investment costs the coworking giant incurred in securing space, which it then passed on to its member base. Meanwhile, coffee shops were still full of squatting workers.

One weekday morning in 2015, Rosenzweig had not yet arrived at the office but needed to make a phone call. To escape the noise on the streets of Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, he ducked into a restaurant. There were no other patrons in the place, and Rosenzweig stayed there for four hours after his call ended.

“I had this eureka moment,” Rosenzweig says. “The freelance community, individuals who are starting their businesses out of coffee shops or working from home, deserve better.”

He started using his lunch breaks at WeWork to do some research. He’d walk the streets, peeking into coffee shops and restaurants during the peak lunch hours and take a headcount. At coffee shops, he found, an average of 75 percent of people inside were working on a laptop. Meanwhile, he says, most restaurant dining rooms were half full, max. 

Then he started having conversations. “I’d start with the bartender and work my way up to the GM,” Rosenzweig says. 

It was a family friend who eventually introduced him to Nick Iovacchini, the co-owner at Distilled, a bar and restaurant in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood. Iovacchini became a co-founder, and Distilled became the first location for KettleSpace in spring 2016. Twitter veteran Andrew Levy joined the team in early 2017, and the team expanded to additional spaces later that year. Today, there are six Manhattan locations and one Brooklyn location, with plans to expand beyond New York soon. Members can pick any location for the day with availability information online, and no restrictions on restaurant-hopping. 



https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/313514

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