Working in a coffee shop, café or pub has a definite appeal for many freelancers. It provides a change of scenery, auditory and visual stimulation, some level of human interaction and somewhere to grab food or a drink whenever you fancy. It also provides warmth. Let’s face it, heating the whole house in the winter just so you can you work in one room and not freeze to death on the way to the kitchen or loo can be inconvenient and costly!
But it can be hard to find a table sometimes, and there’s always the problem of trying to eke out those coffees so that the managers (who quite fairly want their premises full of people eating, drinking and therefore spending) don’t glare at you or ask you to move on.
If you live in London, a new app has an answer to your dilemma.
Matching people with places
Sanj Mahal, the man behind the concept of AndCo, was inspired to create it when his wife returned home from a business meeting and commented that she didn’t know why people didn’t use pubs for meetings, as these were often empty at times that coffee shops were full.
Mahal saw a chance to create a system and an app that would match empty places and periods of time (when premises owners would welcome even small-spending trade over little or no trade) with freelancers and other professionals seeking places to work or have a meeting. The company raised £800,000 in angel finance to fund growth.
The advantage for premises owners? Increased trade. “75% of restaurants get 70% of their revenues on Saturday,” Mahal commented to Forbes, meaning they welcome the chance to fill their seats at other times.
The advantage for app users? Access to work places with secure, high-speed Wi-fi where they will be welcomed and find space available, at a price way below that charged by many co-working companies.
AndCo costs and benefits
Freelancers can use the app as much or as little as they want and when they book a place, they know they have desk space that’s theirs for the duration of their booking. They also know there will be sockets available so that they can charge their devices, and secure, high-speed Wi-fi, as AndCo install their own secure networks in each of their locations. Meeting rooms are now available to book too.
Community guidelines ensure members respect each other and don’t make too much noise, while the internal social platform provided by AndCo also gives app users the chance to connect with others professionally or socially. There are plenty of London venues to choose from, with more coming aboard all the time. The service has around 1,000 users in beta mode.
So how much does all this cost?
£20 a month, with no extras or booking fees. If you’re not sure it will work for you, you can choose a 30-day free trial and see if it fits your working lifestyle and needs.
Fancy giving it a try and working somewhere this winter that’s probably more warm, well-lit and a lot more sociable than your workspace at home? Then give AndCo’s 30-day free trial a go.