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Shared Workspaces Offer A Communal Alternative To Working From Home

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For those feeling cut off by working from home, shared workspaces can provide a flexible, collaborative and money-saving environment for freelancers and startups alike. NY1's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following report.

Americans are working from home – lots of them.

According to the United States Census Bureau, 13.4 million people worked at home at least one day a week in 2010.

While the commute is great, the experience can be a little isolating.

"You need to get out, you need to be in an environment with other people, even if you are not talking to them," says Peter Gache, a user of shared workspaces. "You look around, you see other people working very hard, and it gives you the inspiration to work as hard as well."

Gache, a Californian, certainly seems inspired in the corner office he's nabbed for himself at "Regus," a company that provides flexible workspaces around the globe.

Unlike working in a coffee shop, the menu of amenties at Regus is extensive.

"We have a support team in place who's there for whatever type of support you might need," says Marketing Director of Regus Colleen Susini. "It might be scanning, it might be binding of booklets."

"There's conference rooms and meeting rooms that you can immediately take advantage of and there's a sense of camaraderie between other people and entrepreneurs that are here that are doing the same type of business that you are," says David Valazzi, another shared workspace user.

Even if your business involves more than just one guy and a laptop, shared workspaces might be the perfect fit to accommodate a growing team and your budget.

Sam Lundin, for example, is the CEO of Vimbly, an online activity-booking service.

His team of 10 rotates in and out of a 20-foot by 20-foot office space operated by "We Work."

"We basically have a dedicated private office in a building that has a lot of those," says Lundin.

As Vimbly is a relatively new site, Lundin was able to keep his start up costs down thanks to the shared amenities offered by a collaborative space.

We have seven conference rooms which we can use at any point in time," says Lundin. "We have copy machines, we have coffee, and we don't need to worry about facilitating this all by ourselves."

Perhaps the biggest benefit of a shared workspace, however, is shared knowledge.

Individuals are able to bounce ideas off one another, trading expertise and insights over the communal copy machine.

"You may be a lawyer and meet someone who does marketing who can help you grow your business," says Regus Spokesperson Grant Greeneberg. "You may be very creative, but need an accountant to help you manage your books, so there's a lot of great networking that goes on."

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