The rise of the sharing economy has disrupted our relationships with objects, services, energy and spaces. And when it comes to the workspace, innovative work environments such as Hub Bay Area are saving young entrepreneurs money while exposing them to new ideas traditional office spaces cannot offer. Now a Silicon Valley start-up, with its new app on the loose, makes it easier for any freelancer or group of professionals to score a co-working space or conference room rental quickly and efficiently.
LiquidSpace offers various types of spaces that helps its members find workspaces on the fly. While co-working has changed the nature of the relationship between tenants and offices, they can still be out of reach for solo practitioners, non-profits or very young companies. Sometimes a group of people need a space such as a conference room quickly. And while coffee chains such as Starbucks have had a role in giving working people more flexibility with scheduling, sometimes that giant sucking sound of milk being steamed does not foster a creative working environment. To that end, LiquidSpace now parters with Marriott to give its members even more options to hold meetings or brainstorming sessions.
Hotel conference spaces are part of the offerings Marriott provides to LiquidSpace users. Traditionally, booking a conference room at a hotel was a hassle, with all the negotiating and telephone back-and-forth. Meanwhile, like those spare bedrooms available on Airbnb.com, many of those rooms sit empty for most of the day. Those rooms, and spaces in hotel business centers, are now available for a term as short as an hour on LiquidSpace.
And in a move that shows other multinational corporations how it is done, Marriott offers a bevy of spaces for free: sofas in lobbies, long tables in a dining area, pods or nooks in a hotel’s public spaces. Most of the free spaces are at Marriott’s Courtyard properties: and most of the spaces are brightly lit and adorned with modern furniture--these Courtyard properties, mind you, no longer look like a Barbie Doll funeral parlor on the inside. So for a group of “collaborators” who have got to meet but just do not have the coin to shell out for a meeting space, this makes for a much better option than a table at the local Peet’s--if there even is a table. On the flip side, for those with more of a budget, conference rooms at high-end Marriott properties in the Bay Area run from $20 to $50 an hour, a few hundred bucks for the half-day or day--not a bad deal when that last minute meeting has got to be arranged. Marriott also benefits with earning revenues from spaces that otherwise would have remained empty.
In addition to California, Marriott offers this “Workspace on Demand” program in six other states and Washington, DC. Booking is even easier than choosing a hotel room, though each property has various policies on cancellation policies and how much time in advance before a space can be reserved. For now the Marriott-LiquidSpace portal is in beta; watch for it to become as robust as LiquidSpace’s main site, complete with user reviews and even the ability to see who is at a space in real time. Partnerships like this one show that there is plenty of office space ripe for the taking; it is now a different world where people do not need it for eight to 10 hours day after day.
Leon Kaye, based in Fresno, California, is a sustainability consultant and the editor of GreenGoPost.com. He also contributes to Guardian Sustainable Business; his work has also appeared on Sustainable Brands, Inhabitat and Earth911. You can follow Leon and ask him questions on Twitter or Instagram (greengopost). He will explore children’s health issues in India February 16-27 with the International Reporting Project.
[Image credit: Marriott]