In Portland, the sharing economy is coming for home office space

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You don’t need a magic ball to know that the future of the US office is hazy.

After all, some of us miss our cubicles and coworkers, while some of us would be perfectly happy to hide in endless home offices, even when the pandemic finally decides to back off. for real. Many of us are caught in the limbo of work, dividing our time on schedules yet to be determined, while our employers continue to pay rent for underutilized offices.

In that breach comes Portland-based startup Radious. Their elevator pitch? It’s Airbnb

(right down to the police on their website, frankly), but for the offices.

Founder Amina Moreau’s bet is that many people who remain isolated will nonetheless seek safe private spaces to gather and collaborate with colleagues, as opposed to hotel conference rooms, noisy cafes and co-working spaces. semi-private. they prefer not to travel a long way to get there.

His startup is in beta now in Portland with a handful of office space for rent, dotted around the city and suburbs. The goal is to expand for full neighborhood coverage, Moreau says, and coordinate with employers, who would then make the service available to their employees and take the note.

For hosts, a few office-friendly upgrades – an Eames chair here, a wifi booster there – can be very profitable, especially with pricing set based on how many people will be using the space. In one of the beta locations, for example, up to six colleagues can reserve a furnished backyard with a picnic table in North Portland, with access to an indoor studio with workstation, kitchenette and bathroom for $ 202 – a little more, Moreau says, that the owner would have charged for an overnight stay. (The price decreases with the number of people using the property; in this particular case, you can also increase access to a second indoor workstation in a restored Airstream trailer parked in the yard.)

Other locations that have registered so far include a converted air-conditioned train car in the Central Industrial Eastside for up to 14 people, and a chic ADU near Adidas headquarters in North Portland with access to a hammock in the backyard when you need it. pause. They are actively recruiting more potential hosts and are also reaching out to property managers.

“A lot of Airbnb hosts are disillusioned – the risk, the COVID parties, the wear and tear,” says Moreau. “They are professionals, who come to your space for work, not for play.”

Equipment in the workplace is clearly marked in the listings, exact Wi-Fi speeds for downloads and downloads, whether there are whiteboards and other office supplies handy, and whether you can connect HDMI and USB cables to on-site monitors. There are even disclosures about the neighborhood’s ambient noise potential from construction or traffic.

“This idea was born out of a difficult situation, and it offers people a safe escape”, said Moreau. “They can see people again and see their work more appreciated. We’re not cutting down a tree to do this, we’re not making new physical products here. We take things that are underutilized and use them more efficiently – it doesn’t make the world worse, hopefully it makes it better.

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