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We know you’re out there. The number of independent workers around the world is exploding. Small businesses contribute an ever increasing amount to the economy and society, and the spaces that support them are an important part of the global entrepreneurial and creative ecosystem. And this is not just because they are offering them a place to work. It’s because they are offering them a better - nay, the best - place to work. Coworking spaces are creating opportunities for startups, entrepreneurs and freelancers everywhere. It’s time to celebrate that.
By Sophie Bonnet - Tuesday, 07 August 2012

This is a guest article by Sophie Bonnet from Deskwanted:

The explosion of the independent workforce means there is a new, and growing, generation of mobile professionals who can work everywhere and anywhere. But this newfound freedom can be a burden too. Not everywhere is conducive to productive work. And there are certainly very few places that foster communities of professionals and help them increase their networks and creative input through collaboration.

Coworking spaces are rescuing these office-less freelancers from the isolation of the home office and the distraction of the coffee shop, and presenting them with an opportunity to expand their networks through collaboration.

In order to celebrate the rise of the mobile worker and the coworking networks that support them, Deskwanted, along with Gidsy and Grasshopper, are launching the “Need a Better Place to Work?” photo competition, and together, the three companies represent this new workforce and the spaces that support them.

The companies behind it

Gidsy is making international waves as an online platform for skills and experience sharing. They take the best of the collaborative economy - the exchange of knowledge and experience - and allow people to take online connections offline. Gidsy offers activities in 12 European and North American cities, with more cities being unlocked each month.

Grasshopper is a virtual phone system for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. They believe in the power of entrepreneurs to serve as innovators in our society. The service allows freelancers, entrepreneurs and independent professionals to sound like a Fortune 500 company, allowing them take their calls anywhere, and manage them online.

Deskwanted is an international network of coworking spaces and coworkers, and the biggest online portal of coworking spaces worldwide. Through its platform, Deskwanted is helping mobile professionals connect with their ideal working community, and helping space operators manage and optimize their space.

The competition

The contest invites freelancers, entrepreneurs, startups and all users of collaborative workspaces to take photos of themselves working in ridiculous situations, thereby highlighting the value and necessity of coworking spaces.

Apart from helping create an album of hilarious capsules of mobile worker wiles, the best photos will win regional prizes.

One lucky winner will receive a complimentary placement to the value of 100€/USD in an activity listed on Gidsy, in any city they choose. Art and culture tour of NYC? Turkish food class in Istanbul? It’s up to you.

All North American entrants will also go in the draw to win a lifetime account to Grasshopper, the entrepreneur’s phone system. And the next ten best entries after that will receive a $100USD discount on all Grasshopper services.

In addition - yes, there’s more - the very best 12 photos that are submitted will be included in a coworking calendar, hung in coworking spaces around the world to be laughed at for the next 12 months. These snapshots of mobile-workers’ ‘workspace options’ will serve as a constant reminder that coworking spaces are the only option for entrepreneurs, and that collaboration and skills sharing is the only way forward.

How do I enter? (We’re glad you asked)

Anyone who’s for collaborative workspaces can enter. All you need to do is take a photo of yourself or a friend working in a ridiculous situation. In the metro? In a treehouse? On an ice rink?

The competition will run from August 7th to September 30th. Tweet your ridiculous photo to @Deskwanted with the hashtag #NeedABetterPlace.

Your photo will then be added to a Deskwanted facebook album with a caption including the original twitter link, to be laughed at for many months to come. The most creative and hilarious photos will win the above-mentioned prizes, and all entries will serve to put coworking and collaborative workspaces in the middle of the map of workspace alternatives for mobile workers. Get snapping!

For full competition details, visit the Deskwanted blog.

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