My headphones are plugged in to what I imagine a shoreside picnic coupled with thunderclaps and slight rain shower sounds like. If you have ever wondered who is lame enough to actually use a rain sound app, that would be me. It can also be you, too, if you were camped out in a busy cafe in Lahore’s commercial district.
I’m attempting to stay focused on the upcoming meeting, while the couple at the table on the left has once again asked me for the wi-fi password. Such interruptions, while normal if one is in the mood for people-watching or idle posturing in a swanky eatery, are frustrating if one is waiting to meet a client to finalize terms on a contract.
Office-less, officially, when it comes to our consulting work, my partners and I feel the need for a formal meeting room or conference room at least twice to three times a month. While that seems quite frequent, when we calculated the math, it still doesn’t make sense for us to invest in a permanent office in the near future. Reasons being that some of us are still working traditional 9-5 jobs while others prefer the convenience of flex-time and telecommuting afforded by the consulting work-life.
What Lahore desperately needs is an affordable Co-working space which is open to all types of professional, techies and non-techies, entrepreneurs, freelancers, cottage-industry workers, bakers and yes, even musicians.
What should the co-working space consist of? The usual, a conference room, a small kitchenette, desks or cubicles for hire by the hour or the day, reliable wi-fi/internet connection, a tv lounge/reception and a printer/fax machine corner to round off all the mundane necessities of grownup, office-life.
Let’s step beyond the vomit-inducing, Silicon Valley-esque marketing gibberish that immediately gets plastered upon the advent of a functional service idea. This is not a recommendation for all of you sitting on your butts to open up 5 co-working spaces right across from each other in Bahria Town and begin hosting ‘entrepreneurship workshops slash mentorship sessions slash fireside chats’ on the regular. I am not claiming to be your guru for new-fangled business ideas.
What I am recommending is a more holistic, survey-based approach to solving challenges your peers and neighbors are dealing with in your immediate vicinity. If you solve that challenge successfully, and lucratively, good on you! If you fail to solve that challenge the first time around, no problem; you’ll have earned goodwill in the community. Rest your bruised ego, keep your eyes and ears open, and rise up tomorrow with the intent to put your education and initiative to good use.
Note: I have heard inklings of a co-w0rking space popping up in my hometown, but I’m curious if there are any others on the horizon. If you know of any, leave a comment or drop a tweet at @catalystwoman.