Freelance Friday: Unbundling the Office

About the author: Antonio Alonzo is an  entrepreneur and community builder. He is the Founding President of compost advocacy organization Dig Easy, Entrepreneurial Community Coordinator at Fund 17, and the New Orleans Organizer for Freelance Friday.

The Shop, a newly established coworking space in the Contemporary Arts Center, will host Freelance Friday on September 29, inviting professionals, entrepreneurs, and others in the New Orleans area to spend the day coworking free of charge.

If the word “coworking” sounds strange to you, take note this term has emerged to refer to the global phenomenon of the decentralized office. As the gig and freelance economy self-multiplies and startups discover accelerated growth when co-located in a workplace comprised of a diversity of organizations, rather than a dedicated and siloed office, coworking spaces have popped up in droves around the world. New Orleans is no exception to the trend.

Freelance Friday, a free once-a-month coworking pop up that happens at coworking venues in cities around the world, has been a consistent event in New Orleans since mid-2016. For many attendees the event represents a chance to feed off an atmosphere of collective productivity, find clients, get referrals, tap into previously undiscovered resources, and discover inspiration from others dedicated to their own hustles. These benefits are the types of experiences that have resulted from the unbundling of the office in the form of the coworking space.

The event has taken place at coworking spaces such as the Blue House in Central City, the Warehouse in the Bywater, Landing Zone in the Lower Garden District, Propeller in the South Broad corridor, and the former IDIYA makerspace that was also on South Broad. A few of these events have also been held at the Jazz Market, an event venue and community space.

The Shop, which just opened September 1, is the latest in a series of such spaces emerging around the New Orleans. By hosting Freelance Friday, The Shop hopes to reach potential members that share their vision for a connected, collaborative coworking community.

This is a chance for members of the public to be one of the first to try out this new space free of charge. To close the day, guests will enjoy complimentary Urban South beer on tap and network over happy hour at 5:00 pm.

Since the first Freelance Friday New Orleans in 2016, the coworking pop up has grown from a casual conclave of productive people, to a dynamic community of freelancers, telecommuters, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and travelers with one thing in common: an itch to ditch the solo coffee shop, the siloed office, and get together to cowork and network.