Coworking spaces provide a supportive community for mobile professionals who enjoy working in the company of like-minded independents. But for those lucky enough to work in a city that offers more than a couple of coworking options, it can be difficult (and costly) to decide which one is right for their work style and personality.
Lots of coworking spaces will allow prospective members to drop in for a day, but they're often asked to pay a daily rate, anywhere between $5 and $25. Likewise the Coworking Visa program will allow people to explore spaces around the world, but it only applies to those that are active members of a participating coworking space.
To address this disconnect in Canada, an alliance of coworking spaces called Coworking Toronto recently launched a unique new program called Passport.
Passport will serve as a a discovery tool for those who are new to or interested in coworking. The program allows professionals to try out several different spaces under one Passport, and maybe even find a space to settle in for a membership. The Passport entitles the visitor to one free day at all participating spaces listed on the Passport, paid in advance, and is welcome to try and/all of the participating spaces.
Access to the Passport program costs $75, and participating spaces include Camaraderie; the Centre for Social Innovation – Annex; the Centre for Social Innovation – Spadina; Coworkative; Foundery; Hackernest; and Park & Co.
"This is an incredible way to discover some of the coworking spaces in Toronto and see how different each one can be," Rachel Young, co-founder of Camaraderie Coworking told TechVibes. "We want to offer visitors a way to explore without worrying about commitment, and we're confident that through this discovery process some will be able to find a space they want to take up a resident membership, grow their business, and interact with some great existing members."
The Leage of Extraordinary Coworking Spaces, which launched in January, attempts to offer something similar in the U.S., although spaces must demonstrate their "excellence" in order join and it's aimed more at the traveling coworker, rather than those seeking a home coworking space.