Latest 'Coworking' Services Combine Remote Offices, Transportation

By Mike Elgan  |  Posted 2016-05-15 Print this article Print
Cowork Spaces

A Silicon Valley startup says there's a better way. It's called SleepBus, and it's pretty much what it sounds like, but with a difference. It's also a coworking space on wheels.

The company launched last month with its first prototype bus—actually a Volvo truck hitched to a long trailer. The company is building 10 custom busses with sleep pods on the top deck and lounging and working areas on the bottom.

You're assigned a sleep "pod, which is a bunk bed with a curtain, power outlets to run and charge your electronics, and a reading light, but there's also lounging area and workspace with work desks. The bus also provides WiFi, coffee and a bathroom.

The SleepBus leaves San Francisco at 11 p.m. and arrives at 6 a.m. But you're welcome to sleep or work until 9 a.m. if you want to. It costs $48 one way.

So basically you show up, get some work done at a proper desk, and then turn in whenever you like. When you wake up in the morning, you're there. And if you take it both ways, you can skip out two nights in a hotel. Nice!


Let's say you want to take a working retreat as both a brainstorming and team-building exercise. One company has the ultimate idea for doing exactly that. It's called the Coboat.

Yes, it's a boat!

The company is a startup that realized the power of combining the thrill of sailing with the opportunity to keep working, thanks to the Internet.

The Coboat is an 82-foot catamaran, which can carry up to 20 passengers at a time. It travels around the world (from Thailand to the Maldives to the Mediterranean to the Caribbean to the Galapagos), picking up and dropping off passengers along the way.

It costs $971 for a week or $4,300 for a month. If you want to live and work on the boat for a year, the price is $50,630. That price includes a bed, a constant Internet connection, three meals a day, access to diving and other water-related equipment and all the port fees and other charges associated with showing up in various countries in a boat.

The Coboat makes wireless mobile broadband connections available to passengers whenever it's within range of cell towers near shore or in port. When out at sea, it uses a satellite Internet connection. So you always have an Internet connection. The boat has lounge and desk-like work areas.

The boat is eco-friendly, too. The boat sails under wind power until the wind dies down, at which point the solar-powered engine takes over. Water is created with a desalination plant onboard.

The Future of Traveling Coworking Spaces

I love the idea of mobile working spaces and, no doubt, we’ll see more innovation in this area. I'd like to see coworking train cars, airplanes with office space, coworking self-driving minivans and buses and more.

Coworking spaces have increasingly become popular among entrepreneurs and small business owners who find that shared office space provides not only an affordable alternative, but also a small community of like-minded professionals.

But the newest version—where you're actually traveling and even exploring in some instances while working—gives the "mobile office" idea a whole new meaning.


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