Laila Dupuy is betting that you would.
Bored of working from coffee shops, and desperate for a bit of workday banter, Laila decided to address the problem head on with an affordable, sociable solution for the growing work from home brigade.
‘If you are tired of working alone at home, hunching over the small tables of a cafe, and want to be part of a greater community of women then stop by a Kitchin Table or even host one in your home or space.’
That’s the pitch by start-up Kitchin Table, which is aiming to target the growing masses of women who are looking to work for themselves, or work more flexibly. The lure of working from home or a cafe when you are stuck in an office from 8am – 6pm is strong for most, but as Laila found out, the reality is often very different.
“The idea came about as I was a freelance lawyer and was going nuts working from home and was desperate for adult female interaction. There is no tinder for female platonic relationships.
I was bored of my local coffee shops and places like WeWork were too expensive. I had a lightbulb moment where I thought – everyone has a house around me and is working alone.. why don’t we share our space and innovate together.”
As a host you could host a yoga class, a therapy class, a cooking class, or even a brainstorming session.
Kitchin Table is a mobile platform that connects women to cowork together at home. You can search for a coworking space by industry/skill, location and time. A unique algorithm connects you to women who share your interest or skills, and are attending or hosting a Kitchin Table near you.
As Laila explains, co-working nowadays comes under many different guises. “As a host you could host a yoga class, a therapy class, a cooking class, or even a brainstorming session. It can be as general as a coworking session that includes like minded women who work for themselves but miss the sense of community that comes from working in a communal space.”
As someone who has heart palpitations if I’ve forgotten to put the ‘good’ towel out for visitors, the thought of hosting strangers while trying to get a days work done sounds a little daunting. But according to Laila, co-workers are looking to socialise and forge working relationships with their hosts, rather than an expectation to be fed and watered.
“Feedback so far has been that users attend to work and socialise depending on what the mood / arrangement is; there is definitely a lot of advice and brainstorming that helps users with their business or projects. A host should provide a warm welcoming environment and be open to people. Refreshments would be a great bonus; great ideas always come about from a yummy cup of tea or coffee.”
We are essentially a broker that connects women together and allows them to turn their home or space into a business, and build local communities of like minded women.
So what of the costs? If you are interested in hosting a group at your house, then take a few photo’s of the work space, upload them to the app, set your price and away you go. Laila describes the commercial model behind the app as the same as Airbnb.
“We are essentially a broker that connects women together and allows them to turn their home or space into a business, and build local communities of like minded women. We take a small percentage of the host’s fee.”
She expects most will charge between £10-£15 (€11-€17) per day, putting it in line with many mid-price co-working spaces. Currently, Kitchin Table deducts 10% of that as a fee.
Having been selected as one of the thirty most promising start ups at SXSW and the Web Summit, Laila is ambitious about Kitchin Table’s potential. Recently launched in the US, all growth to date has been organic and through word of mouth. Next step is a marketing campaign to build on all the positive feedback so far.
“Feedback has been really great. Women have called it a movement, allowing them to feel free to work for themselves from home. We are launching an ambassador program and anyone interested should email me at email@example.com.”
The Daily Slog