We're starting to look at how mobile workers choose and use touchdown spaces. These are workspaces mobile workers use while away from their regular work locations.
Starbucks is probably the best known and most widely used touchdown space. They combine convenience, free Wi-Fi and expensive coffee in an easy to find and use package.
Joining Starbucks and other coffee shops in offering touchdown spaces are a wide variety locations including libraries, hotels, chains like McDonald's and others.
Bars are even becoming touchdown spaces. Metro Focus has an article on Boffices, which they define as Bar + Office. They have a long list of New York boffices. My small, suburban town has a boffice. It's called the Roundup Saloon and it's the town's only freestanding bar. If you get tired of working you can play pool or their table-based version of shuffle board.
Several startups are trying to help mobile workers find touchdown spaces. Liquidspace, for example, lets mobile workers book free and for-fee space by the hour, with little or no advance warning. They have a great description of their service and locations:
Book last minute or plan ahead. Browse, reserve, and check in to space immediately at hip coworking venues, high-end business centers, or handy hotel lobbies or libraries. With LiquidSpace, choose a better space for what you need to do now.
Loosecubes is another touchdown space service provider. You can even search for spaces based on their "vibe" and other social and business attributes.
Many business center/executive suite companies offer touchdown spaces and services. A good example is Pacific Business Centers. They describe their touchdown services as:
Our Cloud Touchdown and Coworking plans provide mobile workers with unlimited walk-in access to touchdown office space and executive business lounges at any of our 14 California locations, and discounted access to conference rooms in over 200 partnering locations nationwide. Ideal for corporate road warriors and early stage entrepreneurs.
The large business center company, Regus, is very hot on touchdown spaces. Over the past couple of months they've announced deals with Shell Oil to put them in European gas stations and the French National Railway to put them train stations.
While coworking facilities tend to focus on regular users, they also offer touchdown services. Most have daily rates and many are part of the Coworking Visa program, which allows coworking members to use any of the participating coworking spaces.
Another coworking facility touchdown space effort is called "The League of Extraodinary Coworking Spaces". According to their website, they are:
... a unique network of coworking spaces with a common standard of excellence who have come together to provide all their members with a reliable, seamless coworking experience around the country.
IDC is forecasting there will be 1.3 billion mobile workers by 2015, with 212 million of these in North America. That's a lot of people needing touchdown spaces.