Lupita Espinoza can often be seen pushing a stroller up one of those steep San Francisco hills that many of us try to avoid. She can’t avoid it, though -- it’s the way to work.
“I am very lucky that I have a nice family -- they have been flexible with me,” she says.
She looks after two children at once, both 3-year-olds, a girl and a boy. Today she’s taken them to Precita Park, near their house, to play in the sandbox. Lupita is the little girl’s nanny; the little boy is her son, Orlando. She brings him along while she works. Since her own child is getting some of her attention, the girl’s parents pay her less than they might otherwise.
Instead of working alone, independent workers—freelancers, contractors, independent consultants and temps—are increasingly joining co-working spaces. These are collaborative work environments where independents can rent desk and meeting space down to the hour. Roughly like a gym membership, at co-working spaces, you pack your laptop instead of your sweats.
In Oakland, 2012 is the boom year for formally expanding the prevailing cubicle-centered notions of work and worker archetypes. By the end of the year, Oakland will have at least four formal co-working spaces.