Breather River North space

Breather: Airbnb for office space?

It’s difficult not to be aware of the limitations of working from home: No professional spot conference room to host clients, and sometimes, they themselves don’t have the space to share when we need to meet. What with the real estate shakeup that Airbnb has caused, it seems inevitable that hourly office spaces have arrived.

Coworking spots serve a specific purpose that’s amazing for many entrepreneurs, but sometimes, I’m just using their swank digs for a few hours of training or to host a bigger meeting. And that space has to look good to that client, too.

Enter Breather. A startup launching in Chicago but already in New York City, the San Francisco-Bay Area, Boston, Los Angeles, Washington DC, London, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa, Breather rents out office spaces for as little as 30 minutes, on up to a full day. I had a chance to check it out in River North (Chicago), at a smaller spot I could comfortably work in that was quiet, near to restaurants and shops, and still boasted parking in the middle of the day.

The spot was cute and relaxed but modern—a table and chairs but also a sofa. Toss in some startup-friendly entrepreneurship books, a whiteboard and Tootsie Rolls galore (they already won me over), and I can see it being a great getaway to concentrate, or brainstorm with a team.

The only downside to my Breather spot was a lack of temperature controls, but otherwise the space fit my needs quite well. Depending on your budget, the $45 per hour price may make a coworking spot more attractive, but for a certain calibre of meeting it would be ideal.

What strikes me about this setup is that unused and underutilized spaces will be pressed into use, by just about anyone. I just hope it goes suburban, too!

I was able to try Breather for free. All opinions are my own.

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