San Francisco Workers Are Setting up Offices in Parking Spots

Image from Twitter post by Joe Girton @yogirton Apr 29

Finding a good parking spot may become more difficult after a new trend out of San Francisco is spreading on Twitter: #WePark.

The concept was started by San Francisco entrepreneur Victor Pontis after he decided to move a desk into an empty parking spot and work on the street. He was inspired by another post he saw on Twitter.

“Somebody posted a photo of a truck that someone set up a bike parking on it and somebody mentioned, ‘What if you could work out of a parking spot?'” Pontis told the BBC in an interview. “I thought it was a pretty funny idea and I decided to do it last Thursday.”

After the initial test run went smoothly, Pontis decided to spread the word and invited others to join his outdoor office/parking space. About 30 people showed up.

“We live in a very expensive real estate market,” said San Francisco resident Jean Walsh. “It’s just so crazy to think the way we use our street is not reflective of that and so those parking spaces are just dirt cheap compared to all of the other real estate in San Francisco.”

It makes sense. Rent in San Francisco has gone up considerably over the years, and entrepreneurs like Pontis are struggling to fork over $400+ per month to rent a desk in a shared office space.

According to real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, the price to rent an entire office in San Francisco will come at an average cost of more than $81 per square foot. A parking spot on the street, however, is just $2.25 an hour.

At those prices, it’s no wonder why the #WePark movement is gaining steam quickly. Makeshift offices are already popping up all over the world including cities like Santa Monica, California and Toulouse, France.

The movement is also bringing together people who live and work in the community. An office in a parking spot is a great ice breaker and encourages collaboration and networking between other entrepreneurs looking to save money while pursuing their dreams.

Local businesses near the parking spaces could also see benefits. Coffee shops and other restaurants or stores could see a steady flow of customers if those customers are working at a desk in a parking spot just outside – especially if the bathroom is for customers only.

If you’re looking to set up your own WePark outdoor office, here’s a couple things you might want to take into consideration:

  • Make sure you’re near a public WiFi area so you can work online.
  • Make sure you bring a desk that can be easily moved if needed. Folding tables seem to be the norm.
  • Make sure there is a public bathroom nearby.
  • Don’t leave the space unattended for too long.
  • Post about it on Twitter and get people to join – the more people pitching in for the space, the cheaper your hourly rent will be.

Innovative, cost-saving ideas like this aren’t going away anytime soon. We’ll keep you updated on the latest.