I love me a freelancer working party. As a co-working aficionado who doesn’t frequent co-working spaces enough to foot the bill for a monthly membership, I was curious to check out Croissant. Founded in 2015 and dubbed “the Uber of rentable desk space,” Croissant is a platform that’s comparable to Deskpass, which, as you might have guessed, is like the ClassPass for coworking.
For a monthly fee, you can rent out a desk at coworking spaces in major cities around the world, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Berlin.
Croissant currently offers a seven-day trial for any of their subscription plans. So, being frugal AF, I naturally signed up to check it out for a week.
Croissant offers three subscription plans. For Los Angelenos, the pricing is as follows:
Explorer: $35 a month. This gives you 10 hours a month for desk rentals. Plus you can bring a guest for $6 an hour. Creator: $115 a month. You’re allocated 40 hours of coworking a month, plus 5 guest hours. Luminary: $225 a month. This plan offers 120 hours a month, plus 20 guest hours.
The pricing varies slightly according to the city in which you're based. For instance, the pricing if you live in Washington, D.C., starts at $25, and starts at $39 if you’re based in New York City.
I signed up for the “Creator” subscription, and made a note to cancel my subscription after 7 days, lest I be charged $115.
After you create an account and pick a membership level, you download Croissant’s app. From there, it’s pretty straightforward: you can filter which spaces you want to work at based on location, operating hours and any desired amenities, such as pet friendliness, bike storage or available extra monitors. You can then place a hold, which saves you a space for up to an hour; or check in on arrival.
One downside is that Croissant membership doesn’t come with conference room access (which is a little confusing, since “conference room” is a listed amenity you can select when searching for a co-working space). As I rarely have in-person meetings, this wasn’t a biggie.
I prefer to park my rump at a co-working space for an entire day. But for the sake of making the most of my week-long Croissant, I checked out a space in Santa Monica, California, one day, and two spaces in downtown Los Angeles the following day. You use your app to check in and out, and keep track of your time spent coworking by the minute.
For the most part, it was easy to check in and out, and for one of my sessions I had a friend join me. (If you go over the monthly time allotted for guests, it’s $6 an hour.)
While I enjoyed working in different spaces around town, co-work-hopping defeats the purpose of co-working to network and build community. While fellow co-workers were friendly, as a “day passer” I felt like a bit of an interloper. I’m sure that if I frequent a single space enough, I’ll become more acquainted with some of the regulars.
This may be purely because of where I live in Los Angeles, but while there are 17 locations listed in the city, not many were near me. The closest one was in Santa Monica, and a handful of coworking spaces are in the South Bay or Orange County, which are about 30 minutes to an hour on the highway.
This is a tiny thing, but I felt the app could have differed slightly from the desktop version. Case in point: There are a lot of amenities you can select to filter, but some weren’t necessary, such as free coffee, snacks and mail service, which most spaces offer. As you’re scrolling down on your phone, the list can seem long. This is nitpicky, but I wish there was a way to hide the amenities list.
If you’re looking at cost alone, Croissant is more expensive than Deskpass, which is $49 for four visits a month, $99 for 8 visits a month, or $199 for 20 visits a month. You can visit any single space up to five times. You can also sign up for a year subscription, which saves you hundreds. Deskpass offers fewer cities than Croissant, and currently offers spaces in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Austin and Denver.
Like Croissant, Deskpass allows you to roll over unused visits from the prior month. You can cancel anytime. A monthly membership with Deskpass grants you access to networking events and some discounts. Plus, you can attend mixers with fellow freelancers. (Money-saving tip: A lot of major cities have free or discount co-working days, which you can easily find on Meetup or Eventbrite.)
If working in a single space for a a short stint is more your thing, Croissant is a better deal. If you’re like me and tend to stay put at a single coworking space, you’d fare better moneywise with Deskpass.
I wish Deskpass offered a guest pass option. That would be like getting the best of both worlds. And while I haven’t used Deskpass, because I tend to stay in one coworking space for a long period of time, I would choose Deskpass over Croissant purely for cost reasons.
However, you’ll need to check out different spaces and figure out which option is best for you.
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