One part of the concept isn't new: Nearly a decade ago, my friend Amit Gupta started inviting fellow freelancers over to his tiny Manhattan apartment after he realized he missed the brainstorming and camaraderie of an office. The idea, which he dubbed Jelly, later spread to over a hundred cities.
But the Swedish version, called Hoffice, takes a different and more structured approach. Everyone in the group works in 45-minute shifts, based on research suggesting people can't concentrate for more than 40 minutes at a time. When the shift ends, an alarm clock buzzes, and the group takes a short break to exercise or meditate. Before starting again, everyone explains what they hope to get done, to add a little social pressure to actually accomplish something.