Almost everyone flying solo (Read: without a significant other) amid this pandemic has struggled with isolation for the past few months. On the other hand, for those living with a SO, kids, or both, alone time is virtually non-existent. Now more than ever, so many of us are desperate for an escape. One clever new startup is giving quarantine-weary urbanites a way to do just that, if only for a little while.
According to its tagline, Globe promises its users a way to “find a nap on every corner.” It’s an ultra-short-term rental service that works like an hourly Airbnb. Approved users search the app for listings in their neighborhood to rent by the hour, confirm their rental, then pay between $50-75 per hour for the privilege. Given the current coronavirus situation, Globe is doing everything it can to assure guest and host safety. No overnight stays are allowed, for example. To prove they’re not feverish, potential guests are also required to send a photo of themselves with a thermometer before they’re provided check-in instructions.
Many guests are just desperate for an hour or two of alone time — a general escape, rather than a full-blown “day-cation.” Many more, however, want a change of scenario to mix up their Groundhog-Day-esque work-from-home situation. Globe’s owners confirmed some guests want a more professional, nicer-looking backdrop to host business Zoom chats or a quieter office space away from their kids.
Globe was founded in June 2019 by Emmanuel Bamfo and Eric Xu, but has since flown largely under the radar. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, demand has skyrocketed. The service currently has about 10,000 approved guests, but only half that many active hosts with available space to rent. The irony is that, like most of us, many Globe hosts are working from home right now. Bamfo confirmed it has another 100,000 guests on the waiting list. Unfortunately, none of them can be granted access until Globe has more hosts with available space.
Anyone seeking a brief reprieve from their WFH quarantine bunker can join the Globe waiting list for free. Although, given the explosion in demand, the pandemic may well be over before they’re actually approved.
For a cheaper, more fulfilling alternative to Globe’s by-the-hour retreats, learn how to escape safely to the outdoors during your local shelter-in-place outdoors.