Sharing Is Caring: How Coworking Is Changing How We Work
As traditional office settings become less and less common, shared office spaces — also known as coworking — are becoming more popular. Startups in particular are turning to coworking arrangements to save on some of the initial cost of doing business.
What Is Coworking?
What is it? A style of work that involves a common working environment, typically an office, but where activity is independent. Unlike a traditional office, those in a coworking environment aren’t usually employed by the same company.
Here’s a quick look at the relatively short history of modern coworking. (1, 2)
C-base opens in Berlin as one of the first hackerspaces in the world.
42 West 24 opens in New York City. Run by a software company, the space offered a pleasant work environment with flexible desks for groups and individuals.
The first official coworking space in San Francisco opens; it closes after one year and is replaced by the Hat Factory.
Chris Messina, the creator of the Twitter hashtag, launches the Coworking Wiki in San Francisco, making it one of about 30 coworking spaces worldwide. Those numbers would double each year until 2012.
The term “coworking” is first seen as a trend in Google’s database.
The first unofficial coworking meetups take place at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
By the end of the year, about 180 official coworking spaces are operating worldwide.
Large companies begin experimenting with coworking spaces, including TUI, one of Europe’s largest tourism companies, and banking behemoth ING.
By October, more than 2,000 working spaces are operating worldwide.
More than 100,000 people are working at coworking spaces by January.
Why Has Coworking Taken Off?
One major reason for the increase in shared working spaces is the changing nature of business and the workforce.
4 in 10
U.S. workers who will be temps, freelancers or contractors (3)
8 in 10
Large corporations planning to increase use of flexible workforce (4)
Nearly 90% of businesses have already adopted some cloud computing. (5)
80% of companies offer flexible working arrangements, including telework. (6)
Making It Work
One recent survey found that nearly 70% of people in coworking arrangements said they focused better while working, and 70% said they felt healthier. The benefits of a good coworking arrangement are significant, but consider a few tips to making sure your arrangement is the best it can be. (7, 8, 9)
Choose your space carefully.
Cultivate relationships with others in the space.
Respect the shared spaces.
Use the space to its fullest.
Work in the cloud if you can.
Ask for help and advice from others in the space, even if they’re not experts in your field.
Stay focused (invest in a good pair of headphones to help with that).
Always bring all chargers, cables and connectors you might need.
Use early-morning and late-day openings for quiet meetings.
4. http://http-download.intuit.com/http.intuit/CMO/intuit/futureofsmallbusiness/intuit_2020_report.pdf page 5