Coworking is redefining the way we do work. The idea is simple: that independent professionals and those with workplace flexibility work better together than they do alone. Coworking answers the question that so many face when working from home: “Why isn’t this as fun as I thought it would be?” Beyond just creating better places to work, coworking spaces are built around the idea of community-building and sustainability. Coworking spaces uphold the values set forth by those who developed the concept in the first place: collaboration, community, sustainability, openness, and accessibility.
How did coworking get started?
Coworking was started in 2005 by Brad Neuberg in San Francisco. From Brad:
In 2005 I was working at a startup and was unhappy with my job. Before that I had worked for myself doing consulting and traveling and hungered for the community a job can provide (more about what I was working on ). At that point I was confused because I had both worked for myself and worked at a job and was unhappy because I couldn’t seem to combine all the things I wanted at the same time: the freedom and independence of working for myself along with the structure and community of working with others.
… I decided to create a new kind of space to support the community and structure that I hungered for and gave it a new name: coworking.
While Brad only built one little coworking community, his project attracted the attention of others who saw the potential in the concept. Key among them were Tara Hunt and Chris Messina, who were well-versed in the potential of decentralized, people-led movements. With Brad’s blessing, they created public spaces where people could discuss and collaborate on the idea of coworking anywhere in the world. They built the Coworking Wiki, Coworking Google Group, and this blog, among other things, and invited anyone interested to join and to participate.
It turns out that, all around the world, people were feeling the same way Brad was feeling. Armed with laptops and wifi, people with increasing freedom to work anywhere found themselves wanting to gather with intention in a shared space. Coworking gave them a word to connect with others who were interested in the same thing, in their town or on the other side of the world.
How can I get involved?
First and foremost, you can join the Coworking Google Group and introduce yourself. With thousands of people from around the world discussing coworking every day, it is the de facto home to the movement.
You can also update the wiki with information about coworking in your city.
You can also post to this blog! The Global Coworking Blog is a shared online space for anyone who has something to offer this ever expanding community. Anyone can blog about coworking by clicking here to submit a concept and write a post.
Finally, you can of course look for and join a coworking space in your town. If you can’t find a coworking community, or can’t find one that matches your values and needs, you can of course start one of your own. No permission necessary! Building a coworking community is no small task, but you’ve literally got a world of people by your side ready to assist.
We are coworking. Welcome to the movement!