18 January 2011 ~ 0 Comments

What does it mean to be community driven?

Coworking is a community driven shared office where freelancers, entrepreneurs, and others break the isolation of working from home and the cafe to work side by side. Sounds great, but coworking is so much more. It’s a community of ambitious individuals to participate in discussions, share ideas, and build relationships.

Common Coworking Community Activities

  • Weekly lunch-Ins for members
  • Common areas for brainstorming, coffee breaks, relaxing with others
  • Host Meetups groups
  • Member led workshops
  • Present xTED Talks
  • Launch parties are hosted for members
  • Members are given a voice in major decisions

Coworking communities are member focused by allowing them to have a voice in the activities, facilitate presentations to teach a new skill, provide a gathering space for groups, and become a hub of ideas and debate. Coworking communities provide the events and social gatherings that build connections and that most traditional workers take for granted. For example, regular lunch-ins, weekly open brainstorming sessions, and large common areas help coworkers to connect with other freelancers and entrepreneurs. Most successful communities also allow for the members to act as an advisory board or board of directors similar to public corporations or non-profits to provide input on expansion or new services.

The goal is to be of help all of the members to know all of their coworkers and their businesses, and create a sense of unity and camaraderie. It is this sense of community and natural formation of friendship that drives coworkers to be more productive, creative, and better connected to other businesses. The global coworking survey further emphasized this point with 85% being more motivated while coworking, 88% having better interaction with people, and 42% making more money (versus a 5% decline).

Every coworking community is a bit different and evolves to have a different culture and attract different members. The values of collaboration and openness are often common throughout, but you should always check out a coworking community before committing. Talk to a few of the members or share a coffee with the community manager to get a sense of culture. IndyHall, Conjunctured, SandBox Suites, Beta Haus, Citizen Space, and Cohere Community are vocal advocates of coworking and are often cited as examples that personify these community values.