Coworking Turns 6

Traditionally, society forces us to choose between working at home for ourselves or working at an office for a company. If we work at a traditional 9 to 5 company job, we get community and structure, but lose freedom and the ability to control our own lives. If we work for ourselves at home, we gain independence but suffer loneliness and bad habits from not being surrounded by a work community.

This excerpt is from Brad Neuberg’s first writing about coworking on this day in 2005.

Today, coworking in unmistakably a global phenomenon with spaces and communities active and forming in cities and cultures around the world.

Events take place to discuss the present and future state of coworking. The press has a darling.

But most importantly, as Brad seemed to hope for in 2005, coworking is fundamentally changing peoples’ lives by changing not just where they work, but how they work, and who they work next to.

While it’s trendy now, Coworking is so much more than a trend. Today, we celebrate 6 years of working together as a global community of people dedicated to the values of Collaboration, Openness, Community, Accessibility, and Sustainability in their workplaces.

For today, I’d encourage you to remember that coworking isn’t just an idea, or a trend, or even a “kind” of place.

Coworking is what people want for themselves.

I write this post proudly as a member of this community. Thank you for the most exciting ride of my life.

-Alex Hillman, Indy Hall, Coworking in Philadelphia

NY Post Article: Creating a Wireless Hub

photo from NY Post article“It’s impossible to go through life with blinders on in New York City,” says Economopoulos. “You have to figure out how to live with millions of other people. That’s what coworking is about.”

when elliot winard transplanted himself to nyc, not only did he find a new city, but a new community of like minded folk. if you’ve been wondering what’s it like to cowork, read this great article by Kiera Butler in the New York Post.

Coworking: 2 Years and Going Strong

Brad Neuberg: Coding In Paradise: Coworking – Community for Developers Who Work From Home: “Join Spiral Muse and Brad Neuberg in creating a new kind of work environment for free spirits!”

This was the initial blog post I wrote kicking off coworking, an initiative I started to provide new kinds of work spaces for those tired of both corporate offices and coffee shops. I had recently quit my job, and was going into business for myself as a consultant. I needed community and structure but also wanted to have the independence and freedom of working for myself. Why couldn’t I have both?

Over the last 2 years, coworking has now spread all over the world, with 3 coworking spaces in San Francisco, spaces in New York City, ones opening in Paris, and more. We have a coworking wiki, blog, and mailing list that are brimming over with activity. There’s even been a Business Week article on it in the last few weeks!

It’s funny to see what of the initial idea has survived and what has changed — I initially wanted coworking to be a bit more hippie, with yoga and stuff, but that didn’t seem to work for as many people as other aspects. It’s also been a great exercise in giving ideas away — literally over the last 2 years I would constantly tell folks to steal the idea and take it in their own direction. If I hadn’t done this coworking would definently be dead today, since the original Spiral Muse space closed about 8 months after it opened. If it wasn’t for folks like Chris Messina, Jay Dedman, Ryanne Hodson, Tara Hunt, Shlomo Rabinowitz, and more, coworking would be far different and wouldn’t be where it is today. Coworking is actively being recreated and redefined every day, pushing into new directions.