By way of sharing what we encounter as we criss-cross North America, this is the first in an occasional series of bits to help the curious with another perspective on how coworking is evolving, changing our workspace culture, our expectations and how our norms are affecting coworking in turn.
Just one perspective.
Background on our perspective: our experience rests in running, managing and advising on shared work environments since 1992 – ancient in today’s view. Those environments include “old-school” Executive Suites/Office Business Centers, high-tech incubators and the current hybrid environments; those that combine elements of coworking and business centers in a single business model.
We will share our own curiosities of particular models, understanding that there is a model for every user and the commonalities of success are, indeed, creating a strong community where these user-members are valued and relationships are the keystone of the experience….and the longevity of the center.
In fact, many of you who have already explored the coworking scene know of environments that relocated and kept the memberships intact. No greater testimonial.
Let’s dig in to recent experiences.
GCUC – Global Coworking UnConference Conference, Austin, TX. March 8-9. Second event of this size, although they’ve had a less formal structure that started in 2009.
What we learned along the way
Our extrapolation of some of the details is that it is a cultural evolution of how we work
For example, the 1960’s working culture moved from “The Company Man” to “Down with The Man”
The 1980’s evolved to “Greed is Good” made famous by Michael Douglas’ character in Wall Street
The Millennium has brought a greater sense of collaboration and community in the workplace – “let’s work together, break down barriers, share knowledge and resources”. Work to Live not Live to Work
While it is a 24/7 opportunity to work, it is also work when and where you want to because you can
Work is being measured on productivity, not face time in an office
HOWEVER – we still need a work community in order to feel connected to a bigger purpose – even if you are a solo-preneur. Coworking addresses the idea of working in community rather than in isolation.
Coworking leaders are still grappling with
Jean-Yves of DeskMag “Coworking = Physical equivalent of Social Media” – Love it!
We believe this audience may benefit from
Next Up – feedback from our experiences in Chicago and Evanston, IL.
Cheers and happy exploring!