All over the world, freelancers and entrepreneurs are creating co-working spaces in order to make the most of shared resources and establish a sense of community for those working independently in professions that can be quite isolating.
While co-working spaces might differ in size, aesthetic and concept, the essence of a shared work environment remains the same: to have access to an environment where work is meaningful and collaborative, autonomy is celebrated and where interaction and network is refreshingly authentic.
Would it work for you? Here are some of the benefits of working in a shared working space.
One of the advantages of working in a shared working space is that all resources are communal. For example, in some countries around the world, the price of a fast internet connection might be expensive for a single entrepreneur to take on alone, but in a shared working environment, this cost can be lowered significantly when divided between other members. Even sharing other kinds of resources like coffee and a kitchen counter can provide an additional sense of interconnectedness that can lead to new conversations and lower overheads.
For those who work independently but do enjoy interacting with others, a co-working environment can provide a welcome social element in a day mostly spent staring at a screen. Many co-working spaces are also proactive about organising events and establishing a sense of community, which can be beneficial for those looking for both social interaction and networking opportunities. These aren’t enforced but a good way to collaborate and share inspiration.
While diversity is inevitable in our multicultural world, in some corporate environments people may be encouraged to conform to a certain standard of dress and adopt a certain work persona in order to perform in their chosen profession. In a co-working space, a sense of authenticity is encouraged, and while some co-working environments might choose to focus on a particular target market, overall a sense of individual identity is appreciated for the contribution it can bring to a shared space.
The Co-Working Manifesto
More than just a practical way to make the most of shared resources and interact with likeminded people and network, the creation of co-working spaces is part of a global movement to redefine the definition of what it means to work. According to The Co-Working Manifesto, in opposition to what is referred to as “the silos and secrecy of the 19th/20th century economy”, the aim of the co-working movement is to address the challenges of our time through creating “an economy of innovation and creativity in our communities”.
The Future of Work
The fact is, that the face of work as we know it is changing. While for many years people have worked within defined roles and spaces, the rapid pace of technological change and development means that we are more interconnected than ever before. Global conferences such as the Global Co-Working Unconference (GCUC) highlights the fact that co-working is not just a fad, but part of a global movement to consider the future of work. The implications of this movement are vast, but sharing ideas and working together in collaborative atmosphere seems a good place to start exploring the possibilities. Do you want to be part of the revolution?