When we say “coworking spaces”, the word that pops into our mind is “shared spaces”. Wikipedia defines coworking as a style of work that involves a shared working environment, usually an office or independent activity. Unlike in a regular office, coworking employees are usually not employed by the same organization.
The person behind coworking spaces is said to be Brad Neuberg who started the coworking movement in San Francisco in 2005 with the idea to combine the independence of freelancing with the structure and community of office space. He also invented the word “coworking” without a hyphen to describe these shared spaces where people can work freely without feeling burdened.
Coworking spaces have an aura that is completely different from a regular office. When we walk into such a space, the feeling of energy and motivation we get from all the excited occupants lights up the entire environment. We can see a variety of people, some being assigned private desks, and some engaged in deep conversations at huge shared tables or couches. What I wrote just now seems to be the culture of all coworking spaces. These spaces have a lot of office-like amenities as well, like hot desks, private meeting rooms, a kitchen, coffee, and more. Freelancers who aren’t ready to commit to an actual office scenario and who want to choose their working hours and schedule without isolation are the highest among those using coworking spaces. Start-Ups (a newly established business) is the second-highest as coworking spaces don’t come with the high cost and commitments of a traditional office lease.
Now, why do we need coworking spaces? The first point in the answer to that question would be “fun”. Coworking environments are fun and are the total opposite of most frustrating office scenarios. The straight and disciplined chairs can be turned into comfortable couches, beautiful doodles can adorn the walls, hours and hours of constant work period can change as timings in such spaces are flexible, soothing music can also be played in the background to freshen up minds. Also, the walls can be broken down by opening the blinds, coffee and snack bars can be brought in and the workspace can be designed in a way to feel more at home which helps network better with your team.
Another important point of using a coworking space is the growing costs of real estate. Be it America or India, the cost of renting or even buying property for a singular organization is very expensive, and for freelancers or startups, it is nearly impossible. The shared space idea along with all the other benefits of a coworking space is the reason that it has been growing rapidly. Also, coworking spaces are like a “ready to use as long you want “ thing and also can be expanded as the organization grows. But the most amazing thing about a coworking space is the feeling that you are not pushing through your dreams alone. There are others as well who are not only your colleagues but also become your friends/family at some point as you guys share a unique bond that is very different to find in stereotypical office environments.
Startups like Snapdeal, Urban Ladder and even Instagram work out of coworking spaces. So it doesn’t matter if you are a Freelancer or a large organization, the feeling of working in a place that looks great, has a sense of positivity with great coffee and food, has flexible working hours, cost and space is something which no individual of our generation must miss.