Like anything in business, coworking is evolving. Here’s where coworking stands today, and it’s looking good:
Definition. Wikipedia’s definition has gone from a cafe-like community/collaboration space for developers, writers and independents to
a style of work which involves a shared working environment; the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space. Notice that coworking now refers to a style of work, a gathering of people… community, rather than a space. This transition is nicely outlined in the blog post, Redefining Coworking.
How to. Coworking used to be something you’d have to largely figure out on your own, but the same principles of coworking are resulting in a vast repository of knowledge on how to do so. The best resource by far is the Coworking Wiki, listing most every coworking space as well as valuable shared knowledge from other coworking managers. The folks at Online Universities recently produced a handy primer, Everything You Need to Start Your Own Coworking Group, which succinctly links to and describles the Coworking Google Group, wiki, blog (though rarely updated anymore, ironically, perhaps because there are so many opening up), and examples (including pricing formulas). There’s also this site’s coworking archive.
Crowdsourced, rated profiles Think Yelp! for coworking, though it’s still nascent. Post your own, rate and comment on coworking spaces via the ‘coworking tag’ here at Cooltown Places.
Coworking culture. Web Worker Daily provides one of the best sources for stories on coworking trends, from civic regeneration/pop-up coworking spaces to corporate coworking to daycare. They’ve summarized a year’s worth of these articles at Coworking 101: A Brief History, and tagged them all here.
World access. Like a gym membership, if you’re a local coworking member, you can now visit participating coworking spaces around the world using an international passport known as a CoworkingVisa. That comes from the sense of community extending from within to among coworking communities.
Photo: Co+hoots coworking space in Phoenix, Arizona
I think that 2010 will be the year that coworking environments become a mainstay of professional life and in which place-based models of startup incubation continue to mature and expand.
Thanks for the shout out on Web Worker Daily’s coworking coverage.
It’s an area that’s one where I’ve tried to establish some thought leadership, point out interesting developments and also provide some practical content.
CoolTown Studios has been a great source of inspiration for my WWD posts, so thank you for some wonderful pieces!
Glad I found WWD. I’ve now got your Lifestyle section bookmarked!