I was recently a guest on Miles to Go, a travel podcast, to talk about (what else?) coworking! The first question was “What is coworking?” I really enjoyed the opportunity to explain everything coworking is and can be, where and how you can find spaces and a few of my favorite locations and services.
What is Coworking?
For me, coworking isn’t about the space. It’s not about the amenities. It’s about connection and productivity. I’m looking for a space that has wifi and outlets, good energy and people. It’s also more about what you, the coworker, need or are looking for, rather than what the space has.
Having worked out of, toured, studied and consulted on 100s of these spaces around the world, there’s one way I gauge a space. If I feel comfortable enough to leave my stuff out while grabbing coffee or using the restroom that’s good enough for me. It means that there’s other people there that I’ve connected with in some shape or form and I trust it to be a safe space.
Alex Hillman, industry legend and founder of Indy Hall puts it best:
“Coworking is as descriptive as the word restaurant. Both McDonald’s and any three star Michelin kitchen are technically restaurants.”
I couldn’t care less if I’m sitting at a $49 Ikea desk or at a $50,000 library table made of reclaimed wood from an organic, Amish farm house polished with the tears of unicorns. You could have the most expensive espresso machine or a Keurig…the space could be 2,000 sq ft or 20,000 sq ft. None of this really matters.
I think that’s the thing that still fascinates me about coworking: there are so many types! You’ve got the fancy and the basic. The downtown and the rural. There are flex desks, private offices, maker spaces, incubators, studios, warehouses, even bamboo huts all over the world where people are coworking in that specific space to pursue doing their best work.
What does coworking mean to you? What are your favorite spaces? Tell us on Twitter @coworkaholic!
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