What is coworking? Answers to that question vary. To us, coworking is a way of engaging that stems from the belief that we are better off because we work together rather than alone.
At the heart of Coworking is a movement that started in 2005. Since then over 2500 coworking spaces have opened around the world and the concept of coworking has evolved with each. Many blog posts and articles (8 Reasons to Consider a Coworking Space, Coworking: Is It Just a Fad? ) and even entire books (Working in the Un-Office ) have been written on the subject. The Coworking Manifesto is one of the more recent attempts to capture the values and goals of coworking.
“Why are people engaged in individualized, self-determined employment looking for community? The answer is simple: independent workers often experience similar problems, and these are best solved by interacting with others. There are cost benefits of sharing infrastructure, as well the psychological support and affirmation of one’s own work that one experiences in a group.
Coworking is a self-directed, collaborative and flexible work style that is based on mutual trust … [members] increase their well-being by working in a collaborative atmosphere, and accumulate – through cooperation, not competition – greater economic, social and cultural capital, above that which is possible through an isolated form of work.” – https://www.deskwanted.com/about/what-is-coworking.html
Coworking spaces provide a place you can go to escape the isolation of working at home, where you can get away from the distractions at the office, a place you can work all day without glares from cafe patrons looking for a place to sit.
A Cowork Frederick member describes coworking like this:
“Coworking is surrounding myself with other professionals doing the same thing I am: continuously building their skills, careers, networks, and profiles. It’s not a telework center, where you land in a cubicle and wait for the day to end. It’s a thriving not-incubator where things get incubated, a not-office where we’re all working.” (Michael Gray, December 2012)
If a video is more your style, take a look at this one.
Coworking creates “accelerated serendipity”, opportunities to tap into a wealth of knowledge that comes from working among a diverse group of people with different skill sets, backgrounds, and experiences. Whether it’s making sense of your website’s HTML, hammering out a killer proposal, or even just making a barista-worthy pot of coffee in the kitchen, you’re bound to encounter someone who can help you. That said, we do our part in promoting members, their businesses, and events. Check out our Featured Member news posts for some examples.
A key differentiator between a coworking space (as intended by the movement) and other shared office / work spaces is that they emphasize Community and a collaborative atmosphere. Members have the opportunity to bounce ideas off peers in the same field and others in completely different fields. Every day, you – as a member of a coworking community – have the opportunity to network with others, to get help with a problem, to ask for opinions on your design or idea.