'Working in the UnOffice' Book Review

'Working in the UnOffice' is a great introduction to the world of coworking.

'Working in the UnOffice' is a great introduction to the world of coworking.

I had never heard of coworking when I accepted my internship at Cowork Frederick last month. I found myself tripping over words, trying to explain to friends and family where I would be interning this semester. I don’t understand what coworking is. Help!

Luckily, Julia recommended a book to read before beginning my time at Cowork Frederick: “Working in the UnOffice” by Genevieve V. DeGuzman and Andrew I. Tang.

School hasn’t even started and I already have a reading assignment, I thought as I picked up the book, just one week before beginning my internship. My attitude changed after reading only a few pages of the book.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that ‘Working in the UnOffice’ was very informative, giving detailed examples and descriptions to those who aren’t familiar with coworking. The authors draw from examples of well-known coworking spaces, such as Indy Hall, Gangplank, NextSpace, and more. After reading the first two chapters, I was excited to be interning with Cowork Frederick for the semester and wanted to know more about coworking.

Coworking provides a friendly work environment with other professionals.

Coworking provides a friendly work environment with other professionals.

This book immediately grabs your attention with quirky sentences that leave you wanting to know more. “Goodbye office. Goodbye, kitchen table. Goodbye, Starbucks coffee counter,” the book begins. What’s wrong with working in those places? I wondered. Just a few pages later, my question was answered. The authors quickly convinced me that being a member of a coworking space is much more beneficial than trying to work from home or a coffee shop. What’s not to love about coworking? You have your own workspace in a tight-knit community where you’re encouraged to collaborate and socialize with others. Why isolate yourself in a library or order endless cups of expensive coffee at Starbucks when coworking is an option?

The start of each chapter gets right to the point: Here’s what we’re going to tell you and this is why you need to know this. There are sections on who benefits from coworking, such as writers, website designers and freelancers, just to name a few. The book also gives the reader tips on how to make the most of your coworking experience, networking, and more. With a conversational tone, it’s really easy to follow.

One aspect of this book that I truly appreciated was the honesty of the authors. While they want to let the reader know how wonderful coworking is, they offered a balanced perspective, listing the positives and negatives of various situations. Yes, coworking is a great thing for some people, but others may find it to be too social and distracting with limited space. I instantly trusted these authors when I saw they were able to give their readers both sides of the spectrum.

Coworking spaces have sprung up around the world, started by individuals who believed in the core values of the coworking movement. Each space has its own unique community with its own look and feel – some more quiet, some more social, some focused on specific professions, others very diverse.

Coworking isn't strictly about work--it's about socializing with others too!

Coworking isn't strictly about work--it's about socializing with others too!

In fact, ‘Working in the UnOffice’ is filled with interviews with coworking members throughout the country, and when I say “filled,” I mean the second half of the book is nothing but interviews. While I appreciated having different views of the coworking world, roughly 175 pages of interviews was a bit much. But for those who want to know as much as they can about coworking, rest assured that the interviews will broaden your horizons.

By the end of the book, readers should have a good idea of what coworking is and the basics of this upcoming trend in the business world. They should also have an idea of whether coworking would be a good fit for them or not.

For anyone curious about coworking, this book answers a lot of questions and gives the facts. Check it out!