Essential Guide to Coworking Resources
A Brief History of Coworking Movement
The coworking movement started by freelancer Brad Neuberg in 2005 grew into a community of half a million people in the United States. According to Statista, the number of coworking spaces grew from 3 in 2005 to 22,400 in 2019, with projected growth of 26,300 in the next year.
The main idea behind the concept of coworking is to offer structure to a highly independent lifestyle. Nomadic entrepreneurs found that coworking resolves the feeling of isolation during their telecommute, and it provides a designated space free from noise usually found at the cafés or restaurants.
Where Individuality Meets Community
The benefits of coworking are numerous: a better work-life balance, flexible hours, and spending time in spaces designed to inspire. The sense of freedom and community seems to be a signature mark.
Harvard Business Review regression analysis reveals three contributing factors as to why people thrive in coworking spaces. Freelancers can choose the type of work, the projects and clients which contribute to a feeling of more meaningful work.
People are able to drop their work personas due to the absence of internal competition and office politics. The diverse range of professional backgrounds found in coworking spaces helps shape the distinctive professional profile and contributes to a stronger work identity.
The collaborative culture also highly contributes to the sense of meaning as it encourages offering and receiving help from and by various professionals.
The second contributing factor to thriving is the hyper-flexibility. One aspect of hyper-flexibility is there are ample opportunities for flexible schedule options as some spaces are open 24/7. Another aspect is the accommodation for a variety of workstyles. One can choose a quiet space if the work calls for it or a more collaborative space if needed.
The third contributing factor is the sense of community. Socializing is not obligatory, and the design often offers both communal and solitary setups. The community aspect also motivates members to create structure and discipline.
It appears that coworking highly accentuates an individual’s needs while offering balance by accommodating a variety of workstyles.
Where to search for coworking spaces
Larry Kim’s article gives an overview of the 23 best coworking places in the U.S., primarily focusing on coworking companies with several locations. It is more of an in a nutshell rather than an in-depth review, making the article ideal for a quick start for research on coworking spaces.
Coworker is a crowd-sourced review website designated especially for coworker spaces around the globe. A location search in the website offers a glance into features such as price, free services, and online booking.
The listings include prices in locally accepted currencies. The website also features special topics such as top spaces, near beaches, co-living and rural escapes, to name a few. The website also features a convenient TEDx space search bar.
The Desksnear.me website features a modest search engine designed for locating co-working spaces, executive suites, and public spaces.
Coworking Comprehensive Resource
If you are interested in conducting in-depth research Coworking.com offers plenty of resources such as an online forum, slack channel, and visa info. It also includes a handy wiki which features a coworking search directory, variety of projects, studies, academic research, marketing research, blogs, media coverage, associations, collectives and groups, tools, conferences, and the list goes on.
Starting a Coworking Space Business
Coworkingresources features info on how to start coworking space business, such as a free business plan, a coworking revenue forecast tool, a comparative analysis of the best coworking space management software in 2019, and a coworking consultant guide directory for each of the four phases of business development.
Coworking consultants offer services in the areas of fundraising and partnership, branding and marketing, technology and software solutions, and alternative flexible models.
Coworkingmag.com features the latest news, best spaces, events, trends & insights, and coworking resources as well as top destinations. The trends section offers a variety of topics such as insights into top competitors of the industry leader in the coworking space and projected growth of coworking spaces in specific markets.
It provides the best coworking spaces tool that can perform a (geographic) location-based blog search.
As the coworking space industry evolves, the process of differentiation is taking place, including theme-based spaces carving out niche markets. By far the most interesting concept that emerged during research for this article is the KettleSpace.
The ingenious and creative owners decided to rent out restaurant space during downtime. The co-founder of KettleSpace, Daniel Rosenzweig, noted that most restaurants are half-full during the lunch hour, which is typically the busiest time in each restaurant. An Entrepreneur explores their business concept in the Meet This Company That Turns Restaurants Into Coworking Spaces article.
KettleSpace caters to freelancers, remote workers, startups, and enterprises. They offer fast WiFi, guaranteed outlets, connections, events and unlimited coffee, tea, and snacks. In addition, they offer location specific features such as standing desks, curated menus, get one free happy hour specials, early bird hour, greenhouse access, and a fireplace.
Three monthly plans are currently available: Lite, Pro and Unlimited, with prices ranging from $25-$99, and a guest visit add on charge for the Lite and Pro plans.
Share your favorite coworking resources in the comments below!