Coworking facilities are sprouting up around the world with an estimated 370 in the U.S. alone, up from roughly 260 last year. European online coworking magazine Deskmag estimates there are over 800 spaces around the world. And the Intuit 2020 Report (research led by Emergent Research in partnership with Intuit) finds that over the next decade, the growing array of Web-based technologies will reinvent the workplace, making these “third places” for work outside of the traditional office and home more commonplace.
So, what are coworking facilities exactly? Simply defined, they are shared workspaces that offer the amenities of a traditional workplace with the convenience and sociability of your neighborhood cafe.
While workspace configurations may vary, you can count on them to offer everything from desks and meeting rooms to social areas, high speed Internet access and office equipment. Most facilities offer memberships by the day, week or month and appeal to the freelancers, entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, big company telecommuters and other laptop nomads who are tired of working alone at home or in crowded and noisy coffee shops.
Coworking is much more than a workplace though. It’s a new workstyle that fuses personal interests with work rather than filtering them out. Coworking facilities create a community of workers who socialize and, more importantly, collaborate. They bounce ideas off each other, share expertise, join forces on projects, refer business to one another and even join to create new companies.
In this Voices of Coworking video, members of coworking facilities discuss why they cowork, the benefits and where they see this new style of work going in the future.
Check out a few additional coworking resources: