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Voices of Coworking


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:

Global Coworking Blog

Coworking Europe Conference 2011 Blog

Videos from Last Year’s Coworking Unconference at SXSW

Emergent Research

Steve King and Carolyn Ockels are partners at Emergent Research, a consulting firm focused on the most dynamic sector of the global economy – small businesses. Together with Intuit, they’ve authored The Intuit 2020 Report and The Intuit Future of Small Business report series that look at significant trends and forces affecting small businesses and consumers. Follow Emergent Research on Twitter, @smallbizlabs.

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  • Nancy Becher

    Thanks so much for this. I’ve got a small cowork center in SW Michigan and it’s been really hard to get people to understand the concept. This says it all in a way that is simple, understandable and POWERFUL.

    You rock.


  • Raines Cohen, Coworking Coach

    It’s great to see this rolling out to the world, Steve — congrats on your continued productive collaboration with partners that can help the coworking movement, as we discussed in Santa Monica, tell our stories. Let’s keep the conversation rolling this week in Berlin, getting more tools and perspectives out to help people find their own place to build community, co-creating more choices that redefine how we work.