Cowork for Community, Not for Savings


Let's say a new commune just opened up in your city. You heard its cheap to live, and you could use a little help on rent so you show up and decide to stay for a month. After a few days you start to notice that everyone is using your stuff, eating your food, and spending your money - so you go and complain to the commune landlord. He will undoubtedly look at you and wonder why you are there, if you weren't planning on sharing your belongings.

The same, I'm afraid, goes for coworking.

Coworking is the fastest growing trend in workplace culture since people started selling you candybars for their children’s sports team at work. In fact, one estimate shows that the number of coworking spaces worldwide has risen by 88% since February 2011.

By now, many people understand that coworking is based upon the idea that group of workers, with no affiliation to one another, all work out of the same office space. However, a number of companies have begun collaboratively sharing space in an effort to save money in a world of expensive and long-term office leases.

But in my estimation, coworking for the sake of savings is probably a bad idea.  

Coworking, like the commune example above, has certain expectations attached to it. So while you won't be forced to share your computer, you will be expected to participate in community. Coworking - at its core, is based on the idea that the people working in the coworking office are building some sense of community among themselves. So if you're banking on saving a great deal of money, without planning on participating, you're not going to be a very good participant in the system.

And according to Deskmag, a top coworking publication, a large majority of coworkers enjoy coworking because of the people they cowork with.

And while yes, you can still work at a coworking facility if you're only interested in saving some money - but why would you?

Have you ever coworked? What was your reason for coworking?


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