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Coworking 101: A new definition

How often do you talk about coworking spaces? Rather often, I’d guess, since you are reading this article. Sometimes you talk to people who are new to the concept, and you’ll try to explain what a coworking space is. Sometimes you talk to fellow coworkers, and then you won't have to explain what a coworking space is, because we all know it - right? Not quite, I'd say. While we each have a certain concept of a coworking space, our ideas are not entirely identical. What's more, these concepts are rather vague, revolving around an idea, but not pinning it down.

  • Exceptional coworking space models

    Does focusing on a niche market improve a coworking space’s success? Or does it reduce the opportunity for cross-pollination and network building? In this second part in our series on exceptional coworking models, we look at niche spaces, as well as shared company rooms and sponsored spaces.

  • The infrastructure of coworking spaces

    The original coworking space offered five to eight desks two days a week, along with shared lunches, meditation breaks, bike tours, and a strict closing time of 5.45pm. Today there are over 880 coworking spaces worldwide, but what they offer is considerably different from that first location.

  • The Coworking Project

    Can the concept of coworking operate inside traditional offices? Sure, says Massimo Carraro, initiator of the Coworking Project, which since 2009 has shown how small and large companies can welcome external freelancers into their offices. There are now 57 spaces across Italy and one in Barcelona.

  • Exceptional coworking space models

    As the number of coworking spaces blooms, so to does the range of business models that they use to sustain themselves. Whether big or small, old or new, each coworking space can take some inspiration from different coworking models. This article is the first in a series which highlights exceptional examples.

  • The average cost of coworking: two cups of coffee a day

    The cost of renting a desk in a coworking space has remained stable over the past six months, with a slight increase in the price of permanent desks, but little change in the cost of flexible desks. As the number of coworking spaces boom, it seems most new locations are retaining the price models of existing spaces, keeping costs steady. For potential coworkers, entry prices are still very affordable:

  • Summer coworking on the university campus

    When the university semester comes to an end, and the students depart for their summer break, what can be done with all those empty campus buildings? The University of North Carolina has a great suggestion – open a pop-up coworking space for entrepreneurial students.

  • Coworking's steady growth: 820 spaces now active worldwide

    When we aren’t writing about coworking spaces, we at Deskmag are counting them. The number of coworking spaces worldwide increased by 17 percent between February and May, Deskmag’s latest analysis shows. That’s the same growth rate experienced in the preceding four months, showing that interest in coworking is expanding at a steady pace. Worldwide there are now 820 coworking spaces.

  • The rise of small coworking space networks

    Are there advantages in having a small chain of branded coworking spaces within a localized area? In some cities and regions, it seems so. A tight family of commonly-owned spaces might offer coworkers a wider option of working locations within a given area. Here we look at some examples of successful small coworking chains.

  • What Is Coworking And Its Cultural Background?

    If taken literally, coworking simply means people working together – an activity that is as old as humanity ourselves. So what is really new behind the cultural concept of coworking and the changing labor market?

  • Global networks of coworking spaces

    Since the concept of coworking was popularized, many have wanted to package and franchise it through a branded global chain. Today there are three international chains of coworking spaces, though not all of them function as traditional franchise systems.

  • The different strengths of small and big coworking spaces

    Coworkers prefer smaller coworking spaces. But not everything that people want is necessarily good for them - think of your mountain of Easter eggs left over from last weekend. While small spaces might be more comfortable, larger ones provide a wider network of opportunities.

  • Big companies tap into coworking

    TechHub is Google’s coworking space in London. Not directly or explicitly, but rather through a hands-off sponsorship arrangement that allows it to interact with the coworkers and hear their ideas. Now that Google is on the scene, will other large companies start to see coworking spaces as potential talent pools and idea hotspots?

  • Is there a life cycle for coworking spaces?

    Do coworking spaces have a used-by date? Our previous article “Beware the four year drop,” as well as the closure of two first generation coworking spaces, has raised the question of the long-term viability of the movement. Today Deskmag talks to two space founders about the life cycle of coworking spaces.

  • Coworking North America vs. Europe

    What are the differences between coworking spaces in North America and Europe? The Global Coworking Survey reveals that North American coworking spaces are larger, with more flexible desk users. Community is more importan to them. They earn higher incomes, and there is a lower proportion of freelancers than in European coworking spaces. But on both sides of the Atlantic, coworkers are highly content with their workspace, with two-thirds declaring no intention to leave any time soon.

  • Number of Coworking Spaces increases to 700 worldwide

    The number of coworking spaces worldwide rose in February to more than 700. The majority of these new collaborative workspaces are still in North America. But Europe is catching up, and the growth rate is highest in South America and Australia. However there is hardly any movement in Africa. Here is a brief excursion into the world of coworking by the numbers.

  • The rural way of coworking

    Coworking in small towns can be a very different experience to that in larger, more anonymous cities. Following last week’s story, we spoke with four operators of coworking spaces in smaller towns.

  • Coworking in Big Cities vs. Small Towns

    In the global coworking survey we asked coworkers where they work – in big or small cities. We found many differences when we compared the two types. Coworkers in smaller towns are older, earn more money and prefer smaller coworking spaces.

  • Coworking with pets

    Coworking is about rethinking all the existing rules of work. One of the unquestioned rules of a traditional office is “no pets allowed”. So it makes sense that many coworking spaces throw out this standard prohibition and allow members to bring their dogs to work. But are animals in the workplace a help by creating a friendly communicative atmosphere or do they create more problems than they solve? Deskmag spoke to several pet-friendly spaces about their experience with coworking canines.

  • The development of Coworking Spaces

    Most coworking spaces have more members than desks, yet the effective use of their desks is just under 50% since not all coworkers work at the same time. The majority of workspaces therefore seem to have room for more new members. This article in the series of the global coworking survey results looks at the development within coworking spaces themselves.

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