Why the Coworking Model is Here to Stay
Why the Coworking Model Just Works
You’re a freelance writer working from home; it’s a Tuesday morning. You have a few options about where to work on your project of the day: at home, or a coffee shop, or a coworking space. Each one offers its own range of benefits: home is comfortable, lacking a dress code, and free. Coffee shops have the laid-back vibe that drew aspiring novelists in the wake of J.K. Rowling’s success. Coworking spaces offer some semblance of structure like a typical office, and thus motivation in that way. But home is distracting: it’s so easy to convince yourself that putting away just one load of laundry won’t affect your work output. In the same way, coffee shops offer a multitude of distractions, from loud ladies who lunch to the disgruntled coffee drinker. That leaves coworking spaces.
More and more, coworking spaces are blending themselves into what is considered the norm. When the first space opened in 2005, it was a novel, and a bit crazy, idea. The notion of buying out a chair in an office, be it for a day or a week or a month, was almost too novel for people.
Now it’s mainstream: giant companies are splitting up satellite offices and sending groups out to work at coworking spaces, stay-at-home moms are making the trip to the nearest space for some quiet work time, students are buying up a desk for a hard day’s work, and remote workers are banning together at sites to collaborate on projects and motivate one another.
The modern spaces are hitting the scene as alternatives to corporate office setups, which have fluctuated between popular and unpopular since the rise of the cubicle by Herman Miller in the late 1960’s.
Despite the different aesthetics of the workplace, be it a neighbor’s couch with Wi-Fi, a high rise in downtown Manhattan, or an empty desk at a coworking space in Dallas, one thing’s for sure: the coworking style motivates workers.
While working remotely offers benefits, it also lacks the motivation and commitment that comes with a structured office job. With no one to look over your shoulder and ask for a weekly progress report, it’s easier and easier to neglect work and spend hours fooling around on email and other uselessness time sinks. In a coworking space, many workers find not only a range of amenities, but motivation from fellow workers.
According to Liz Elam, one of the founders of the national organization Coshare, people who work in coworking spaces often find themselves giving or receiving advice on their work. This type of partnership allows for collaboration and motivation, as well as a true reason to leave the house to do remote work. It’s the basis of coworking, according to Elam, and it’s one of the reasons that coworking has taken off in the United State and across the globe. There’s more to work than a place to rest your pen — it’s an atmosphere that’s full of possibility.