Coworking. Poised to take off

About a month ago I started working at Carrboro Creative Coworking located in Carrboro, NC which is basically a part of Chapel Hill.  My experience so far has been really great and I have a few thoughts on why coworking is such a great idea and how I think it can grow in coming years.

Work-Life Equilibrium

For the first two months i was living in North Carolina I was working from home.  Although my office was comfortable and work schedule flexible, the time I spent working was (paradoxically) greater yet less productive.  I’m not the sort of person who had problems motivating myself to work, so getting distracted was not the problem.  I started to realize that separating work and life is not only good for your personal life, it is also good for your work life.  When I was at home, in the same environment every day, it is hard to find inspiration.  I don’t mean inspiration in a grand, snobby, artistic sense.  Just in the sense that seeing different people, places, and things every day stimulates my brain to think in new ways.  This is critically important to me in my job, and I’m sure it is for many others

It’s the People

No big surprise here.  Being in an environment where you can meet other people who have different ideas and different life experiences makes you better.  It makes you think more broadly.  It gives you an opportunity to make serendipitous business connections.  It gives you a channel to hear your thoughts outside your own head.  Whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, having an opportunity to interact with people on a daily basis gives a more rich and balanced life.

Coworking. 10 years from now

So it’s pretty obvious that I’m a big fan of Coworking.  It’s a really great concept and I think if it is able to overcome a few challenges (mostly in the realm of marketing), it is really poised to take off

In my opinion coworking will grow because

  1. A globalized, virtually connected world will create many more ‘work from home’ type jobs
  2. Certain industries (lets say journalism for example) might actually benefit from have a more distributed workforce if they can find a cost effective way to have offices (or coworking locations) in different places

Coworking as a industry has two main marketing challenges that i see

  1. I think the name is not obvious.  When i describe coworking to friends i have started to refer to it as just ‘shared office’ or ‘renting a desk’.  I get a lot of blank stares when i say coworking.
  2. The real benefits of coworking are the intangibles that i list above.  Although possible, it is harder to ‘sell’ these benefits because they are not easily directly measurable

Overall, I think coworking is great and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this industry which is currently growing organically in different locations, begins to see a real explosion, perhaps big enough to support a larger regional or event national chain of offices.

1 Response to “Coworking. Poised to take off”

  1. The Advantages of Coworking « Compassion in Politics: Christian Social Entrepreneurship, Non-Profits, & Base of the Pyramid/BOP Solutions

    […] a similar take on the advantages of coworking Check out the coworking wiki to find a coworking space near you (or to let people know you are […]