WWD readers are likely familiar with the notion of coworking – low cost collaboration & community space for digital workers – pioneered by the likes of San Francisco’s Hat Factory and Citizen Space. With coworking communities springing up across the globe, the phenomenon is beginning to […]

WWD readers are likely familiar with the notion of coworking – low cost collaboration & community space for digital workers – pioneered by the likes of San Francisco’s Hat Factory and Citizen Space. With coworking communities springing up across the globe, the phenomenon is beginning to morph into a new forms to suit the working patterns of web workers, freelancers and mobile employees everywhere…

  • Coworking is becoming unhooked from physical places as developments such as Jelly – a monthly 24-hour workathon – enable coworking communities to spring up wherever they’re needed; indeed encouraging gracious hosts to offer their facilities for one-off coworking days.
  • Coworkers in Manchester – lacking a dedicated physical space – have been mashing up OpenCoffee networking events with an afternoon of coworking in a borrowed space, such as local company or coffee house. Interestingly, this particular community has somewhat of an agenda in furthering the city’s role as a hub for the digital industries, thought collaborating on startup and technology ideas.
  • Still in the UK – Just across the Pennine Mountains in Leeds, that city’s coworking community is running free, ‘open coworking‘ days to attract people into signing up for their plans and encouraging local university students to use the facilities to launch startups as part of a push to create more entrepreneurs in the region.

It’s interesting to see coworking snowballing as a phenomenon, but like many trends originating in dotcom culture, what’ll be most interesting is how these shifts begin to affect larger companies and more traditional employers.

As enterprises belatedly adopted social media and communication as part of their IT infrastructures, how will human resources and more rigid line management begin to accomodate coworkers in their corporate culture?

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  1. Coworking is starting to take off here in Seattle too. Office Nomads opened our doors in November and I imagine by November of this year there will be at least 5 spaces spread across the city. Some of them are formal, some very informal. This is an exciting time.


  2. One cool thing I’ve noticed as I travel around is coworking can play a great role in smaller communities to create a watering hole for open source hackers and entrepreneurs. I was in both Vancouver and Miami recently, and the role of coworking seems to act as a low-cast incubator space for both the open source movement as well as small companies to find each other, hack, network, and get things done. Local city and regional governments should sponsor coworking spaces as a way to stimulate the local tech economy, such as what Paris is doing.

    Brad Neuberg

  3. Scott Blitstein Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    I have been working with my Village to try and encourage them to sponsor a coworking space but they aren’t biting.

    While they are eager to recruit young technical professionals as residents, they are still failing to see the value in coworking as a part of that campaign.


  4. Nice post, definitely something web workers living in cities should know about. I actually just covered the same thing, about an emerging coworking group in Manhattan, New Work City…


  5. Vaibhav Pandey Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    Nice post. In Bangalore @ India as well we have started off with something called OpenCommune. You can check out more about it here


  6. Yesh.com :: Brian Russell » More Coworking at Our House Thursday, April 17, 2008

    [...] for thought: Several people have sent me this link to a Web Worker Daily blog post called Coworking Evolved. Its some good examples of creative work ideas and experiments. Very cool stuff. It also reminds me [...]

  7. It’s certainly an interesting area and with enough momentum to start powering spin-off businesses…just today I was reading about the SpareSpace Foundation who help ‘transform empty inner-city shop and office buildings into temporary work spaces for copywriters, designers, artists and other young creative professionals.’

    SpareSpace sounds like a great opportunity to not only provide coworking space, but also regenerate civic spaces; rather than the budget stores that can spring up in such places, creative and technology professionals can provide a limited form of gentrification to an area undergoing some transition.

  8. Web Worker Daily » Archive Coworking, Childcare, Cubes & Crayons « Monday, May 12, 2008

    [...] 12th, 2008 (7:00am) Imran Ali No Comments Coworking continues to evolve and mold to the increasingly blurred boundaries between domestic and professional life. An area [...]

  9. Web Worker Daily » Archive The New Work From Home Trend: Getting Out? « Sunday, June 1, 2008

    [...] Working from your home can be isolating and can result in feeling cut off from the working world.  Co-working is a new trend, as recently reported by CNN and others, which involves teleworkers gathering within [...]

  10. hi,

    we have just opened our doors to a coworking experiment in northern italy (milano) named cowo.

    i’m happy to tell you that in two months we have filled up the place (5 workstations), and the thing seem to be spreading around.

    we enjoy the company of developers, consultants, boat designers and novelists… (we are a creative advertising group).

    something that i’d like to say about coworking – which is seldom mentioned – is that it works well in fighting oneliness not only for the coworkers who join, but for the hosting group as well.

    btw, we’re also trying to create a small network of people interested (not necessarily from our country) through the cowo blog and a linkedin group.

    ciao from italy,

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