Coworking Evolved

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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