Blog Post

Coworking 101: A Brief History

Stretching all the way back to April of last year, coworking – the growing movement of independent café-like collaboration spaces for freelance professionals –  has been a popular topic here on WebWorkerDaily, covered from many perspectives by our writing team and also attracting some thought-provoking commentary from our readers.

At its heart, the concept of coworking is very attractive to many web workers. You get to work in a creative environment with other professionals, freed from unhappy workplaces, with the option to be as flexible as you choose.

For those unfamiliar with the subject, we thought we’d take you on a brief tour of some highlights from our coworking archives.

Aliza‘s introduction to the world of coworking.

A roundup of interesting developments in coworking, from large companies such as Timbuk2 giving up space for external coworkers, to the roving Jelly monthly “workathons” for coworkers without a permanent physical location to share.

A handy “recipe book” of wiki-based guides to managing, establishing, marketing and operating coworking communities and spaces, Joseph Holstein’s “Patterns for Coworking” is an invaluable distillation of the collective knowledge of the global coworking community.

An exploration of the downsides to telecommuting and coworking, focusing on the experiences of a coworking community founder.

An interesting discussion on the potential of providing childcare facilities to coworkers – with the coworkers themselves dedicating a portion of their time to caring for the children of other community members.

This post speculates on the potential to revitalize decaying and vacant urban centers with new creative areas, by replacing discount stores, vacant properties and unused public libraries with coworking facilities..

A look at the underlying value structure of coworking communities, how they’re evolving in different countries, and the issues existing coworking communities face as they outgrow the space available.

I’ve chosen to focus on posts that are specifically about the mechanics of coworking. If you’re really interested, do delve into our full archive of coworking posts where we have also explored more philosophical issues, such as the design of cities and the impact of telecommuting on society.

On a lighter note, please do bear in mind the  immortal words of The Bugle

Do you work from home but miss the office atmosphere? Then simply hire a group of people you don’t really like and would never otherwise spend time with, to mill around your living room for nine hours a day.

Share your coworking experiences in the comments.

6 Responses to “Coworking 101: A Brief History”

  1. Recently had the opportunity to work at THECUBE coworking space in London. The atmosphere was really good fun, met some really nice people.

    It’s definitely a better environment to work in than being at home alone, and if other people working there are doing similar things to you, networking is always a plus.

  2. Hi guys,

    Wonder if you guys have heard of Vibewire Enterprise Hub. It’s an awesome interactive & creative space for young entrepreneurs to harvest their unique skills in the business of their choice. Located near the Central Station.

    We are a non-profit organisation who’s into nurturing and making young creative or social startups successful. Currently, we have a few desks available for any interested parties who desire to get their business ideas started and get connected with like-minded people.
    For more info, check us out at

    Julia (

  3. I first got introduced to co-working with Jelly. I met some cool people. When New Work City opened last fall, I became a regular dropping in weekly. The co-working community in New York is very friendly, and people collaborate on projects and support each other.

  4. PerroCaliente

    Co-working reminds me of independent studies. It sucks. My friend had an office space once (2,500 sqft with a group called TBM Brightest Minds in LOS ANGELES and they ended up leaving him with lease and lots of legal shit to deal with. AND BILLS and REPAIRS!

    I would suggest:
    Don’t ever sign a lease if you have to depend on the others for the rent.

    If you like to listen to specific music while you work, make sure the others do also.

  5. stuart childs

    For me coworking is an opportunity to be part of a community in an office environment. An office with a difference – there’s no tension between members, we manage to have some fun whilst keeping serious about our work. I can see how coworking may not be for everyone – it can sometimes be a little noisy or distracting – but ultimately I find the benefits outweigh any cons.