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coworking

Coworking is a business services provision model that involves individuals working independently or collaboratively in shared office space.

The typical user of a coworking facility is self-employed, a telecommuter, or a freelance worker. Some  businesses use the spaces to provide employees with equipment, space and services that they could not otherwise afford. Larger enterprises sometimes use coworking facilities to provide office space when they have more than the normal number of employees working at any given time. In this case, the business may maintain a certain number of memberships to the coworking service.

The owner of the space provides a work environment and, usually, office equipment and amenities found in a typical office. Typical features of coworking facilities include:

  • Shared work spaces.
  • 24/7 access.
  • Reservable/rentable conference and/or board rooms.
  • Wi-Fi.
  • Communal printer/copier/fax.
  • Private branch exchange (PBX) systems.
  • Shared kitchens, bathrooms and lounges.

Coworking facilities follow various business models. Some facilities, for example, are cooperatively managed spaces run as non-profit organizations. Such organizations may charge members just enough to support operations. Other models include flat-rate memberships and fee structures based on access for a single visit or a certain number of days per week, month or year. Often, a coworking facility will offer a number of options to suit individual needs. Some organizations have multiple locations that members can access. Others provide “coworking visas” that provide free access to partnered facilities in different locations.

Bernie DeKoven  first used the term coworking in this sense (rather than to describe people working together in any environment) in 1995. The first designated coworking space opened San Francisco in 2005. According to the Coworking Wiki website, there are currently over 400 registered coworking spaces in operation on six continents.  

 

See also: hot desking, teleconference, telepresence, virtual private network (VPN), Small Office Home Office (SOHO)

 

Continue reading about coworking:

Where the Coffee Shop Meets the Cubicle

Coworking Wiki

Citizen Space

This was last updated in July 2011

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Note that Bernie DeKoven had nothing to do with the coworking movement as its known today. See codinginparadise.org/ebooks/html/blog/start_of_coworking.html for details.

Best,
Brad Neuberg
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I found this blog post on the same subject quite interesting, as it gave a rather more personal view as to what coworking really is: http://www.shareyouroffice.com/blog-syo/coworking-the-new-way-to-work-you-know-nothing-about/
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Co-working basically means having a common or shared workspace where different companies can work independently. Whenever someone speaks of a coworking space, the first thing that comes to mind is a group of entrepreneurs and startups huddled together, trying to give wings to their dreams. The reason behind this stereotype is the fact that coworking is relatively cheaper than dedicated office space and provides the entire basic infrastructure that is needed for a company to function. However, it seems like this traditional norm is becoming non-existent anymore as bigger companies are also utilizing the benefits of coworking space in order to make their business grow. In most of the major cities in India, whether it be Coworking in Delhi NCR or Bangalore, the ratio of startups to big companies have improved from what it was initially.
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