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How has coworking evolved since its birth? What’s next?

Coworking isn’t a new concept, but it is evolving and maturing. What’s changed, and what has yet to change?



Coworking has evolved; where are we now?

Entrepreneurs. Writers. Small business owners. Consultants. Without a traditional office environment, we imagine these professionals in a room, by themselves, surrounded by empty coffee cups and crumbled up pieces of paper, working tirelessly on their newest ideas, business plan, project, or story. With the birth of the coworking trend, this image of solitary business owners has been replaced with a bustling, productive environment of professionals working within a common space.

Coworking has evolved over the past couple of years, beginning as coffee house meetups cultivated by Twitter hashtags and developing into creative office spaces where entrepreneurs can rent a desk, share meeting rooms, and collaborate with other like-minded business professionals. These work hubs act as refuge for independent contractors looking to escape the kitchen table workspace, without shelling out a lot of money for an office in a high rise.

Coworking is much like your collegiate days in a good way

While the atmospheres differ, each facility is often comprised of many tables, desks, and/or private cubicles, with amenities such as printing and coffee available, as well. Members of coworking spaces pay a monthly or annual fee to share a workspace, many times with meeting rooms available for reserve and, for an additional cost, a dedicated workspace can be rented.

These “innovation centers” are reminiscent of college study groups, where everyone is working independently on their own projects yet the ability, and the environment conducive, to leaning over and asking the opinion of the person at the table next to you is at your fingertips. And with many coworking spaces offering regular presentations, workshops, forums, and brainstorming sessions, creativity abounds.

A new trend in coworking: Passports

Coworking locations have popped up around the country, and where there is one, there’s often others close by. Simply typing “coworking” along with your city into any search engine is sure to yield a number of local results. If you become a member, be sure to check if they have reciprocal memberships to other coworking locations, as coworking networks are becoming more and more popular, as represented by the 20+ center Indiana Coworking Passport, for example. This popular feature accommodates the traveling business owner, by offering sister locations in multiple cities.

This new trend is being adopted more and more by small-businesses and startups as a means to encourage creative thinking and crowdsource inspiration. There’s something to be said about sitting in a space filled with people who are there because they’re passionate about what they’re doing. Gone are the days of the lonely entrepreneur, replaced instead with innovation connectors filled with active communities of independent workers.

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So, if you’re looking for a change of pace, consider joining your local coworking community and let the inspiration begin.


Bonus reading:
The Ad Agency Model Evolves, Enter #Coworking

Written By

Megan Noel, a veteran ex-educator with a PhD in Early Childhood Education, enjoys researching life through the eyes of her two young children, while writing about her family’s adventures on With a nearly a decade in small business and marketing, this freelance writer spends most evenings pouring over new ideas and writing articles, while indulging in good food and better wine.

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