The New Office Space: Co-Working for Collaboration

Published Tuesday, March 22, 2011 1:53 PM

Once upon a time, workers began and ended their career at the same company, either punching a time clock or reporting to the office for a 9-to-5 work stint. Seismic shifts in technology and the global economy have introduced a wave of new ways and places to work (hello Starbucks!).

With an ever increasing number of people working freelance or remote work gigs, what passes for an office these days is often a kitchen, library, airport or coffee house. But what of the worker who needs a more traditional workspace, but doesn't want the expense of office overhead or the confines of a big company? What happens when a coffee shop just doesn't cut it?

When Starbucks Just Won't Do

For a growing number of nontraditional workers, start-ups and digital nomads, co-working,  or a shared work environment, is a cost-effective alternative to a coffee house or kitchen.

Co-working allows independent contractors and digital nomads, to share a workspace, without necessarily sharing work or a company. Co-working can also provide a sense of community that is often missing for independent contractors working in isolation. Co-working spaces can also introduce work synergies, heighten productivity by removing the distractions of working from home and provide a professional environment for client meetings.

Co-working sites typically offer monthly membership fees or weekly and day rates for occasional users. Some sites are organized around industry, others are grouped by space, or time requirements. 

Interested in finding a co-working space in your area? Visit Co-worker Wiki  for a nationwide list.  The wiki also has useful information on optimizing a co-work space as well as links to global co-work spaces and special events.

For more, read Co-working: The Middle Ground Workspace  and Co-working: How to Find Better Office Space. Do you ever make use of co-work spaces? Does a co-working space sound like a productivity enhancer? Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.

by Bradley Eggers

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