The Origin and Growth of Coworking Spaces

The contemporary Coworking spaces are not only the availability of physical places but also an arrangement or an atmosphere where people from various background and different company work together in a shared office space. Similarly, the Coworking space not only reduces costs for the companies whose employees work in these shared spaces but also creates opportunities for the companies to grow their business in terms of enhanced customer base and expansion of their business in new locations around the world. This happens because of the collaboration of various expert professionals involved in the communities and network of the Coworking spaces. Some of the established Coworking space organisations such as The Hive and other companies who run their Coworking space branches across different countries deliberately promote thebusiness of corporate houses through their network of communities in other countries.

Some researches and studies in between 2006 to 2015 have shown that the Coworking spaces along with their numbers of seats or desks including amenities have been growing almost double every year. Bernie DeKoven first used the word Coworking conceptually in 1995 but not to describe the present concept of people working together in a shared environment. The contemporary Coworking space was first opened by Sunshine Suits in October 2001 founded by CheniYerushalmi and Jow Raby. The Sunshine Suites’ concept of Coworking spaces evolved around community and collaboration and they initially organized upstate hikes and ski trips and motivated group discounts on car rents, health insurance and gym memberships.

In the course of time, the Sunshine Suites bought a space in Vermont in order to use the space as a corporate retreat and eventually started a softball team. As CheniYerushalmi says, this was a lot more than the concept of an office space and perfectly served the purpose of a community such as each one knew the other and if someone could not pay the fee, the company instead of terminating the membership, the founders mobilised the community to help the struggling company or member.

The contemporary Coworking spaces developed in the cafes and coffee shops by nomadic entrepreneurs who sought for an alternative to their existing way of working in the cafes and coffee shops in order to avoid isolation while working independently in their homes or individual offices.

The concept of Coworking space is completely different from incubators, business accelerators, and executive suits because they lack characteristics of social, informal and collaborative associations which is central to Coworking space.

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