Moving away from regular day jobs are becoming very popular these days. Many professionals also feel the need to have more flexible working hours and independence from the corporate grind that makes us feel like modern day slaves.
Use of coworking offices have sprung up all over the world as a result of this however it didn’t happen overnight, research suggests that a string of event led to the development of this now popular working culture. This form of employment distinguishes itself by being community based with shared facilities that are used by individuals as required. These workers are mostly independent and freelance professionals who work on their own terms. The concept is considered different to that of business incubators and executive suites because they do not follow the concepts of collaboration, informal setting and community based involvement. Apart from this, the workers who join these groups increasingly have shared values with the group and community at large making them feel part of a wider community. So how did it all come to be?
Research suggests that the virtual office KLCC concept has its roots in the early 90’s in Berlin Germany. It started out as collaborative and community oriented space for computer enthusiasts and hackers to work together in an open environment. It was called C- Base. Though it is not exactly what we see today, but research and historians suggests that it set the tone for the working culture that we see today. It was also in this era that the term “coworking” was developed by Bernard DeKoven though his initial idea for the term was to mean a working culture with no hierarchies. Followed by this, history notes that a group formed a work space in New York called the “42 West 24”. It provided an enjoyable environment with membership for team to interact and work together; however it didn’t have the community involvements aspect.
Later as we moved to the 20th century, many more developments and interest in this new mode of employment and way of life can be seen. This time it was in Europe. Two Austrian entrepreneurs created a hub for freelances and independent contractors to work together in a pleasant environment. It was initially called “entrepreneurial center”. They modified and old warehouse or factory for creative people like, architects, PR consultants designers and startups to setup office and start operating.
The real important developments of this movement started in 2005 to be exact when Brad Neuberg launched is community based space in San Francisco. It was called the “9 to 5 group”. This was followed by the “The San Francisco space and the Hat Factory. Though enthusiasm for the concept was poor it later caught on and became a well talked about and functioning working culture.
Today we see more and more spaces being converted to community based working hubs. And the trend is expected to keep growing and more and more people are moving away from the corporate grind for more meaningful and satisfying employment.