Coworking: a collective office for freelance

Original author: Dan Fost
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Coworking
Hat Factory, a collective office in San Francisco.

A few years ago, a young programmer, Brad Neuberg, wishing to reflect on his career, discovered the solution to the following dilemma: “I have the choice to either get a permanent job that will allow me to work in an organized team, or I can work as a freelancer, while maintaining greater freedom and independence. Why don't I combine one with the other? ”

As a person accustomed to implementing innovative solutions, Mr. Newberg began to act. He coined a new word - “coworking,” without a hyphen — and rented a room in the building, marking the start of a whole movement.

Since revelation came to Mr. Newberg in 2005, dozens of places have appeared all over the country and even beyond its borders where someone rents office space and rents work desks, thus creating a community of people who work for different works, but would like to do it in an interesting team.


“That alone is incredibly inspiring,” says John Vlahides, editor-in-chief of the Northern California California travel site 71miles.com , who rents a desk for $ 175 per month at Hat Factory, one of the first collective offices personally founded by Newberg. “And if you don’t have inspiration, then where will the creative come from?”

Coworking offices appear everywhere from Argentina to Australia, and it should be noted that according to the movement’s wiki, most of them are located in the USA. Although some of them bear some big names, most remind of the era between the communes of the 1960s and the “dot-com” fever of the 90s, such as the Denver Shelter Cooperative, Seattle Office Tramps, Novotopiya Workshop in Lower Manhattan and Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Armed with laptops with Wi-Fi and mobile phones, people are trying at a new technological level to apply the ancient tradition of a variety of artists and writers who have been filming a studio.

Most of them say that they come here for the same reason that prompted Mr. Newberg: they like to work independently and at the same time they can do less if they are alone at home.

“Even the most antisocial comrades feel the need to be among other people, at least some of their working time,” says Laura Forlano, from the Yale School of Law, which studies people working in collective offices and cafes.

Coworking can take many forms. The Hat Factory in San Francisco is a residential-working loft with three techies who let other people work in the same room. Some companies, such as the Citizen Agency from San Francisco, which is engaged in Internet consulting and has done the most for the development of the movement, live according to the “open door” charter, according to which regular employees rent desktops, and all other temporary visitors can come to use Wi- Fi or meeting room.

A co-owner of Citizen Agency named Tara Hunt, who calls her Citizen Space office, lists some of the coworking principles on her blog. They include a desire to act together, openness, a willingness to live in a community, determination and accessibility.

Many of these ideas came from the open-source movement, whose participants freely share their best practices, without putting personal financial gain first. Like this movement, coworking members share their experiences and ideas on coworking.pbwiki.com .

But despite the theory, the situation does not always remain under control. Thor Muller, Get Satisfaction startup manager from San Francisco, said he allowed his friends to come work in his offices. But one day, one of his friends began aggressively luring Satisfaction employees into his personal startup. I had to drive him away.

“You need to respect each other,” Mr. Mueller says, still angry.

Miss Hunt and her partner at Citizen Agency, Chris Messina, say that you need to make sure that people respect their space and will keep order in it.

“Someone wanted to come here with their dog, but we replied that this was not a good idea,” says Miss Hunt. Mr Vlehaids from Hat Factory complains about “a few hard-to-reach guys” who, sitting at a common table, were loudly talking on the phone instead of going to another room.

Citizen Space allows everyone to come for free, but if someone becomes a regular, people ask him to pay for the keys. Renting a table and keys along with 24-hour access costs $ 350 per month. Just keys cost $ 250 per month. There are seven tables in the room, one large table for visitors, a meeting room, whiteboards and other office supplies, among which are not quite traditional, such as beer and wine.

Among the benefits of coworking is often called interchange of interesting thoughts. While others are developing their business through increased sales and advertising, people share useful ideas with each other.
“I can ask Ryan about video technology or ask John about the travel industry,” said Eddie Codel, an online video producer who works at Hat Factory side by side with Ryan Bailey, the founder of the Internet Viddyou startup video, and John Vlechides of 71miles.com .

Kurt Smith (Kurt Smith), an employee of the Danish company Culgi, which develops a variety of software, for two months, since renting a table in Citizen Space. His company is pleased that he found a place where he will join the way of thinking characteristic of Silicon Valley. “Everyone got blogs,” says Kurt. “Everyone has a Twitter account. But I never watched the newfangled stray. "

Nevertheless, inspired by the example of his office staff, he gathered his more distant colleagues - Culgi employees are scattered across Europe and Asia - into a group on Twitter, which made it much more convenient to maintain working communication.

Similarly, if someone is looking for a web designer, there is a good chance that one of the colleagues in the office at the next table can take it or have the appropriate connections.

Jeremy Pepper, who rents a desk at Sandbox Suites' collective office and writes technology-related journalism articles, says he often advises one of the co-workers on social media who rents a nearby desk and works for a large corporation. She, in turn, is also ready to share her professional information.

Translation from English:
Roman Ravve for worldwebstudio.livejournal.com


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