Well, it’s official. The New York Times loves coworking. They’ve taken notice at least twice since Office Nomads has opened, and those are just the articles that we’ve picked up on. So I wasn’t very surprised when yet another article came across my desk this morning – “Losing the Income, but Also the Camaraderie.” A quick excerpt:
Working from home, I lack not only the third-place socializing I used to enjoy with my congenial coworkers, but I also miss out on the basic human contact that usually comes standard in a second place…The lack of human interaction — aside from the one-on-one kind I share with my husband in the evenings — is starting to take its toll. In addition to the loneliness, I’m finding it harder to maintain a sense of perspective, and humor, about my life, and when I am finally in a group situation, I feel out of practice and like the shy kid I used to be.
In an effort to create a better balance for myself, I’ve tried taking my laptop to Starbucks. I know from its marketing materials that it seeks to be a third place, but I’ve found that no matter how many people are sitting there drinking coffee and tapping away at their computers, the experience is essentially solitary. With little wit, laughter or lively, engaging conversation among regulars — and no free coffee — it bears little resemblance to my ex-office…
More than five million people have been laid off in the United States since December 2007, so I know I’m not alone. While that makes me no less lonely, it does suggest that there are hordes of people out there who, like me, have suffered from a double loss: their income, as well a place that provided a special form of social nourishment.
Third Places, community, camaraderie – author Catherine Bergart has got the language down. I’m thinking that I should e-mail her directly about our Pink Slip Special and see if that gets her to come out and work with us for a month from Seattle. Ms. Bergart’s conclusion at the end of her piece to seek out a coworking space is a spectacular example of how coworking is becoming not only more mainstream, but a truly new way of defining how we will work in the future.
Ms. Bergart says it well – “more than five million people have been laid off in the United States since December 2007, so I know I’m not alone.” I’d add, many of those people have decided that instead of traditional employment, they would start their own small businesses. How are these nomadic workers being served? It only seems natural that coworking has evolved in response.
Thanks, as usual, NYT. We’re so glad you love coworking as much as we do.