While the rest of the world quivers in fear of our shared economic doom, a stalwart group of entreprenurs the world over is quivering a bit less. Coworkers are less fearful of the recession because recessions can be powerful incubators for innovativon. As more and more people lose their jobs, more finally try out the unique ideas they’ve been baking in their heads for years. In this scenario, not only does innovation (and innovators) thrive, but so do coworking spaces. It’s a concept I’ve written about before here (thanks to a post I read on the Launchpad Cowworking blog). Now that idea is starting to gain currency in the mainstream media too.
Yesterday, Reuters ran a piece called “Co-working [sic] has a wider appeal in recession.” The thesis is that people are flocking to coworking spaces (note the lack of a hyphen in “coworking” Reuters!) as they lose their jobs in search of community.
But the recession has made the idea of working amongst strangers appealing to a broader range of people, from those that recently lost their jobs to consultants eager to stay in the loop.
Sound familiar? Anyway, it’s a good piece and worth a read in these bleak economic times. If nothing else, it’ll help ease
the mind of anyone who might be thinking of launching their own space in these strange times.
Oh, and it mentions
our Pink Slip Special at the very end, so there’s that too!
I couldn’t help re-use this image I originally found when searching Flickr for “Looking Up.” Orange kitties just rock. Thanks to Flickr user ex.libris for putting it there under the Creative Commons license.
Not a complete list. Impressive nonetheless
Back last May, the public radio show Marketplace ran a piece about coworking. They visited some coworkers in New York City, had a good time with the whole, “why don’t you want to work at home” thing and that was that. I was thrilled since I love that show, but it didn’t go very deep. This week, they did another which makes me even happier. Coworking on Marketplace twice in about six months? We’re a full-fledged trend now.
This piece is much the same as the other one, which I must admit makes it a bit strange. There’s not much new in it, other than the space they visit (North Carolina’s Creative Coworking). Instead, it’s full of the same kind of confusion on the part of the reporter about why people would want to come to an office (she talks about corporate offices populated by “people wishing they could work in their underwear,” for example. She should talk to Chris.) and quotes from coworkers who explaining the sense of isolation and frustration we’ve all felt when confronted with another day spent with just our cats for company.
One bit that’s new this time is the mention of the recession and how it might actually help coworking spaces to thrive. In a down economy, the reporter points out, office space that costs less might be very attractive to those who have their own. Goes along with the theory that in a down economy, entreprenurs are likely to thrive.
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, coworking and those of us doing it are well positioned to make it through this recession with flying colors. It may be a bit nerve wracking right now, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be fine when it’s all over because we have each other to lean on and fertile environments that generate tons of marketable, sustainable ideas.
That whiteboard is right here in our office. The picture was taken by our friend Matt Westervelt who added it to our Office Nomads Flickr pool. If you have any shots from here you’d like to add, please do! Tag them with OfficeNomads