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Coworking Spaces

Mar 12, 2016



Sonia Ghazali

Coworking is a shared work environment where independent professionals gather. The term “coworking” was coined in 1999 by Bernie DeKoven, and in 2005, Brad Neuberg used “coworking” to describe a physical space, organizing the “Hat Factory” and “Citizen Space,” the first official coworking spaces.
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  • By Sonia Ghazali


    DMGT 702 | Winter 2013

  • Contents

    What is innovation? 03 What is Coworking? 04

    Invention to innovation 05 Heterogeneous Engineering 06

    What is driving the innovation? 08

    Coworking spaces worldwide 09

    Reinventing the meaning 10

    Recontextualization 11

    Coworking philosophy 12

    Attributes of innovation 13

    Adopters of coworking spaces 15

    Evolution in the future 16

    Summary 17

    Bibliography 19

  • The purpose of this study is to explore the process of innovation by looking at the development and diffusion of Coworking spaces around the world.

    Innovation refers to renewing, changing or creating more effective processes, products or ways of doing things.

    I have come to my own concise definition of innovation:

    Innovation= Invention x human value x Implementation Where creativity is path and design is the driver. This study will explore coworking spaces as an innovation that fits this definition.

    What is Innovation?


  • What is Coworking?

    Bernie De KovenI n v e n t o r

    Coworking is a shared work environ-ment where independent profession-als gather. The term coworking was coined in 1999 by Bernie DeKoven, a software developer who used it to describe computer-supported collaborative work. In 2005, Brad Neuberg used coworking to describe a physical space, organizing the Hat Factory and Citizen Space, the first official coworking spaces. The spaces allowed workers to collaborate, even though they didnt work for the same company or client.

    Brad NeubergC h a n g e A g e n t


  • Invention to innovation

    Hat FactoryS a n F r a n c i s c o , C A

    Coworking Spaces rarely offer only workspace, they are creating a community of people who have different jobs but who want to share ideas. Individual and flexible adaptation according to the needs of the members is commonly viewed in these workspaces. The concept has been duplicated, re-imagined, and expanded by creative innovators all over the world.

    The first independent full-time Coworking space in the world.A live-work loft that was home to three technology workers, and open to others during the day.

    Spiral MuseS a n F r a n c i s c o , C A

    First coworking space at Spiral Muse: a social wellness and women's network center. The space offered up to eight desks, common lunches, meditation, massages and cycling. But the idea didn't take off quickly, and almost died after one year.

    Citizen SpaceS a n F r a n c i s c o , C A

    The first "Work Only" coworking space, and the space that spawned a global movement.Citizen Space was built on the coworking philosophy. Citizen Space isnt just another rent a desk type of place. The space is built to values collaboration, openness, community and accessibility.


  • Heterogeneous Engineering Shift of work culture:

    CommunicationC a l l , E m a i l s , Te x t

    Communication pattern changed from writing to texting.

    TechnologyD e s k t o p , L a p t o p , I P a d

    Technology has made the worker mobile.It has given ability to physically move around in the workplace

    ConnectivityN e t w o r k s , L A N s , W i - F i

    Wi-Fi technology has allows user to connect to work from any where possible and communications directly from one computer to another.

    Corporate Setting:To reduce cost and enhance productivity, corporation allowed employee to work from outside.

    Home:But lack of interaction led to loneliness and slower business growth, pushing them out .

    Coffee Shops:Many workers seek public spaces for relief and meetings like coffee shops. These offer free Wi-Fi and good coffee yet not designed as work-spaces.

    Coworking spaces:Noise and privacy made freelancer, entrepreneurs and corporate refugees to seek a interactive space where they can collaborate, get inspired and build a diverse social network. 06

  • Coworking happens when you bring the values of collaboration, community, and sustainability into the workplace (Buczynski, 2012)

  • What is driving the Innovation?

    Economic Reasons

    Fun. Friendly. Inspiring. Collaborative. Productive.

    The benefits of coworking continue to be realized: 71% of coworker said their creativity had increased since joining, and 62% said their standard of work had improved. Countering the common claim that coworking spaces can be distracting, 68% said they were able to focus better, as compared to 12% who said the opposite. 64% said they could better complete tasks on time.

    Social ReasonsCoworking space provides instant professional community.

    The ease of collaborating with other companies and individu-als sharing the space.

    Privacy without isolation or distraction of any kind.

    Having all the amenities of a professional environment.

    It helps boost of creativity and self-confidence.

    I get the advantages of the culture of a

    medium-size business without having to

    deal with most of the downsides that come

    with it.(Dishman, 2013)

    Coworking spaces make recreating a traditional office environment economical.

    The workforce diversifies and allow individual to boost business and hire skilled professionals.

    Most coworking spaces provide free coffee,eliminating re-caffinating cost.

    As a business model, opening and running workspaces of any shape and size are proven profitable and growth-oriented. 03 08

  • Coworking Spaces worldwideLess than a decade after coworking pioneer Brad Neuberg first coined the term, the concept has been dupli-cated, re-imagined, and expanded by creative innovators all over the world. Some important highlights:

    ~ Deskmag estimates there are now 2,072 coworking spaces around the world.

    ~ Nearly 700 of the world's coworking spaces are in the U.S., and just over 700 in the EU.

    ~ Spain and Australia now have the most coworking spaces per capita.

    ~ Coworking is growing the fastest in Asia, Latin America and Oceania.

    (Buczynski, 2012)

    Coworking Movement

    (Foertsch, 2012)04 09

  • Reinventing the Meaning

    Deskmag has conducted the biggest study of coworking world-wide through its Global Coworking - participants were asked to choose words that best describe their coworking experience. Some of the top results were; fun, friendly, creative, inspiring, productive, flexible, social and collaborative.

    (Deskmag, 2012)

    05 10

  • Shift of work culture: Recontextulization

    ClassroomsT h e G e e k d o m

    Hybid SpacesH u b K i n g s C r o s s

    CosewingsTe t e C a f e C o s t u t r a

    CreativeZ o n a S p a c e

    Spa-Like T h e H e r a H u b

    Writers DenT h e P a r a g r a p h

    (women only)

    06 11

  • Coworking Philosophy:1. Collaboration2. Openness3. Community4. Accessibility5. Sustainability

  • Coworking Movement

    Over the loneliness and distraction at home oces:Distraction at home interrupts work and train-of-thought, resulting in low productivity. While coworking also boosts social connectivity and build community support; leading to spontaneous brainstorming and collaboration or even partnerships.

    Over the distracting and exposed at Coee shops:Coffeehouses are about, community and sharing. But these places are not ideal for concentrating on the projects or conducting private group meetings.

    Save costs of opening/renting and maintaining own oce:Coworking spaces are relatively low-cost and convenient, providing conference rooms, photocopiers and other amenities as well as other less tangible benefits for entrepreneurs and startups.

    Cost-eective in creating professional environment:Coworking locations make it easier and more cost-effective to recreate a traditional office environment and provide professional atmosphere.

    Attributes of Innovation?

    Relative Advantages:


    08 13

  • Coworking Movement

    Easy to use, understand and to take advantage:Coworking space offers individual and group desks,small office, meeting and conference rooms. They also provides outlets and Wi-Fi, free Coffee, photocopier and printers. Some spaces also features event rooms, free parking, a fitness studio, yoga classes, a kitchen and showers.

    Drop-in day rate or trial day:As each working environment is unique and offers different amenities, to find ideal space, most communities offer drop-in day rate or free trial day. One can also rent a desk for an hour to be fully certain whether to adopt the innovation or not.

    Around 2100 coworking spaces around the world:Coworking is becoming mainstream as a preferred workplace solution only in the major cities within US and around the world. Coworking portals and directories on web and smart phone App. helps to search available coworking spaces.

    Attributes of Innovation?




    09 14

  • Adopters of Coworking Spaces 1. Entrepreneur2. Free-lancers,3.. Contractors,4. Independent professional, 5. Small business owner, 6. Telecommuter, 7. Tech startup .8. Small team or work groups, 9. Artist and designer,10. Writers.

    Who are the coworkers? 53% are free-lancers, while the remainder are entrepreneurs, small company employees, big company employ-ees, and 8% who describe them-selves as none of the above (the proportion of "other" respondents has increased from 5% two years ago to 8%, while entrepreneurs has fallen from 18% to 14%). The proportion of female coworkers is growing, up from 32% in 2010 to 38% today. (deskmag, 2012)

    Who are the users?


  • Evolution in the future New coworking spaces continue to expect, on a relative scale, a higher plus in income compared to the more established spaces. This is because in the beginning, they have to host less members. These numbers can be relatively easy to increase when compared to increase in older spaces. The same goes for events and revenue. Coworking spaces will evolve in the following way in the future: 1. More new opening:53% of all large coworking spaces (with 30 members or more) consider opening at least one new location.

    2. Expansion of the existing spaces:Two-thirds of coworking spaces plan to expand within their existing spaces, by moving to a bigger location or by opening (a) new location(s).

    3. Generate more events:To attract different type of coworker, different events like workshops, parties, information session and networking event will be generated.

    11 16

  • SummaryC O W O R K I N G S PA C E S - S U C C E S S F U L I N N O VAT I O N

    Coworking spaces are popping up all over the world, each with a specific set of services, targeted population, and physical design.

    Coworking is not only reinventing the traditional work space but also adding human value by providing flexible hours, openness, collaboration and relationship building without the corporate politics. The implementation of flexibility to work your way is leading to greater productivity, networking, supporting, uplifting, and propelling users respective businesses forward.

    Theres a lot of other vertical opportunities and creative paths yet to be explored. Designing targeted strategies for users from different industries and domain of life will change the face of this innovation altogether.


    Coworking Philosophy:1. Collaboration2. Openness3. Community4. Accessibility5. Sustainability

  • Coworking Movement


  • Buczynski, B. (2012, Aug). After 7 Years, Coworking Movement Still Growing Rapidly. Retrieved from Shareable:

    Buczynski, B. (2012, May). How coworking enhancing the entire community. Retrieved from Insteading:

    Burkart, K. (2013, Feb). The coworking movement: Building communities outside of cubicles. Retrieved from US bank Connect:

    Deskmag. (2012, Nov). 1st Results of the 3rd Global Coworking Survey. Retrieved from Deskmag:

    Dishman, L. (2013, Jan). The Future Of Coworking And Why It Will Give Your Business A Huge Edge. Retrieved from Fast Company:

    Fisher, S. (2012, Aug). How to Start a Coworking Space. Retrieved from Out Right:

    Foertsch, C. (2012, Aug). 1800 Coworking Spaces worldwide. Retrieved from Desmag:

    Koons, D. (2012). Seven Benefits of Coworking. Retrieved from Free agent:

    Stillman, J. (2012, Feb). Why Co-working Spaces Help Businesses Succeed. Retrieved from Inc.:


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