What is Coworking?

In 1999, I remember saying with a deep sense of conviction,“The day I need a cell phone is the day I’m too busy; I don’t want to be assorted with those types of people.”I then went out and purchased a Qualcomm QCP-860, it’s okay if you don’t remember those, just know it’s a cell-phone.

In 2004, I bemoaned,“Why would I want a ‘MySpace’ with music and stuff?”

I then spent hours (more like a few days) picking out the perfect textured theme and playlist for my page. I said (and felt) similar things about Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Now, all of these (other than Myspace and the QCP-860, of course) are ordinary, natural parts of my daily life and rhythm.

When a friend described the “new” co-working concept to me a few years back, two similar emotions flared up:Why would I want to work alongside other people from different companies in the same space? I want my company to have its own building, not share a space with other companies.

I remember saying

“Co-Working is for grass-roots companies who haven’t arrived yet; I don’t want to be associated with those companies.”

But after searching for business space for rent in Charlotte and ultimately going the traditional office route (and just about ruining my organization in the process), I decided to give the whole co-working or shared office space concept a try. Now, it’s an ordinary, natural part of my daily life and rhythm. And I suspect the same will be true for you and your company in the days and years ahead, if it’s not already.

Just as I once asked, “What is Facebook exactly?” you may be asking the same about coworking.

So what is coworking exactly?

Nina Pohler, who recently completed a thesis on the topic at the Vienna University for Business Administration and Economics defines “coworking” as:

Every workspace with flexible structures that is designed for and by people with atypical, new types of work – that is not exclusively for people from one certain company.

If that’s too technical of a definition for you, whatiscoworking.com offers a simpler, more straightforward definition:

“coworking” or “co-working,” with a lower-case ‘c’, is a generic work that’s generally used to describe any situation in which two or more people are working in the same place together, but not for the same company.

Here’s what we think coworking means…

The main idea behind this concept is for like-minded individuals and companies to work collaboratively in a common space in order to build friendships and community with one another for the purpose of greater productivity, market impact, and camaraderie in life and business.

Let me put it this way to show the idea behind coworking in Charlotte:

If you had to bet which company would experience greater productivity, would you put your money on a company who works independently of other companies in their field, or a company who works alongside of other companies in their field?

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People are better together; and the broader and more diverse our working relationships are, the better ourselves, our companies and products will be to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse market.

Coworking is about getting out of our organizational silos (and sometimes individual egos) and offering ourselves, our ideas, our dreams, and our companies to other great leaders and companies who can help push our products, causes, etc into the future and vice versa.

While shared office spaces in Charlotte differ from place to place, most offer amenities like kitchens stocked with snacks and beverages, conference rooms, high-speed internet, printers, common areas with couches to relax while you work. They appeal to a broad range of businesses and professionals. From freelancers, small and medium sized start-ups or remote employees who work for larger corporations.

You’ll find options for daily desk rentals, more long-term dedicated desks, up to private offices that can accommodate entire teams. Perhaps one of the most appealing aspects of coworking is the collaboration between individuals and companies flowing from a community of like-minded professionals all wanting each other to succeed.

Like Instagram, I could have used that a long time ago.

At the Launch Factory we provide a unique, technology-optimized, coworking space in Charlotte, that’s ready for business professionals and teams of all shapes and sizes. If you have any questions about our space or would like to schedule a private tour, please contact us here.

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