This summer Gemma Church discusses Coworking Spaces for Seniors. What does this mean?
She notes surveys that show that older coworkers are more likely to be consultants and other professionals, while a large proportion of younger coworkers are in “tech” (which I assume means software and web design).
It also seems that younger workers are more likely to be employees of a large corporation, which older workers own their business.
Presumably, independent workers of all ages benefit from opportunities for networking and collaborations.
However, it also seems clear that not all coworking communities are congenial for older workers.
Anna Meyer reports on the Senior Planet chain, a non-profit that offers specialized training, etc . It seems to be aimed to be compensatory, teaching digital tech and business techniques to geezers.
Their motto is “aging with attitude”, and the “attitude” appears to be about “people who were born long before the digital revolution” who want to “stay engaged and active” (including something called “senior style”, whatever that is.)
Senior Planet is also described “a safe place”, where rampant ageism and associated “microaggressions” do not prevail. (Hey kids, we invented “inclusion”, and have fought for decades now, you think we don’t notice?)
This entire concept also seems that this is making the best of a bad lot, when more people are unable to retire and are forced to work longer.
Personally, I think this “seniors only” approach misses a huge opportunity for coworking: multigenerational community. There are many potential advantages for everyone to a coworking community that includes parents with kids, and also “grandparents”, as well as hotshot twenty somethings.
My favorite example might be Canoe Coworking, designed as an indigenous community. As such, it includes a space for elders who are there both to advise and to be cared for. Now you’re talking.
- Gemma Church, Coworking Spaces for Seniors, in CommercialCafe. 2019. https://www.commercialcafe.com/blog/coworking-spaces-seniors/
- Anna Meyer, See inside a coworking space for seniors, in Fast Company. 2019. https://www.fastcompany.com/90344172/see-inside-a-coworking-space-for-seniors