As I predicted coworking is coming back, and there are plenty of seats available. As Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner’s headline says “Co-Working Spaces Are Back. And There Are Many, Many Options” . As she reports, there is pent up demand for face to face interaction and a vast oversupply of office space.
This means workers have many more choices (and who says you have to pick only one coworking space?) Not only the old, pre-pandemic spaces, but new options including restaurants open for workers in the daytime, hotels, spaces in residential buildings, and many “smaller, resourceful co-working initiatives”.
As predicted here.
“Let a thousand flowers boom” has always been my mantra for coworking.
Some of the new initiatives are things that I’d like to see succeed. For one thing, some of the coworking spaces are near where the people live, i.e., instead of commuting, go to a coworking space near home. This is surely a good thing, especially if you get to meet a bunch of other people who are also not commuting. This is the close in version of “zoom towning”.
Of course, the current crop of daisies has some dubious sprouts in the mix.
One so-called “coworking” space rents you a pod, with no human contact at any point.
How is this “coworking” at all?, I ask. This is a capsule hotel with a desk instead of a bed.
Another venture (in the Bay area naturally) is doing the Airbnb thing, renting you space in someone else’s apartment .
I’m not really seeing why I want to work at home in someone else’s home? (OK, I guess you leave your kids at home, and the rental better not come with kids included.)
My own view is that these concepts will probably fail because they misunderstand the essential point of coworking: to find a community of like-minded workers.
So, work pods are basically pointless as far as I’m concerned. About as useful as a phone booth—which is useful when you need it, but probably not if you have to pay by the hour.
Home coworking has been around for quite a while (remember Jelly?) It can be really, really cool, bringing together a neighborhood, making friends, knitting, baking cookies. But inviting strangers to use your home while you are not there is really not building community. So I really dunno about this app–it depends on how you use it.
We still don’t know how the new hybrid office will work out. But remote workers will not be short of places to work.
The bottom line is, there are lots of choices for workers right now, which is a very good thing.
And I hope remote workers will be able to find comfortable and mutually helpful communities of fellow workers, whatever that means to each of them.
- Aayat Ali, Bay Area Startup Is The Airbnb Of Coworking Spaces, in Allwork, May 16, 2021. https://allwork.space/2019/05/bay-area-startup-is-the-airbnb-of-coworking-spaces
- Melissa Kravitz Hoeffner, Co-Working Spaces Are Back. And There Are Many, Many Options, in New York Times. 2021: New York. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/15/nyregion/co-working-New-York.html