Coworking Space for Medical Practices?

In the past, I have remarked that certain kinds of businesses and professions are poorly served by coworking spaces.  These include anything that needs special equipment or environmental controls or branded space.  I have also remarked that some services that require privacy, such as medical or behavioral clinics.

This summer, I read of a “coworking space for medical practice” [1].  Hmm.    Am I wrong about this?  How does this work?


First of all, the facility is aimed at “private practice”, i.e., a small clinic with one or a few practitioners.  Conventionally, the facility would be owned and managed by the doctors.  The “coworking” space basically takes over the administrative work and expense, and provides (presumably appropriate) shared resources for all the tenants.

The company calls it “a concierge collaborative care environment.”

So, one question is, is this a “coworking space”, in the sense that most people might mean?  Historically most coworking space is not “boutique”, it is very generic.  Also, coworking space is classically shared, open plan workspace, not private “offices and studio space”.

On the other hand, a coworking space certainly is about sharing infrastructure, and offloading administrative responsibility to the operator.  And the operator promises “a comprehensive, fully managed, operating system for medical professionals.” This apparently includes people expert in “high touch customer service and brand building experience.”  (That’s not what a computer operating system is about, so the borrowed term is confusing to me.  But, I  digress.)

In general, the operator of coworking space aims to replace important features of a conventional workplace that are missing for independent workers:  infrastructure, management, networking, a sense of community.  This medical operation is doing the same thing, for a specialized kind of workplace.

So, it looks like I was wrong about coworking for medical practicing: it makes sense, at least in some cases.

In particular, it is clear that this space is aimed at “start ups”, individual or perhaps small groups of newly minted practitioners.  It is also aimed at “office visits”, which require privacy but not a lot of specific facilities (labs, imaging, sterile environment, etc.)

I’ll also point out that these spaces will probably see “churn” like other coworking spaces.  Doctors will move on to other spaces as the practice grows or simply to get a better deal.  From the point of view of the workspace operator, this churn may or may not be any different from conventional leasing.

It appears to me that the business model is predicated on the perceived financial and administrative pain of running such an office, which I certainly am not an expert on.  I can’t judge how this coworking space compares to working at a conventional clinic or other alternative.

It is obvious, though, that a lot of medical practice doesn’t fit this model for various reasons.  This is also a very “boutique” operation—scarcely the coworking space down the street, filled with freelance web designers and whatnot.  So my overall point is not too unreasonable: a lot of medical practice is not suited to the general coworking model.

  1. Natalie Kais, Clinicube Helps More Doctors Open Practice With Coworking Facility Format in PFSK. 2019. https://www.psfk.com/2019/06/clinicube-medical-coworking-space.html

 

I AM A Mentor

January 4 is “I Am A Mentor” Day recognizing and encouraging mentoring in your community.

I’m proud to be a mentor, and I’m very proud of all the mentors in our community schools and programs.

The month of January is US National Mentoring Month, to celebrate mentoring and the positive effect it can have on young lives.

I strongly encourage everyone who can to be a mentor.  It doesn’t take much time, and the payback is unbelievable.

Find your local opportunites here.

What is Coworking? It’s So 2019, Already

The First Year

The spring of 2018 saw the publication of “What is Coworking?”  In the first year, this website and blog was launched to promote the book, with two dozen posts along with 150 some tweets (@whatiscoworking), and a book launch event.

In October, I did a Pecha Kucha talk, on the topic of “Coworking as Participatory Theater” (a topic discussed in the book.)

Some Stats

The website, blog, twitter, and other media have shown fully tens of visits (and some of those are almost certainly robots).

More important, sales of the book are also in the tens.

Why have you not bought the book already???

(If you tried to buy the book on line and had problems, please, please tell me what happened so I can try to fix it. Email to: contact@whatiscoworkingthebook.com .)

New Year’s Resolution for 2019

Let’s all join together, resolving to buy the book.

Click here to find purchase info.

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Peace!

What is Coworking? It’s All About Community Leadership

Robert McGrath's Blog

Coworking is all about community, community, community.

But this community doesn’t happen by chance or arise spontaneously.

As discussed in Chapter 5 of my book [2] “What is Coworking?”, the contemporary coworking phenomenon is characterized by a cadre of community leaders, who combine roles and skills from a number of other professions.  The success of a coworking space and its community depends on great community leadership.


This month Sensei Cat Johnson illustrates this point in “An Open Letter to Community Managers”, which is surely addressed to her own community leaders [1].

As usual, Sensei Cat says it so much better than I could.

Essentially:

“Without you, this whole coworking thing would fall apart.”

Sensei Cat calls out many roles these professional “community managers” play in her coworking space, including technical IT support, orienting new workers, and office management.  The “manager” also organizes social events (“what about…

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