September 9 is International Coworking Day (not to be confused with National Coworking Day, 6 June).
Over the last 18 months we all have learned to work remotely, like or not. This year coworking is celebrating a rebirth of interest in coworking spaces, as people ease back into offices, and organizations contemplate a future of “hybrid” work practices.
As I have argued before, coworking is potentially just the right thing for workers who sometimes commute to the office, sometimes work from home, and sometimes want to work near home but not in the main office. And frankly, if a coworking space is a good fit, you might want to spend a lot of time there, rather than home.
What are the variables that might determine a good fit?
Well, Sensei Cat Johnson has a little list . Sensei Cat has always had her head screwed on right, so pay attention.
Her top three items are WiFi, coffee and creamer. I’d say these are is necessary but not sufficient, especially since a good coffee shop covers these bases, no?
The core is items 4-7: Connection, Belonging, Professional development, Professional connections. Community, community, community.
And the rest is mere infrastructure…. Chairs, sanitation, provision for separating phone conversations from quiet work. And so on.
This is a great list, and I know it is based on years of experience.
My own summary would be this. Without WiFi and coffee, it’s not actually usable office space. The key is, as it always has been, Community, Community, Community. “Belonging” is basically the whole point.
If you’ve got that Wifi, coffee and community, everything else can be worked around.
And if you don’t believe me, Sensei Cat included two last points, to cement the point: “Purpose” and “Community”.
“Purpose” is an interesting one, and very definitely Cat Johnson-y: “People want purpose in their lives and work.”
In my view, this is something that coworking leadership helps enunciate, and both creates and emerges from the development of a community. Sensie observes that “coworking spaces are full of people living a life of their design, digging deeper into their best self, and finding purpose in their days” .
And so, an important goal for coworking leaders is to, and I quote, “Surface this”.
So there’s a motto for 2021: Surface your Purpose.
From Rene at da.wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
- Cat Johnson, 25+ Things Members Want From Your Coworking Space, in Cat’s Blog, August 3, 2021. https://catjohnson.co/members-want-coworking/