“How many people know what coworking is?”
Coworking - a concept that we assume everyone knows all about.
This was the general feeling that we had before opening our White Plains, NY space almost a year ago. We thought that people would walk in, grab some coffee, connect to the internet and go about their business getting things done.
Man were we wrong.
Coworking is one of those concepts...
that feels so obvious, yet is received as somewhat abstract - something that, when explained can be polarizing, but is in fact fundamentally the opposite. When describing how our space works, we make sure to touch on the community-focused layout - the open concept, lounge area, even the beer-on-tap in the kitchen.
Some people get it right away - they may have heard of WeWork or The Farm, maybe some of them have worked out of another space in the past and are just now discovering that there is coworking in their area.
Most people who don't fall into this first category listen to our spiel, smile, nod, and ultimately set up a trial day to see if coworking is really their thing. To us this is great - whether or not they become members isn't the big win here; the fact that they now know what coworking is, even if only being 'exposed' to it for a brief time, is what's important. Hopefully one day they'll talk to someone about it and that someone might then tell their friend who might come to one of our events, etc.
Still others begin to listen, then at some point decide that it isn't going to work for them and cut us off mid-sentence. And you know what? That's OK too. Like any other step in the evolution of, well, anything, some people won't like it. And that's OK.
I suppose a good first step to shed some light on exactly what coworking is is to Google it:
"Coworking," sometimes used with a capital 'C', is a proper term used to describe a deep and meaningful concept.
that has ‘since evolved into a decentralized movement centered around a core set of shared values: Community, Openness, Collaboration, Accessibility, and Sustainability. While the exact set of values that comprise coworking vary somewhat by interpretation, it is commonly accepted that Coworking represents something far more than simply that of people working in the same place. It represents a fundamentally new way of thinking about how we work and share with one another.
"coworking" or "co-working," with a lower-case 'c', is a generic word 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.
This might happen in any of a number of contexts, including a casual gathering, an activity which takes place inside of other kinds of businesses, or an activity that takes place in a Coworking Space.
And yet one more way...
to figure out exactly what coworking is could be by checking out a coworking space near you - the majority of spaces out there would love to have you over to ‘test drive’ their communities (including their wi-fi and coffee).
So what's the next step? If you (like us) think coworking is worth looking into, we here at KOI invite you over to learn a bit more about coworking and give it a shot - for a whole day if you feel like it!