Back in the 1980s, more than 20 years ago, we didn’t have a name for it quite as cool as co-working. But it did happen occasionally. I worked mostly alone in a small rented office on Forest Street in Palo Alto, but I envied the group a couple of blocks away that rented desks in an open space with shared copiers and FAX machines.
It’s amusing to me that back then, like 1986, the Internet connection wasn’t even an issue. If we did Applelink or Compuserve or the Source, our advance versions of online connectivity, a phone model was the only option anyhow.
What did matter more was the sharing and community. Instead of working completely alone, isolated in their startup, my friends in that open office space had somebody to talk to. They could ask questions, share ideas, and feel like they had an office community.
That idea has become co-working. I noticed it this morning in a post at The StartUp Blog at PartnerUp. And that post links to this article: Co-workspaces: No colleagues? Why you should consider renting some. Then I Googled “co-working” to discover how much of this is now going on.
Meanwhile, I’ve been watching it up close up and personal, in the San Francisco Bay Area. My youngest daughter is now on her second job since graduating from college, and both of them have been for small startups that share space in co-working buildings. And in both cases, the collection of small startups has been a great atmosphere for small groups to grow in.
What a good idea. If the home office doesn’t work for you, here’s an interesting option, not a lot more expensive, with a lot of advantages.