Flash back to August 9, 2005. The world had not yet been introduced to the “iPhone”. Facebook had just added “photos” as an application and opened its doors to non-college kids. “Brangelina” was years away and everything seemed to end in the suffix, “izzle”. Though 2005 may seem like a lifetime ago to some and a hop, skip and a jump back to others, it is hard to believe that it was six years ago.
Around this time, Brad Neuberg decided to set up a shared office space for people who want to work from home but still want the conveniences of a physical office every now and then. A move way ahead of its time, the phrase “coworking” was born.
To celebrate this momentous occasion and mark the beginnings of true work-life balance, coworkers around the world celebrate August 9 as International Coworking Day. This informal holiday encourages and supports collaboration, sustainability, accessibility and community in the workplace.
Haven’t heard of coworking? It was new to me, as well. But I think it’s a genius idea. Set up office spaces around the world where people can go and enjoy the conveniences of the modern office without having to lease an entire office space. Many of these facilities have state-of-the-art technology with conference rooms, video conferencing abilities, a shared administrative assistant, printer/fax capabilities, internet access, computer terminals and private offices. Coworking is perfect for small business owners who need space to meet with clients but don’t want to foot the bill for a storefront. It’s also beneficial for those who live in rural communities and don’t want to have to commute two hours to work each day. What about stay-at-home moms or employees who work from home, but like to be around people from time to time? Coworking is the answer.
According to a 2007 survey published in Network World, many employees were worried about feeling isolated or losing human interaction if they worked from home. In this poll, one third of private and public workers reported they did not want to telecommute. Coworking alleviates this kind of anxiety. If you need to be home for personal or professional reasons but enjoy the company of others, using a coworking space can help you feel connected during the day.
If this concept sounds appealing to you, today is the perfect day to find out more at one of the 820 coworking spaces across the globe. Many facilities are celebrating with various events including picnics, complimentary coworking space, free seminars, “coworking in the park” and tons of parties.
Take part in the discussion by following #coworkingday on Twitter.