Coworking has been called many things over the past few years but often times the biggest criticism or comment has been that it’s simply a newer version of the traditional executive suite.
On the one hand it’s easy to see why this comparison might be made, after all, any square box of metal with 4 wheels and a steering wheel along with seats for people to sit on is probably called an automobile. What’s interesting however is that nobody would confuse a Ford with a Rolls Royce and say they’re the same, because they’re.
The reason coworking has been able to take previous workspace models (executive suites, open plan desks, cubicles etc.) and fuse together something truly new lies not in the space and amenities themselves, but in something less tangible and more important. It’s the ‘C’ word…
Why is community so important? We can trace it back to the beginning of time. If you look at the creation story in Genesis you’ll read that God didn’t think it was good for Adam to be alone so he created a companion for him, a ‘co-laborer’ to essentially work alongside him, and do life together as a team.
- If you’re British you’ll understand how the local pub became the community center for millions of people over hundreds of years, again as a place where companionship, friendship and camaraderie happen.
- Sports fan? Almost all major sports are team sports and the few solo sports that exist (tennis or climbing to name a couple) often find the competitors acting like team mates when they’re not in the throws of competition. Federer practices tennis with Murray. Climbers help each other, shouting tips and support from the ground to the one on the wall.
- The biggest companies? They all have more than one person working for them.
- Social media? An online community for people to connect through.
- It seems that as human beings, we’re inherently wired for community and connection, and most often this happens around common causes and threads. Family. Interests. Work. We encourage, uplift and support. We celebrate and cheer on.
If we take the concept of humans being created in the image of God we see that God himself is a community. He’s 3 people in one, in perfect harmony and unity, who seem to enjoy hanging out with each other, working together and again, doing life. He also came down to stroll with Adam every day, interacting at a personal level and showing his desire for connection.
The Bible tells us we’re made in God’s image and if that’s the case, it seems the inner craving for connection and community is actually hard coded into a person’s DNA. Because we’re like him. And he’s a community.
Wherever we look in history and culture, community has always been there. Coworking is simply the latest and potentially most clear framework to bring it to the workspace, particularly to smaller businesses in a way that hasn’t been achieved before.
Big companies easily create community because of the large employee base. Smaller companies don’t have that luxury because it’s simply a scaling issue. By fusing and creating spaces that place lots of smaller companies and entrepreneurs around each other, bonded by the central theme of business, this new community ethos has been able to spread further and faster because of the coworking movement.
Through WorkLodge, we continually and intentionally build our DNA on this fundamental belief, that everyone needs to be connected to a community of others around a common cause (in this case business). That everyone will thrive and do better because of this community and ultimately, everyone will be happier, more successful and experience the best version of their life possible, as a result of the environment that this community brings.
Community built around entrepreneurship and business is here to stay. For now, we’ll call it coworking.