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The 90s were when significant change began. It is interesting to note that the precursors to coworking spaces were hacker spaces, such as C-Base in Berlin. These hacker spaces were community-operated workspaces where people with common interests, often in technology, could meet, socialize and collaborate. The term ‘coworking’ wasn’t coined until 1999 when Brian DeKoven used the phrase to distinguish a way of working that facilitates collaboration and meeting for business, coordinated by computer (DeskMag).
In the early 90s, technology such as free WiFi and computers was still scarce. Many people did not have personal computers, let alone portable devices. Therefore coworking spaces with computers and Internet had a huge positive impact on professional collaboration. Today, due to the advancement of technology, these tools are available for everybody. We can work anywhere we want: at home, at the coffee shop, in a shared office, on the way home, or in the public library. We are not bound to one physical space thanks to our devices: laptops, tablets, smartphones or a mix of them all. We have changed a lot, but one thing has remained the same: technology connects us to our community.
There are many tools that a person can use today to build a community. LinkedIn is nothing new to us anymore. We are active on social media, we gather business cards, and we do our best to become a thought leader in discussion forums. Why do we have to work so hard and spend so much time to get noticed? It is because we barely use our physical, personal network on the Internet.
Imagine that you have 100 connections. The coworker next to you sipping his latte also has 100 connections. He is probably searching for someone from your network, and you may be looking for a developer who just happens to be in his connections. Wouldn’t it be great to magically know who has the type of connections you’re looking for? And let’s take it further: not only searching within your coworking space, but also the connections outside your coworking space.
The future of coworking is in creating circles of networks, where coworkers connect to each other within their coworking spaces, and their coworking spaces connect to other coworking spaces to help their members do business together. This way, members of a coworking space can reach out to other coworking communities in faraway countries or states to find each other and collaborate. Coworking spaces need an online platform that allows their members to easily search for and find other coworkers anywhere in the world.
It seems that, just as in the early days of coworking, technology is again about to disrupt how we connect, communicate and work with each other.
Coming soon: how Bisner facilitates the future of coworking.
While coworking spaces are an exciting development in the business world, we can’t forget that the world as a whole is rapidly going digital and work 2.0 is taking over the coworking market.
With more than 4200 coworking spaces already operating in Europe and the US and an estimated 37,000 coworking spaces worldwide by 2018 (Deskmag), coworking is undoubtedly a growing trend.
As ever more coworking spaces pop up around the world, they have come to realize the need to differentiate themselves. How do they do that?
Use Bisner to support the social side of coworking and bring your community online.
Let your members experience virtual coworking.