• Virtual Coworking

    Some of you may be familiar with the concept of coworking, but perhaps it is still a new and blurry concept. In short, coworking is the practice of independent workers sharing a working environment. You will often hear about coworking spaces. According to Deskmag, a coworking space is essentially any workspace that has flexible structures and that is designed for and by people with atypical, new types of work – and that is not exclusively for people from one certain company. With more than 4200 coworking spaces already operating in Europe and the US and an estimated 37,000 coworking spaces worldwide by 2018 (Deskmag), it is undoubtedly a growing trend.

     

    What about virtual coworking? This is a relatively new concept that hasn’t yet been discussed in detail. It could be described simply as everything that a coworking space consists of, but in the virtual world. What does that mean exactly?

     

    Let’s start off by imagining that you are in your ‘office’ at the coworking space. You are sitting alongside your coworkers, your notes and laptop on the desk, your documents in separate folders on the shelves, and your agenda open to see what you need to do or write down new tasks. There might be a board on the wall behind you that shows who’s working on what, and a calendar to write down important company dates and strict deadlines. This is your physical work environment. This is what we are familiar with today. You might be surrounded by people from different companies walking around the open workplace, or you might be in a coworking space that offers private rooms but has a shared kitchen and lounge area for meeting others.

     

     

    Now picture all of this in an online environment.

     

     

    Your notes and documents are organised digitally in your online workspace. You can message your coworkers online, and post your comments directly next to each file or note that they share. Communicating on each other’s tasks is even easier than in person. Dates and deadlines are all clearly communicated and shared amongst all those involved. Meeting other coworkers from different companies extends beyond the coworking space itself. Companies from all over the world can be searched, extending the reach of the network you might otherwise have had in a physical coworking space. You no longer have to wait for the chance to bump into someone to start a business or personal relationship. Instead, you can do so immediately online.

     

    In summary, at Bisner we describe virtual coworking as an online workspace where people work independently and collaboratively (just like in a physical coworking space). This means that coworkers are able to work together from anywhere that has an Internet connection. For example, one coworker could be working in a cafe, one from home, and another from the airport lounge.

     

    Virtual coworking is, put simply, coworking in an online work environment.

    As the importance of being connected online grows more and more, bringing coworking online is without a doubt the next step. We live in a world where there are almost no physical barriers to teamwork, as we can communicate with each other anywhere at any time.

     

     

     

    Sources:

    http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Internet-Hit-3-Billion-Users-2015/1011602

     

    Bisner: The Virtual Coworking Platform

    Tweet us @Bisnercom