The first coworking space was a modest affair. Opened in 2005, the San Francisco Coworking Space was situated inside a feminist collective in a converted Victorian style house. Surrounded by bohemian decor, freelancers worked there twice weekly and had access to internet, a kitchen, and a healing center.
The rest is history. Coworking caught on like wildfire: the number of coworking spaces worldwide surged from 14 in 2007 to more than 14,000 a decade later. Freelancers and startups looking to move out of the home and garage jumped on the opportunity to cluster together in shared, flexible work spaces.
Coworking space operators upgraded the level of services and community activities like receptionists for visitors, access to conference rooms, and networking events. Along the way, coworking has changed the work culture by letting members network in new ways, rent the space flexibly and thereby work the hours they choose, and share resources. It also raised employee expectations. Those in traditional offices began to crave the inspiring office design, communal spaces, extra-curricular lectures that are coworking staples. Today, millions of people around the world take advantage of workspaces that are more vibrant and compelling than the grey corporate offices of the past.
Coworking has evolved well beyond its grassroots origins. It’s come into the mainstream as a formidable business phenomenon.
source: Work Design Magazine: Article written by Elad Hod