CoWorking (or co-working) is a hot topic these days, and not just inside coworking circles. For those of you who are new to the idea, or even for those of you who are experts on the modern concept but never thought to ask about the past, allow us to give you a little lesson on the modern history of coworking.
Collaborative styles of working have been around for several hundreds of years – groups of people sitting in a room together and doing their work – the concept is fairly simple. The term “coworking” is claimed to have been coined by Bernard De Koven who founded the CoWorking Institute in the early 2000’s as a way to increase awareness about collaborative work techniques. However, CoWorking, the place where the term and the concept meet to refer to space and how we use it to do work, this modern buzz word for which this article was written to explain, was invented by Brad Neuberg in 2005.
Neuberg started what is considered to be the first coworking office. He called it the San Francisco CoWorking Space, at Spiral Muse. Spiral Muse was a “feminist collective” in the city’s Mission District, an already existing business that had nothing to do with coworking. When Neuberg was ready to bring his coworking idea to a reality, he worked out a deal with Spiral Muse and for about a year he rented the space for a few days a week as a pop up office space for anyone who needed it. Neuberg and his idea quickly outgrew the Spiral Muse and he moved his coworking space to a new location in a “work/live” loft. This new space would become the now-famous Hat Factory.
Other coworking spaces, proto-coworking spaces and similar concepts popped up around the same time, such as Impact Hub in London, and Berlin’s St. Oberholz café (which at the time was an internet café where people were encouraged to work, and which now includes coworking space upstairs). 2006 saw the birth of “Jellies,” occasional and informal meetings where people cowork and share ideas. 2006 was also the year the CoWorking Wiki came to be (Fun Fact! One of the founders of the wiki was Chris Messina, inventor of the hashtag).
Ten years after the birth of the industry, Sprout CoWorking sprouted (sorry, I had to). Sprout opened in January of 2016. While this seems like we were ages late to the game in modern working world time, coworking is still a new concept that grows and changes every day. Each space is different, and each space creates an important impact on the community is serves. From our shared work space and meeting rooms right down to our free parking and outdoor picnic area, we consider ourselves a hard working member of the global CoWorking Community, serving business of all shapes, fields, sizes, and frequencies. At what point we joined the game is irrelevant. What matters is that now that we are here, we make you and your business feel at home.