What is Coworking?

Co-working (or coworking) is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.” Let’s break that down a little. Effectively, a co-working office space is not used solely by one company, but instead by a diverse range of businesses, private individuals, and groups all sharing adjacent offices or desks. It has the benefits of an office—a social environment, a professional location to meet with clients, and the all-important coffee machine—but also the independence and casual nature of working at home.

A co-working space provides an easy and comfortable place to work, hold meetings, and interact with other like-minded professionals. Need to meet with a client? Why meet at your home or in the loud coffee-shop when you can have a clean, well-decorated meeting room or conference center complete with chairs, a table and a whiteboard or two? Need an outsider’s opinion on your latest presentation? Ask your nearby co-worker.

Co-working can take the form of a business renting out spare rooms, but many co-working spaces are dedicated offices where everyone around you is going to be a co-worker, just like you. This can mean a set of fluid workspaces where you pick the chair or desk you wish to work at that day, or it can mean renting a specific desk or workspace designated for you. Many co-working spaces have both to choose from.

Co-working provides a space for the up-and-comer, or the worker who’s just sick of working at home, to do their best work in an environment designed with everything they need to succeed. Work at a desk or in an office, or just borrow the conference room for your latest business meeting. The tools are all here; how you use them is up to you.


This article was written by Jacob Rosenberg, an intern at Sprout.

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