By Dominic Cudmore
The world of work is experiencing rapid change. The increased sophistication and flexibility of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and the like has meant that many people have realised that we no longer need to stay chained to the desk in the standard city office tower. We can now work from anywhere – the home office, the living room, the bedroom, the local café, the beach, the farm or even (if they play their cards right) on public transport.
On one level, this is very liberating as it means we do not have to fork out a bomb every month for office space rental. However, like most things, this liberation from the traditional office does have its downside.
Few of us can actually live and work in isolation for very long. Being human, we crave the sense of community, and we long for the presence of fellow humans to feel connected, alive and energised. In addition, many folk have a need to share ideas with others to keep the creative juices flowing.
So, to fill this need, coworking spaces have sprung up all over the
world, including in all major Australian cities – see here. The coworking space offers all the amenities of a ‘normal’ office but adds the pick of collaboration with other (consenting) coworkers coming from a broad techies, designers, lawyers, accountants, artists, IT consultants, social entrepreneurs and the like.
Coworking spaces are flexible, inexpensive and lively and, in some sense, are reminiscent of a mediaeval village where
the artisan discusses life, love, and work with the shopkeeper,
who chats with the shepherd, who in turn has a long natter with
the parish priest.
In some spaces staff are employed to look after hospitality (to encourage the life of the coworking community,
welcome visitors, and schedule events , talks, and communal get-togethers) and design (to make sure the space remains workable, contemporary, warm, and fun. All this is intended to encourage an ambience of collaboration and creativity.
The coworking movement is here to stay. Yours truly is hooked!
About Dominic: Dominic Cudmore is a Cause & Effective Associate. He is an experienced lawyer advising cause-based organisations. He aims to ensure his advice remains people-focused and conscious of the “for purpose” nature of organisations.