Tuesday, February 26, 2013

17 Co-Working Spaces

Ace Hotel. Photo: Vivian Giang , Business Insider
Business Insider recently reported on the 17 coolest co-working spaces. The fact that co-working has emerged as a trend in recent years indicates the move towards a more entrepreneurial model for business. Technology has allowed us to work in a variety of ways, and in different places. Now, even management practices and economic models have moved to further support and reward more ad hoc or independent businesses.

When I worked with the BBC at the turn of the millennium, most of their content was out-sourced. . . or, rather, produced by a team of independent contractors who came together for a specific project. This meant that the best costumer, set designer or editor was hired for the genre, whether a detective-cop or costume drama.

Co-working supports this mode of production, providing not only the work space but also the social connections that make sure you can locate the right person for whatever is needed at that moment.

The Business Insider featured co-working spaces all over the US. It was interesting to note that many of the spaces did not charge for membership, having seen the outcome of various fee structures here in San Francisco. For instance, the Summit in San Francisco charged membership for the co-working space but provided the café for free; the co-working side of the arrangement did not survive. The Hub provides a variety of models, from monthly membership to drop-in charges. What seems to really bring people back (or keep them around) is the social aspect of membership and a carefully curated event calendar.

What’s next? The virtual co-working space. . . where the space is actual but can be shared like a Zipcar. Enter WorkSnug and LiquidSpace. Stay tuned for more on these innovative companies and the changing nature of workplaces.

- Bryant Rice


About the Author:
Bryant Rice, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, is our Workplace Warrior. He deals out strategy, perspective, and opinions. Bryant brings over 30 years of experience to SideMark as an architect, planner, workplace strategist, facilities manager and furniture manufacturer. Bryant holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the Georgia Institute of Technology as well as a MArch and MBA in Architecture and Business Administration from the University of Illinois. To contact Bryant, email him at bryant_rice@Sidemark.com

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