By Shantanu Mohan
June 23, 2018
Coworking sites, which first appeared in the United States in 2006, are collegial, shared open-plan areas and private office areas where people work independently but communally. Members are varied in what they do and why they join. They include entrepreneurs, freelancers and other independents weary of working from a coffee shop or home, and those in search of a social network.
The spaces and amenities vary, but typically include free Wi-Fi and coffee, as well as a copier, whiteboards and conference rooms. Membership plans usually are based on usage—from one day a month to five days a week—and whether one wants a dedicated or communal desk or table at which to work. Some sites discourage telephone conversations; others have few or no restrictions. Some don’t mind if you drop in unannounced for a look, but others prefer appointments. A few have even provided day care.
Coworking is a growing trend. Worldwide, there were more than 100,000 people working at more than 3,000 co-working spaces last fall, including 937 spaces in the United States.
To find the nearest coworking office near you, visit the coworking wiki directory—which is maintained by the community of coworkers worldwide.