Full disclosure: this is the first year we celebrated International Coworking Day at Groundwork. In years past it crept up on us, and I didn’t quite get the importance of the whole thing.
This year, I learned a bit more about how the holiday started: It was a simple conversation between the coworking space owners and operators who pioneered our industry. They decided to mark the anniversary of the now famous (at least in some circles) 2005 blog post, in which Brad Neuberg announces coworking to the world.
I love how folksy and community-based this story is– it really speaks to the magic of the coworking movement. This conversation between Cat Johnson and Susan Dorsch sums it up well.
The International Coworking Community
Although rewarding, running an independent coworking space is a tough gig. Most spaces are not profitable, and it can be easy to start focusing on numbers and metrics as you try to pull ahead. Most of us start a space with the desire make a difference in our city or town, but sooner or later we are confronted with the practical need to make a living.
When I get discouraged, I find support and inspiration from the international community of coworking leaders. Cat Johnson’s Coworking Content Alliance, and the Women Who Cowork Facebook groups are great spaces to get questioned answered, gripe, and share wins.
The Indy Hall Braintrust, a project of Alex Hillman, was very useful for my business partner and I, and the first time we really connected with so many other space operators. I also participate in a marketing club for coworking spaces run by Kevin Whelan of Everspaces–another great community of support, shared knowledge and resources.
And the list goes on! The Global Coworking Forum is a great resource and discussion space. Then there’s the coworking google group, which helped us write Groundwork’s original business plan. The folks at Open Coworking are making sure the movement sticks to its core values, with cool initiatives like the Coworking Visa program.
So It’s worth celebrating that coworking is one of the few truly values-driven industries of our time. Perhaps that’s why many people refer to coworking as a movement, rather than an industry.
The folks who paved the way for the thousands of spaces popping up around the world really did care about community, and they still do. Imagine that?!
So from the Groundwork community to our friends around the world, Happy International Coworking Day!