In the lead up to International Coworking Day, we’re going back in time to discover the history of coworking and see where it all began.
Beginning in 2005, the coworking phenomenon started from a San Francisco collective space established by software engineer Brad Neuberg. He was working at a startup, but felt conflicted, wanting to find a way to combine the feeling of independence and freedom of working by himself, but also hold on to the sense of community and structure of working with and around others.
So, he came up with a three part plan. First, working on commercial open-source projects in order to pay the bills, second, he wrote articles for publications on his open-source projects in order to raise awareness and focus on one of my other passions, writing and communicating; and finally, he decided to create a new kind of space to support the community and structure he was looking for and gave it a new name, coworking.
According to Neuberg, the very first coworking space to exist was in San Francisco, located in the walls of Spiral Muse, a feminist collective. Neuberg had friends at Spiral Muse and mentioned his coworking idea to one of them, Elana Auerbach, who agreed to let him use the space at Spiral Muse twice a week for a total of $300 a month, earning any profits past that for himself. With Neuberg’s dad providing the first few months’ rent for the space, the San Francisco Coworking Space officially opened. The first official coworker was Ray Baxter, a startup developer, athlete, and father. After about a year, Neuberg relocated from the small Spiral Muse to the Hat Factory, the world's first full-time coworking space, out of overwhelming demand for his concept.
From here, we saw the arrival of more independent spaces latching on to the concept all around the world, including workspaces in remote Iceland to escape the hustle and bustle of day to day city life. As of 2019, there are coworking spaces all around the world, including franchises with branches in multiple cities. While some larger companies including Hub Australia and Naked Hub dominate the Australian market, the lion’s share remains independent, and pop up locations are also opening across the globe, driving the industry's continued growth.
Unlike traditional serviced offices, coworking spaces cultivate a unique experience that is all about focusing on the human element. With weekly community events, monthly meetups and industry specific workshops taking place in your shared workspace, you have the chance to connect and collaborate with others as much or as little as you like.
With the number of coworking spaces worldwide projected to cross 20,000 and reach 25,968 by 2022, seeing an increase of 42% from the number currently operating in 2019, the demand across the world has shown no signs of slowing. If these predicted numbers are correct, this would also mean that there has been an average increase of 2,595 new spaces every year since 2015.
In celebration of spaces across the world, the continued growth of coworking, and the rise of freelancers, entrepreneurs and business owners using shared workspaces, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite workspaces. From women-only workspaces, to beachfront locations, going to work has never been so appealing.
The Wing; a network of work and community spaces designed with you in mind.
Founded in 2016, and headquartered in New York City, The Wing has a mission to support the professional, civic, social, and economic advancement of women through community. By creating spaces for women to work, gather, connect, and thrive on their own terms, The Wing is a popular workspace and community for women across the UK.
Level 39; a space for leaders in Cybersecurity, Fintech and Retail tech
Level39 launched in March 2013, and since then, has grown from a simple idea into a three-floor, 80,000 square foot community space occupying the 39th, 24th and 42nd floors of One Canada Square. As a community of leaders in Cybersecurity, Fintech and Retail Tech, Level39 is focused on being the world’s most connected tech community.
Hubud; a radically supportive bamboo haven of big ideas
Hubud opened their doors in Bali in 2013, as a space to collaborate on the world’s next big innovation, experimenting with your personal reinvention, or sinking deep into a creative business pursuit. Hubud combines play, productivity and purpose, to help their community discover the freedom and satisfaction of choosing a life that aligns with your most genuine self, and having a crew of like-minded dreamers and doers beside you for the ride.
Beachub; the world’s first beachfront coworking space
Be inspired as you watch the waves crash into the sand at Beachub’s coworking and coliving space. With open beachfront desks, private space for larger teams and a range of social events, the possibilities are endless when you’re working somewhere this peaceful. Currently based in Thailand, and coming soon to Bali, Hawaii, Mexico and Costa Rica - explore the endless horizons today.
Ministry of New; workspace for independent professionals looking to be part of an international creative community
The Ministry of New spaces are a playground for creativity that were founded in 2012 by Marlies Bloemndaal and Natascha Chadha. This design-led workspace is situated in the heart of Bombay, and has a strong focus on building a strong community rather than just another shared office in the market.
If you’re interested in celebrating International Coworking Day - reach out and collaborate with us, we’d love to get as many businesses as possible involved, and showcase some of the exciting coworking spaces across Perth and their communities.