Will The Economic Downturn Push Coworking Further Ahead Or Will People Head Out? - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
11/9/2008
02:42 PM
Allen Stern
Allen Stern
Commentary
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Will The Economic Downturn Push Coworking Further Ahead Or Will People Head Out?

When I speak with Web developers and designers who have lost their jobs over the past few months, many of them tell me that they are considering going out on their own and launching either a consultancy or a startup. As the discussion continues, about half of the group say they will look to begin the process at a coworking location versus working at home or at a coffee shop.

When I speak with Web developers and designers who have lost their jobs over the past few months, many of them tell me that they are considering going out on their own and launching either a consultancy or a startup. As the discussion continues, about half of the group say they will look to begin the process at a coworking location versus working at home or at a coffee shop.Wikipedia defines coworking as, "Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space." I've watched many new coworking locations open since I started CenterNetworks in late 2006.

Here in NYC, NewWorkCity opened last week and is offering full-time desks for $550/month. There's also Jelly, which is casual coworking, oftentimes in people's homes across the world. Jelly started in NYC in 2006 and has grown to more than 50 cities worldwide.

Some of the other coworking locations that are popular are IndyHall in Philadelphia and CitizenSpace in San Francisco. Full-time desks at IndyHall are $275/month and $350/month at CitizenSpace.

If you are interested in learning more about coworking, check out the coworking directory. The directory lists nearly every coworking location across the world.

The real question is whether the current economic situation will push more people into coworking or if people will be forced to leave as their client base shrinks. With the generally low cost of renting a coworking desk, my guess is that people would move to part-time rather than leave the coworking space altogether. There's something about getting out of the house and collaboratively working with others that will keep people going.

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