Coworking is a type of work style that brings together multiple organizations and companies into one shared working space, such as an open office. In this setup, firms are able to be independent and focus on developing their company while also collaborating with the diverse group of individuals around them. The open office format allows for the free flow of ideas facilitated by communication. In a coworking environment, companies are able to network and seek advice from each other: a social startup may work alongside a fashion company, which may then interact with a photographer– all in the same space. As a result, coworking spaces provide multiple companies with the opportunity to grow and learn from each other, creating a cooperative community.
The first coworking space was started in 2005, when Brad Neuberg founded the Hat Factory in San Francisco. When another successful coworking space in New York, known as Jelly, received widespread media attention, many other workers began to form coworking spaces in their respective cities. With each respective year, the number of coworking communities nearly doubled, and by 2012 there were over two-thousand coworking spaces around the world. In fact, in New York City alone, more than 50 coworking spaces thrive, with many more continuing to show up every year.
Most coworking environments consist of an open room that is shared between multiple organizations, with private conference rooms that can be utilized for team, client, or group meetings. Additionally, there are usually a variety of amenities such as WiFi, a kitchen, snacks, and occasionally even a game room that each companies’ employees can enjoy. Coworking spaces in New York are generally paid for on a monthly basis. A company may simply purchase desk space or pay for a private office that can hold a certain number of people. As a whole, coworking is generally seen as a more affordable and flexible option than renting out office space or purchasing an office, an advantage that small companies such as startups appreciate.
NY Startup Scene
A majority of companies that work in coworking spaces are startups, fresh businesses that are recently created. Known as “Silicon Alley”, New York’s new tech scene looks to be one of the most promising in the country, ranking second only to Silicon Valley in all metrics. Data also shows that New York is the fasting growing technology startup ecosystem in the country for the past 10 years. In fact, it was observed that 2.6 billion dollars of venture capital was invested into New York’s startup system in 2013, indicating the promise of New York’s technology scene as a whole. By joining a coworking space in New York, companies expose themselves to a rapidly growing startup ecosystem in one of the most exciting business districts in the world. In coworking spaces, organizations are able to receive diverse opinions from the other companies that work around them while staying in close contact with the multitude of partnerships and clients that New York City offers. In this way, fresh companies and freelancers are able to build up their businesses with a legitimate work environment consisting of offices and conference rooms – all while remaining flexible and cost effective.