The coworking movement has set sail with technology at its helm. The new world of business is mobile and ever changing. This movement has birthed a new lifestyle all together, that of the “coworker” and the “coworking holiday.” Personally, I had never heard of coworking until the moment I walked through the red doors of BCNewt Coworking Space. Here’s what I’ve learned about the call of the coworker.
People, called “coworkers”, gather at coworking spaces around the globe with laptops in hand to work, promote, meet clients and even collaborate with other coworkers as is the same in coworking holidays. Individuals utilizing coworking spaces are from a cornucopia of backgrounds such as journalists, bloggers, photographers, digital nomads, designers, travel agents, producers, entrepreneurs, artists, freelancers and PR gurus. Since September 40 residents and nomads has come to BCNewt over 2015, not including the private events with close to 80 attendees.
Coworking has become a global movement and many coworking have appeared around the world in countries such as Bali, the U.S, Australia and Spain. The movement began in San Francisco back in 2005, expanding throughout the United States, which then quickly spread (around 2009) to the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia. Each of these spaces creates a community in which their coworkers can thrive. Some offer discounts at local gyms or printing services and host events for their coworkers.
As the movement progressed around the globe, another trend emerged on the scene: coworking holidays. A coworking holiday, also called a covacation or coworkation, is the chance for individuals to explore the exotic places of the world and also work in a shared space with other coworkers. A coworking holiday can last from weeks to months. They are interactive, of sorts, by including tours of the area, guest speakers, group meals and a working atmosphere that promotes collaboration.
The destinations are beautiful, often to tropical oases such as Vietnam, Colombia, and Thailand. However, there is an option for those who crave the thrills of city life, Barcelona. BCNewt is hosting the first coworking holiday in Barcelona. BCNewt founder, Gustavo Franco Cruz, explained: “It’s time to expand the concept of sharing a workspace, to being more global and a travellers coworking project, but keeping same vibe of sustainability. If we don’t meet new people to share ideas with, we are failing. We are just sitting in a desk trying not to be at home alone and bored.” This particular coworking holiday includes tours to Gaudí structures, the Gothic district and a vineyard, accommodations, and breakfast every morning.
I am currently living in Barcelona and I love it! I am from Illinois, USA which is very different than here. The only sea we have there is the sea of cornfields that cover most of Illinois. Barcelona is a refresher! I had expected Barcelona to be smaller city on the beach with normal, plain buildings and siestas everyday. The only part I was right about was the beach! The city is very cosmopolitan and located on the northeastern Mediterranean coast of Spain. There is beauty everywhere you look from art and architecture to the city’s incredible views of the mountains and beaches. Beside the fact that I adore the city, there’s another reason to have a coworking holiday in Barcelona. Franco Cruz explained: “As a community, we were missing a link between expats coming to Barcelona to have the “tourist experience” and interaction with like-minded locals.”
Since I began working in a coworking space, only weeks ago, I have already seen many of it’s benefits. The work I do could easily be done from home or a local café, but I prefer the coworking space. I feel a sense of accountability and discipline on subconscious level that motivates me and, in my opinion, makes me much more productive. I’m not surrounded by distractions of the hustle and bustle of coffee enthusiasts ordering their non-fat mocha latte with extra foam and shot of espresso or tempted to watch “just one more episode” on Netflix.
For me, staring at a screen all day while sitting alone can get boring, repetitive and lonely. The simple ability to bring lunch and chat with other coworkers around the table has been one of my favorite things. I love to learn people’s stories and hear the passion in their voices when they speak of what they do. Life is about telling stories, no matter what career you’re in.
There is a plethora of articles online about the future of coworking and the concept of working, predicting that gone are the days of the chunky file cabinets and cubicles with names plates and the future is in coworking spaces. In an article from forbes.com, they claim, “while the workforce continues to shift, traditional office settings will become as obsolete as fax machines and dial up Internet,” (forbes.com). Is this really the future of work, as we know it? Imagine a world free of the constraints of our current business norms. No traditional hours or stuffy offices. The ability to go on vacations, be paid for it and not getting behind at work. Will we one day all answer the call of the coworker?
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- The Call of the Coworker (on holiday) - February 10, 2016