History of Coworking

Coworking is not a new term. There is a flood of new coworkers joining coworking spaces around the world in the recent years. This begs the question: What has caused this spike in the coworking movement and how will it develop? We pieced together the puzzle into a timeline, and the result is a brief history of coworking.

A Timeline

1995: C-base was one the first hackerspaces in the world. In 2002, they made WiFi networks available and promoted free public access to the internet. Hackerspaces are usually community-oriented, offering a physical location where people can meet and work. These spaces can be considered as some of the first pre-models of coworking spaces. The hackerspace movement is also growing worldwide.

1999: Launch of the word “coworking” as a way to identify a method that would facilitate collaborative work and business meetings coordinated by computers. Entrepreneurs realized that people and business were too isolated and hierarchical to be considered “working together as equals”. Coworking begins as a method aimed to support collaborative work through a non-competitive approach while giving people the opportunity to work on their own projects.

2005: The official first coworking space opened as a non-profit cooperative on August 9 by the programmer Brad Neuberg as a reaction to unsocial business centers and the unproductive work-life at home. The association offered desks to people two days a week with free wifi, along with shared lunches, massages, bike tours, and a strict closing time of 5:45 PM.

Saint Oberholz opened in 2005 as one of the first cafés in Berlin to offer free internet access and allow people to work on their laptops as guests. Today 13 years later, Saint Oberholz offers a real coworking space above the coffee shop.

2007: For the first time, the term “coworking” was seen as a trend on Google’s database. Since then, the search queries increased by factor 20 when searching the word “coworking” prevailed over other search terms. The concept of coworking became a part of mainstream media in a few countries.

Later this year, “Coworking” got its own page on Wikipedia.

2009: Because of rising attention, the term “coworking” entered into the mainstream media. A year later, Germany was established as the first country to use the term “coworking”.

The first book on coworking is published – “I’m Outta Here! How coworking is making the office obsolete” is a book about the people & places that kicked off the workplace revolution.

2010: The coworking movement celebrated the first #CoworkingDay – in memory of the first “coworking day”, which took place five years earlier.

In Europe, the first coworking conference took place at the ‘Hub Brussels’. At the time of the first coworking conference, 600 coworking spaces existed worldwide, with more than half of them in North America.

2012: In October, more than 2000 coworking spaces are found worldwide.

Over the course of the year, Twitter users sent 93,000 tweets with the hashtag “coworking”. That is a huge increase of 52% compared to the previous year. Considering the search term, with and without a hashtag, there were even more than 217,000 tweets.

2014: At the beginning of the year, more than 100,000 people worked at coworking spaces. In July, the 3,000th coworking space opened. There were now nine networks of coworking spaces that operated in more than five locations, such as The Hub, NextSpace in the US or Urban Station in Latin America.

Since 2008, NextSpace collected nearly US$2.5 million for opening new coworking spaces and has recently taken over Chicago’s Coop. However, the majority of coworking spaces run independently with only one or two locations.

Content credits – http://www.deskmag.com/en/the-history-of-coworking-spaces-in-a-timeline



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