Coworking isn’t a new notion. In 15th-century Florence, painters, sculptors, architects, engineers and scientists worked together in the Renaissance “bottega.” Bottega workshops brought together different types of talent to compete, collaborate, learn and improve, most often under a master teacher. These bottegas created environments that increased the level of discussion among diverse groups and helped these individuals to turn their ideas into actions. The interactions led to higher levels of innovation for all.
People haven’t changed. We still gain new ideas from interacting, collaborating and competing with others. A setting that brings different groups together and encourages interaction is exactly the type of environment that spurs entrepreneurial growth.
There are dozens of examples of coworkers collaborating, innovating and working together. However, we find that most of them fall into one of these four categories:
1. Networking and collaborating.
Coworking allows you the opportunity to network and collaborate with a wide range of bright minds. You might even make new friends in the process. Proximity gives you the chance to “pick the brains” of professionals in your own line of work as well as those in related fields. Freelance writers might choose to office with graphic designers, website designers, programmers and other writers whose work and insights help shape new perspectives.
2. Breaking out of your comfort zone.
Working across the desk from someone with a completely different skill set can help you discover a new source of ideas. You might find your brain is starting to work in different ways, too.
3. Working at your own pace.
Coworking makes it possible for you to create some space between you and your clients — just enough to redirect energy to your own projects and move at your own pace. Stop devoting hours to the same interruptions and distractions that normally plague your days. Why not work in a new environment, surrounded by new people and new stimuli? Coworking can be a respite from day-to-day workplace worries about strict deadlines or clients trying to reach you at your primary location.
4. Avoiding loneliness.
Working at home can have an isolating effect after a period of time. Coworking is an easy fix. Working amidst others can lend a sense of camaraderie, even when you’re creating alongside complete strangers.