Co-working is a movement. A movement of people: freelancers, professionals, entrepreneurs, flex workers, all professionals who want to work on their own conditions.
By Lenneke van Rossum, Seats2meet
Not because someone else tells them how to work. We call them co-workers, because they love to be with other people they haven’t met yet. When they meet each other and start to share their thoughts it might be very relevant for both of them. That’s the added value co-working – you become in the end a better professional or even a better human being.
This movement doesn’t fit in the structures we’ve created during the industrial era, which are still our structures today. This brings chaos into that system, but instead of chaos, I prefer to see it as a change. It forces us to break the old structures and create new ones. A little note, it doesn’t mean the structures of today were bad from the beginning. No, they served us very well, those choices we’ve made back then were probably the good ones in that time. But it’s time to move on and develop new structures to become a new society. Ones that serve us all. That’s the reason that I and Seats2meet.com want to invite people to connect to that movement, to connect, collaborate and grow with each other. The more people the better, and in the end, it will be the whole society, Society 3.0.
The question is, how do you do that?
Do you have, or know a location with potential to connect to the movement? Maybe a café, an office, libraries, universities, anywhere people gather. Do you have in that location place left where people can come and sit, work, meet, connect, etc? Use that abundance in a good way and share it with co-workers. The only condition you have is that they have to be open to meet you and other people and share knowledge to help each other out. Then the magic will happen, because you enrich your organisation with a lot of Social Capital, in consequence also enriches the monetary capital. Don’t know how? This research of the Erasmus University (Rotterdam) shows you the outcome of acting in an ecosystem where Social Capital is used as an economic value. In this way, your old business model has now a new revenue stream.
We see a trend that traditional corporate offices like insurance companies, energy companies, banks, retail chains, etc. connect themselves to the co-working movement.
I think this trend is good from the higher perspective, to create with each other that new society. But for co-working centres with paid membership, it might be a threat. Actually no. I prefer again to approach it as a challenge instead of a threat. I believe they’re still very important for this movement, but they have to find another business model to stay relevant and to connect to those corporate organisations to collaborate.
So corporate organizations acknowledge the fact of the co-working movement and are finding their way to connect to it. And they have to if they want to stay in the game. With the crisis still going on, organizations have to get rid of people to spare costs. With getting rid of people they also get rid of knowledge. Their organizations become smaller and the chance of innovative ideas becomes equally smaller with less of the knowledge. At the same time, the world around them is changing rapidly. If they’re not connecting to that new world and that knowledge and expertise they will be soon out of the game.
The only thing they have to do is to open their doors share the abundance of space and invite co-workers to sit, work, meet, connect in their offices and being part of it.