Coworking Not Just for Freelancers

I’m currently reading REMOTE but the people over at 37signals as preparation for some long-distance thinking on my part and I’ve been enjoying it so far. If you have read REWORK (also by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson), then you know the style of the book and I think you’ll enjoy REMOTE as well.

That’s some context for my reading of the following tweet:

Some local people here in New Ulm have discussed looking into starting a coworking space here, but it is cool to see it happening (or at least being looked into) in Shakopee as well. I think there is a real need for spaces like this, and it is only going to become more and more of a feature for a town or city to have.

However, something I’ve always needed to overcome is the idea that a coworking space is exclusively for mobile or freelance workers. Basically, it is only for people who aren’t tied to a specific company or area. My mind worked on this and has a slightly different angle on it now.

A former coworker of mine and I talked in the past about the lack of collaboration outside of the strict walls of where you are currently employed, and I think that coworking spaces have the opportunity to break some of these walls down.

Reading REMOTE, maybe relaxing the need to have all employees in the building at the same time could allow some collaboration for hard (or even simple) problems in a coworking space. Get a bunch of network and systems admins together into single space, throw a problem at them, and then let them talk through all of the possibilities. It will require cultural changes, but it follows a sort of “open source” model of collaboration in the idea that “the rising tide lifts all boats” to an extent.

I’d never thought of it that way, but maybe there is something there to not just have a space, but to enact cultural changes in some companies to open them up and improve things for more people overall.