Coworking: it's not about desks, it's about people

When I stumbled across coworking, a little by accident, the concept was quite one dimensional; the ability to rent a desk for people who don't like working at home. So we thought we could find an office and provide a really nice workspace, without really considering the community aspect. Because we are people people, we started with networking and talking to others to find out what is important to the people of Crowborough, Uckield and the surrounding areas. The more we did this, the more we realised that the potential of coworking is much greater because it's not about desks, it's about people.

The modern world offers us the technology to work flexibly from anywhere at any time but it also binds many of us to a computer. We know that locally, here in East Sussex, there are a lot of people working at home and the people we have spoken to so far, especially in the Wealden area, felt there weren't other options available to them currently. Coworking offers a solution to the downsides of flexible working by bringing us back to a basic truth; that we can achieve more when we work together.

This comes from everywhere:

  • History teaches us that when people come together, they can achieve great things.
  • Science teaches us that we are social beings, biologically wired to look for other human faces from birth.
  • Psychology teaches us that we are all unique and incredibly complex, with different strengths and foibles.
  • Technology teaches us that the sky is the limit and has opened up more ways to get connected.
  • So coming together to work is really a no-brainer in terms of what we can achieve!

Because of uniqueness and complexity, this of course means that coworking won't be for everyone but I do believe it has something to offer to a lot of people. The opportunity to problem solve, motivate, empathise, be alongside, guide, learn and prosper. And none of that is about desk rental; it comes from the community within the space.

So although it seemed we started back to front, by talking to others before we found an office it turns out we actually started the right way round. And while I know our space needs desks, a good coworking space is fundamentally built on people.