Coworking, Serendipity and other insights from the GWA Annual Conference

In the 27th Annual Global Workspace Association Conference held this past September in Atlanta much was said of the broader range of services Business Centers can and are offering in order to give their clients a complete pack of services. Example of that is having Coworking Spaces within the Business Centers. The work tendencies are changing, spaces are changing and off course the way of working is changing.

The new technologies make everything possible. We can work everywhere whether being an independent worker or part of a big companies. Collaborative platforms allow us to have a meeting with a client in the other side of the world and have all we need in our computer. Business Centers have meeting rooms fully equipped for this purpose, but not only, they have apps. Apps to book meeting rooms from anywhere, fully equipped and according to our needs. Also Marriott International hotels are maximizing their profits by renting meeting rooms.

But more than meeting rooms, where are people working nowadays? Well everywhere. They can work from home, at the office or in Coworking spaces. But how is Coworking becoming so important on how we work and how come is becoming so powerful that makes companies such as Coca-Cola to reinvent their headquarters as Julie Seitz, Workplace 2020 Director of Coca-Cola explained she is doing, in order for people to produce more and better?

Greg Lindsay for example gave a more human sight perspective, "Serendipity", he said, how things can happen by mere chance. If we work in a place with a good environment the probability of "serendipity" to happen is increasingly higher. "We need people to be in the office", said Marisa Meyer, in order to be together. The main focus of these two people is not only on increasing productivity but creativity, ideas, workflow. We can't just focus on numbers but on the good practices of how to get there. People are looking for "career fluidity instead of stability", said Benjamin Dyett from the Grind.

But Coworking is not just a space nor an activity. Like Richard Macri, Design Director and Workplace Practice Area Leader at Gensler said, "Coworking is a new work perspective, a different way to think about work". The world is changing, careers are made differently, we have more jobs with less duration than before. Possibly, in a near future, we just might "not have a job but several projects to work on", like Richard Schuchts from the Miami Innovation Center stated, but be aware, Coworking spaces are also changing. 

Carsten Foertsch from the Deskmag showed us that the number of Coworking spaces is growing. Companies to become more profitable have changed their offices. Instead of having a desk for each worker, they just have desks, workers can be anywhere and go to the office when they want or when needed.
In order to be able to answer to so many different types of clients, with different needs, we can find different types of Coworking: creative, corporate, small, big, and so on.  During the GWA Conference was possible to visit the Atlanta Tech Village and Nex, two completely different types of coworking. The first being a vertical village focused more on technology companies and the second a  more informal kind, a supportive community as an extension of home. Not only Coworking is the new world trend but is itself changing, improving, giving people what they need. Is not just a concept that was created, it is a way of working and living.

Raquel Santana
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