Why Co-working spaces beats Starbucks
Co-working has often been described as a "professional shared workspace with a coffee shop vibe." Unlike working from home alone, you actually work in the presence of people with similar interest. Starbucks was probably one of your favourite spaces to work until their management recently decided to seal off their power outlets.
Coffee houses used to be a space where people from different backgrounds and fields of expertise would get together and share. Its humble origins can be traced as far back as 500 years ago, where the first coffee house opened its doors in Oxford, England. In TEDGlobal 2010, Steven Johnson described how the English coffee house played a big role in the birth of Enlightenment: "It was a space, where Matt Ridley talked about, where ideas could have sex."
With co-working spaces popping up around the world, we are witnessing a shift in attitudes towards balancing work and cultivating ideas in a communal environment. Adding to the fact that at some point in our lives we would all be working for ourselves, part of us will miss the days when we thrive in an office space.
Outside of schools, entrepreneurship, innovation and networking has become more important than ever. Entrepreneurship creates jobs. Innovation opens new opportunities. Networking fosters collaboration. Even if you're not a freelancer or small business owner, it would be rare to find a venue where you constantly experience a mix of all three.
Considering the evolution of our global work culture, the lack of usable power outlets would seem like a mild irritation. Thankfully, our soon-to-open co-working space will have enough power outlets to support those who wish to tackle a full day's work. And perhaps with a little bit of luck, we could all be part of a movement attributed to the bloom of great intellectual flowerings for the next 500 years.