Coworking is an emerging trend for a new pattern for working. Typically work-at-home professionals or independent contractors or people who travel frequently end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.
Some coworking spaces were developed by nomadic internet entrepreneurs seeking an alternative to working in coffeeshops and cafes, or to isolation in independent or home offices.
Business accelerators, business incubators and executive suites do not seem to fit into the coworking model, because they often miss the social, collaborative, and informal aspects of the process, with management practices closer to that of a Cooperative, including a focus on community rather than profit. Many of the coworking participants are also participants in BarCamp and other related open source technology activities.
As I read that entry several words and related themes jump out at me…social, collaborative, synergy, community, cooperative, informal.
There is no doubt that coworking is a trend on the rise. John Saddington recently had a post over at Church Crunch, Coworking–A Model to be Copied?. John raises some great points and there is some good discussion in the comments section.
I’m also wondering what coworking would look like in churches?
I would like to see more and more churches move away from the executives offices/suites, and create more of an open space for staff members to share space/resources, collaborate and socialize as they work in the daily grind of ministry. Someone always raises the question of privacy when I talk about this issue, but that’s what shared private offices are for…so when someone needs to make a private call or have a private conversation…then they go in there. But I would like to see all levels of staff (from teaching pastor, executive pastor, directors, etc.) share space. The message that sends to others I think can not be discounted as the church and its staff model on a daily basis what it means to work together and share of resources, etc.
I also think it would be interesting that if when churches plant a sister church somewhere, especially in an urban area, that they don’t purchase or rent their own space, but that they cowork in that environment with others from various industries. How amazing would that be if church staff shared coworking space in an urban area with business people, tech people, social services, etc. Think of the synergy that could create, and think of the ideas that could be generated. It would especially be a beautiful opportunity for the church to not be walled off in its own little kingdom but to participate with others. It would offer an unique perspective for the church staff members as well, as they may be privy to new ideas and thoughts they would not get on a daily basis in their own space. Think of the the stewardship when it comes to the sharing of resources as well.
What do you think it would look like?
As for now I’m exploring the idea for my own life. I hold the belief that counseling/therapy needs to move out from the secret walls of many counseling offices and into more of a social space. I wonder if the stigma that often exists in attending therapy is due to the environment that we as therapists have created. I will talk more about this issue as it progresses.
Currently I have been following @cohabitat on Twitter, and their Facebook group CoHabitat–Uptown Dallas. I think Blake Burris has created a unique and great opportunity for various industries in the Dallas Metroplex to cowork together, hopefully creating some great synergy, and eventually transformation in many areas of Dallas. If you are interested in this idea, especially in the Dallas area, please contact Blake.
How about coworking in Los Angeles? Check out BlankSpaces.
Check out Jelly.
Curious on your thoughts…please share.