Co-working and the space between us

I have been using the term co-working a lot recently: in relation to what I am doing at the Centre it is all about working with others, but I think it is also important to bear in mind that the term can be used to describe the process of working with others.

No, you’re not going mad and neither am I – there are two different meanings.

You can work at the same time as others, because you are sharing a space. There is merit here, because you do not feel isolated and you can chat and engage with your co-workers – even if you don’t know them.

However, we can also work with others collaboratively, working together on the same project or idea. This, for me, is one of the goals of co-working: building relationships, developing ideas, cross referring business, skills and talent.

 

To Jelly…

This is what came to me today as I was chatting with the guests at our Jelly. They were talking about their ideas and making suggestions, bouncing ideas around and it occurred to me that this is what co-working is all about.

It’s not just about ‘working with’ by taking a desk in a shared space. It is about seeing who is around you, what you have in common, where you connect, how you might be able to help or be helped, and when you might see them again.

 

…or not to Jelly

This is obvious, of course, and why I was interested in holding Jelly’s here in the first place. What is equally obvious to me is that Jelly’s are not the only way to work together; in the technological and connection age, we have many ways to work together virtually.

Through online video, social media, file sharing sites, email and text, we can interact 24/7, sharing information, knowledge, ideas, plans and even dreams.

 

Is this the end of face to face?

Watching young people going around with music being piped directly into their ears, thumbs dancing to some strange new choreography across a mobile phone and their verbal dexterity hidden behind bad grammar and textspeak and we can be forgiven for thinking that physical proximity is a thing of the past.

There is no doubt that an always-on, always-connected world reduces the need for physical interaction, but to replace it completely? I do not think this is the future.

Being with people is the ultimate human comfort. We are social animals and need physical contact to feel warmth and belonging, to read body language and to feel truly connected.

Technology enables to work around the need for proximity, when it is convenient and faster for us to do so, but it will not replace this basic human need.

So, our co-working space has its’ place and we hope to see more people her at future events, working with others, sharing their knowledge, building their knowledge and benefitting from the face to face.

 

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