Yesterday, 11.11.2015, was the first day of the Coworking Europe 2015 conference in Milan. It is a massive conference with more than 400 attendants, plenty of supporters and guests from all around the world. This is the de-facto Coworking conference held in Europe. The first day was a day full of interesting conversations and discussions on trendy topics.
We are approaching a world where the question will not be ‘Where do you work?’ but ‘Do you cowork?’
#Coworking, #Community, #Coliving, #Cohabitation, #Coherence
These fancy words and tags were used in almost every presentation and discussion panel. It was funny to see how the speakers try to convince the crowd of the importance of these words and that the future belongs to Co-*. I guess everyone at the conference agree on that. This is the main reason we are here – because we all believe in the future of the coworkings and the power of communities.
Of course, we all understand the value that a group of people can create if put together in a nice environment that stimulates creativity and collaboration. When you scale this pattern, you may create huge value and implication on the whole world. No question here.
My question is though, how you do this in a more practical way?
Coworking and Coliving is not an easy thing. For example, I am a software engineer and we are a tech startup. It sounds cool and fancy, I know. I love to cowork, collaborate and coexist and I do it every day. But I also work and I work a lot and I work on very complex tasks that require high concentration and many hours sitting on my desks. I expect that the coworking space also stimulates the working environment without the Co. This means my chair should be good, air-cond, layout, noise, etc.
The question remains – how you make sure both worlds are present in the office – working & coworking?
Another interesting topic was about the importance of the coworking brand. It was an interesting discussion that I believe highlighted the most important bits in branding for coworking spaces:
- Unconventional Marketing – forget about traditional marketing and advertisement and find a creative way to reach out to your target communities and members.
- User Experience – UX is not a fancy techy term used by startup and software guys only. If you want to make a good coworking brand – you have to provide nice, consistent UX that spans across all your sites and locations. Members should feel the same way in all your spaces.
- Community Managers – when building coworking brand the most important part turns out to be the people. This is not a surprise but the human factor is really important. The community manager is the one that can make or break the brand. The community managers are the face and the heart and the body of the coworking space. Your members should love them if you want them to love your space and brand.
- Coworking Manifesto – it is also a good idea to write 5-10 points manifesto that highlights the values of your space. Make sure everyone in the team follows them.
This is another trendy topic and it had good coverage on the Coworking Europe conference. Although it is a very controversial topic, most people agree that Corporate coworking is something big and unexplored much. There are many examples from all around the world of corporations creating coworking spaces, incubators & accelerators, membership cafes, etc. Or from the other way around – teams from big companies work from coworking spaces. There are several reasons for doing that:
- Stimulating teams’ creativity and productivity.
- Cutting costs and real estate burden.
- Access to talents and channel for hiring.
- Access to customers and channels for selling.
Coworking and Gentrification
This was another interesting topic – how a coworking space can help develop a region. I strongly agree that this a big opportunity for governments and councils from all around the world. It is quite obvious that a coworking space will stimulate a lot the local area.
Imagine you have and underdeveloped area. At some point new coworking space pop up and in several months hundreds of creative people, entrepreneurs and businesses gather together in one place. It is really about time they will change the whole ecosystem and local area.
These were the topics that grab my attention and now is time for the second day. Stay tuned for more updates.
Keep calm and cowork.