Happy International Coworking Day!
Did you know that August 9 (today!) is International Coworking Day?
Designed to raise awareness about coworking and how it benefits employees and communities, the date for the annual celebration – August 9 – commemorates the first time the concept of coworking was discussed by Brad Neuberg, a software engineer. That was back in 2005. Social media was taking off and, beginning with a discussion in a Google Coworking Group a few years later, the concept of an annual celebration was soon worldwide.
So, what is coworking and how is it different from regular work?
Unlike traditional workplaces where employees come together under a shared roof to work together on assigned tasks and responsibilities, those involved in coworking will share a workplace and each person is typically employed by a different organization or business.
Numbers suggest that the coworking model is gaining traction and could become even more common in years ahead. By 2022, the number of U.S. workers using coworking spaces could reach 1.08 million, according to a forecast from Emergent Research and GCUC. The study found that there were over 4,000 coworking spaces in 2016 and that number could reach 6,200 by 2022.
This provides a great opportunity for start-up businesses, young entrepreneurs, and those who work remotely (from home) – as it provides office amenities and provides a professional community from which to learn and collaborate. While space and offerings vary, convenience and cost-savings are at the core of the innovative model.
There are a few examples of such places in the Pennsylvania Wilds, including the Covation Center in Williamsport, located along the I-80 Frontier.
Nestled into a ground floor business complex on Fourth Street, the Covation Center is a beautiful facility, with glossy hardwood floors and lots of natural lighting.
Working remotely for the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, it isn’t uncommon to sometimes go several weeks without seeing one of my colleagues. (I live about two and a half hours from the closest one!) But recently, two of us needed set up an intensive work day – and that gave us a perfect chance to see the Covation Center coworking space firsthand.
After arriving, Covation Center Director of Operations Stephanie Desaulniers helped us set up our accounts and we found a quiet place to settle in. By day’s end, we had put in several hours of uninterrupted work for a special project and were glad we chose the coworking space, which gave us the space we needed to focus on the task at hand.
Covation Center seeks to “energize Rural Pennsylvania, enabling all citizens to innovate, create, and manufacture, building a lasting economy.” Members choose to pay by the day, week or month – and, in return, gain access to high-speed internet, open workspaces, semi-private work areas, and meeting rooms – all in a convenient downtown location.
Learn more about Covation Center, a Host Site member of the Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, at www.covationcenter.org.
Other coworking spaces in the Pennsylvania Wilds include:
- SpringBoard Business Incubator & Coworking Space in Bellefonte (I-80 Frontier)
- Philipsburg Business Incubator (I-80 Frontier)
- The Pajama Factory (I-80 Frontier)