What The 2nd Global Coworking Survey Says About You

You are more awesome than Helvetica

In 2010, about 600 people responded to the first global coworking survey by Deskmag.com. Without knowing it, those respondents helped to form the very first baseline study on the international coworking movement. A year later, the folks over at Deskmag were at it again, issuing a second survey to help gauge growth and explore the true motivations behind this new collaborative style of work.

The 2011 survey enjoyed 1,500 respondents from 52 countries around the world. Whether you’re a hardcore coworker or participating for the first time, the results are revealing. Even if you didn’t take the survey, you should be proud to be counted among such a productive, independent, compassionate community.

You Are Not Isolated And Lonely

The survey confirmed the key findings from last year’s study, which showed that individuals increase their productivity and networks by joining a coworking space. In the latest survey, 93% said their social circle had increased a lot, 86% said their business network had grown, and 76% reported an increase in productivity. 88% said their isolation had decreased.

You Value And Trust Your Community

96% of respondents said community is an important value among members in their coworking space. To confirm this, the survey also checked how many people knew the first names of their fellow coworkers and vice versa; after all, a community can’t be too cohesive if people don’t know each others’ names. The responses showed that 74% of people know all or many of their fellow coworkers’ names.

Another indication of community is trust. The survey asked whether respondents would feel comfortable leaving their laptop in their coworking space when they left the room; 54% said “yes, always”, 29% said “yes, for several hours”, and only 2% said “no”. Similar results were received in a second group with the same question about mobile phones.

You Think People Are More Important Than Price

The importance of community was repeated in the answers to the question, “What do you like most about your coworking space?” 81% said they liked the people, 61% said the location was the most likeable factor; only 46% said the price was the most important element.

Now, these are only preliminary results, but I’d say coworking is looking pretty good just based on these early observations. Be proud! What other community can boast these attractive characteristics? Help spread the word to other freelancers and business owners by sharing this post on Facebook or Twitter!

Download graphs of the 2nd Coworking Survey results without commentary on Prezi.

Image Credit: Flickr – rafagarces

Why Failure Is The Best Part Of Coworking

Kitty Fail

Everyone fails at something.

OK, that might not sound like the most uplifting opener for a Monday morning blog post, but that’s because you’re looking it at it wrong.

Everyone fails. Those people who look like they always have their shit together just learned how to hide it. Your failures don’t make you special or odd, they actually make you normal. You’re not the first independent professional to fail at something, and you won’t be the last.

The other reason to cheer up when you fail is that it puts you in a unique position to be a rock star in the coworking community.

I’ll explain.

No one learns anything of value from someone who’s perfect. Except maybe how to resent said perfectionist. Some of our best times together as a community occur when someone shares their really messy failure story, and we figure out how to clean it up. Or at least how to avoid that same mistake in the future.

We talk a lot about the collaboration and socialization that makes coworking so neat. But it’s really our ability to fail and then share what we learned (or are learning) from that unpleasant experience that helps us become better at what we do.

A community where everyone keeps their failures to themselves is shallow and uninteresting. It’s way more fun to be real. Life as an independent is messy and complex, and all we’ve got is each other! We want to see the roughest draft, hear the first/worst idea, and feel the pain of the client you knew you shouldn’t take.

So don’t hold back! Tell us when you feel like bailing and taking an office job. Tell us when you mailed a press release with a typo. Tell us when you gave the client too much info in the free consultation. Tell us when you take on a client without a contract…and then get screwed on an invoice. Tell us when you bite off more than you can chew.

When you allow us to experience your failures in all their glory, we not only grow as professionals, we grow together as a community. And that’s why failure is the best part of coworking.

Let’s talk about something that went wrong! Share a notable goof, failure or brain fart from your past, and let’s get to learnin’!

Image Credits: Flickr – styro

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