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

Trust: a Bad Lunch Box Trade

I’m the classic skeptic.  Always willing to give you the devil’s advocate point of view or find the loophole in your plan.  I’m also a naturally untrusting person.  So, in true guru fashion the universe has decided that I need to learn to trust and quickly!

I don’t know where my lack of trust originated.  Maybe I got the short end of the stick in a bad lunch box trade in 2nd grade.  Maybe it was that time that my brother dug a hole, filled it with water and told me to run across the “puddle” so I could fall into a four foot deep mud pit….which I did with great relish because my super cool big brother would never do anything to hurt me!  Ongoing therapy aside, I’ve had to learn how to trust and now I get to do that daily!

Starting a coworking space has been such an excellent exercise in learning how to trust.  First, I had to hire lots of people to perform services like real estate transactions, web development, interior design, build outs and reliable internet.  Luckily, I have been thrilled with the results and their work allowed Cohere to open on time and only a little over budget.  But, in the grand scheme of trust, this wasn’t any big test of my ability to let someone else take the reins whilst I carry on blissfully unconcerned with the state of my business.

Now on to the big daddy of all trust activities.  I’m not talking the “let’s get out of this human knot or fall backwards into my arms” type stuff.  I’m talking, “hey, there’s a lot of stuff in this building that you don’t own and you’re going to give 10 people 24/7 access to that space.”   Oh, and it’s impossible for you to be there all the time, and one day you might want a day off so you’re going to leave your business in the hands of someone else while you’re out and about.”

So, I tried it.  Little by little.  First, I would just leave for 10 minutes, then that turned into long lunches.  Guess what?!  Not only did the building not burn down–everything continued on as usual while I was gone.  Visitors were greeted, tours were given and questions were answered…..the coffee even got made.  Now I’ve worked my way up the trust ladder to a whole afternoon off and we’re headed towards a whole day off!

Now, I’m not recommending that banks and jewelry stores ask their customers to just “keep an eye on things for a minute while I’m out eating a burrito,” but there is definitely a special place for trust in a coworking community.  The members of Cohere are some of the most trustworthy and honest folks in town.  They treat the space and each other respectfully and no one has tricked any one else into running into a 4 foot mud pit—success!

How do you surround yourself with people you trust?

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