Around the world, more and more digital nomads are flocking to co-working spaces which meet the changing needs of their professional lives. Freelancers, entrepreneurs and start-ups are leaving their home offices and cafes to settle into flexible, shared spaces for work.
They are looking for amenities like wifi, comfortable furniture, good coffee, printers and a physical place to meet but without being stuck at home or crammed into their local coffee shops. Co-working spaces also allow an opportunity to network and connect with other people while offering an escape from the many distractions of home.
Worldwide, the number of co-working spaces has grown over 300 percent since 2010. There are now more than 2500 co-working spaces in 80 countries and counting.
Blogfabrik is an innovative co-working space in Berlin which opened in 2015. Bogfabrik, which means “blog factory” in German, is a fitting name. In exchange for a desk, freelancers submit two articles per month to DailyBreadMag, the company’s online publication which is marketed to Millennials aged 18 - 35 years old.
Freelancers are asked to promote the pieces they write through their personal social media channels and organize at least one event for the publication per year. They also have the opportunity to work with Blogfabrik’s creative agency, Kiosk, for which they are paid separately.
"We explore [the freelancers’] abilities and skills with the magazine to see if someone is really talented at taking pictures, writing, or designing graphics," explained Claudio Rimmele, creative director and editor-in-chief of DailyBreadMag. "Then we feel confident about connecting our freelancers with incoming jobs from outside companies."
The freelancers, who have backgrounds in journalism, photography, videography, blogging and editing have access to a photography studio, event space and variety of meeting rooms. Blogfabrik is an unorthodox experiment but perhaps, a sign of what coworking spaces can be.
Best known for its communal workspaces, WeWork, a company which has turned its trendy co-working facilities into a hipster mecca. “When we started with WeWork in 2010, we wanted to build more than beautiful, shared office spaces” said the company’s website.
“We wanted to build a community. A place you join as an individual, ‘me' but where you become part of a greater 'we'. A place where we’re redefining success measured by personal fulfillment, not just the bottom line. Community is our catalyst.”
WeWork, which is based in NYC, has 77 locations and over 50,000 members. Their mission is to “create a world where people work to make a live, not just a living”. Members get access to beautiful spaces around the world, the opportunity to connect and share ideas with other freelancers and access to exclusive events. In addition to New York City, there are locations in Amsterdam, Los Angeles, London and Tel Aviv.
What all co-working spaces have in common: they are increasingly important for the local economy and manage to create a community in a natural way. This new way of working and its values – innovation, openness, sustainability, collaboration, entrepreneurship – will create positive social, economical and cultural effects in all the layers our personal and professional lives.