Co-working is an emerging trend in the business world that stresses collaboration and sharing - not just of facilities but of ideas and knowledge. It allows small businesses and freelancers to come together and create a community where they can all benefit from one another, sharing the same values.
Some people use co-working facilities constantly while others (the so-called jelly community) may just use them once a week or so to serve something like the same purpose as the outmoded water cooler of American business drama.
Co-working expert Andrew Jones has likened co-working to cloud computing and suggests:
"Co-working provides a single solution to multiple organizational problems: the space demands of flexible, multi-geographical workforces; the costs of permanent offices; the potential inconvenience of working at home (especially for employees with children); the inexperience that many employees have with alliances and joint ventures (which are natural outgrowths of shared space); the carbon footprint inherent in a commuting population; and the sheer waste of time, resources, human capability, and energy spent moving people back and forth across a metropolitan area, only to have them on the phone or reading e-mail most of the day.
...Companies may turn to coworking because it is relatively inexpensive, and then stick with it because of its other advantages, including the benefits of learning to experiment with parts of the business, such as facilities, that have resisted experimentation to date."
Andrew Jones: Strategy + Business