The History of Co-Working Office Space
Shared office space is thought to be a rather new phenomenon as far as workplace environments go. However, this is not the complete truth. While there may not have been specific shared office spaces forty years ago, companies were already on their way to creating more collaborative workplace environments.
In 1971, IBM took some large steps in creating a space where workers would be able to interact more than while on lunch hour or at the water cooler. A report on IBM’s “non-territorial office,” which was released in 1971, described their office as having “all office walls removed, [and] most desks and other permanent stations eliminated as well. … All work is performed at laboratory benches and large round tables, and an individual may choose to work anywhere in the area that suits him or [is] convenient.”
Compare this to what we think of when picturing shared office space. Typically, there are no walls separating individuals, unless they have rented a private office. Often times, people who do not work for the same company can be seen working at the same table. There is collaboration amongst the professionals who work together in shared office space. People are given the opportunity to sit where they like, instead of being assigned a specific desk like in a corporate office.
Before shared office space became as popular as it is today, people would work out of their homes or head to coffee shops to get work done if they were lacking an office space. While these cafes boomed with people, all sitting at their laptops trying to get through their work, there was no coworking or collaboration taking place as there is in shared office space today. Shared office spaces require a membership, which means that the people working inside this space are likely to formulate connections, unlike the groups of people that work in and out of coffee shops.
For those who like a mixture of personal space and a community environment, private office spaces are a great happy medium. This gives people the opportunity to migrate back and forth between the communal space and their own personal office. Most shared offices offer the opportunity to “try before you buy,” meaning you are able to try out a space before committing to a membership. If you’re a person who loves meeting new people and learning what interests others, test-drive shared office space like Level Office.