Sunday the 9th of August marked 15 years since the concept of ‘coworking’ was shared online in a blog post.
In preparations to celebrate this momentous milestone, we supported the call for recordings of coworking stories, successes and lessons learned for an official #CoworkingDay video.
So why then, is it so difficult to write a blog post about just celebrating coworking?
That’s a question that’s been plaguing us since last week when we tried to sit down and write one.
After countless drafts, re-starts and quiet walks in the park (#wearyourmask) we dug a little deeper.
The successes of coworking are there for all to see.
There are numerous successes to celebrate, from empowering individuals to change their whole lives; to enabling more families than ever to choose where they want to live and work; to allowing local change-makers to rapidly test and deploy coworking-inspired solutions to some of our times’ most challenging circumstances.
The industry has grown from a simple idea of working communities into a fledging industry that is, and has been, guiding the world of work. Even today, coworking continues to respond faster than any other sector to the unpredictability of how and where humans work.
But what is not often seen by all, is the struggles behind the scenes.
Away from the glimmering lights of the press, IPOs, vast rounds of funding, and celebrity endorsements are countless humans struggling with building and sustaining the communities their neighborhoods desperately need.
We count ourselves lucky that we get to work with so many of these inspiring people, and that we’ve been able to support initiatives, assemblies and alliances to try and help them through some pretty hard times these last few months.
Many have had to downsize their teams, or shift to hybrids mixing physically-distanced workspaces and virtual offerings, or having to close up and wait for better days.
These community managers and operators across the globe are assessing their sustainability and trying to adapt and survive.
They’re also often found providing a critical point-of-support to their members and other local businesses, who find themselves reeling from unexpected, and unpredicted dips and turns of the economy.
So whilst it may feel like the rest of the coworking world is celebrating without you, know that we see you working your butts off to connect, support and empower local entrepreneurship.
We see you, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Thank you for believing in your local entrepreneurs.
Thank you for creating cozy alternatives to commuting and unexpected home-schooling.
Thank you for going above and beyond to keep your spaces clean, safe, and accessible.
Thank you for working with other communities, regional stakeholders and businesses to support growing businesses.
Thank you for forging a seat at the table for many who felt left out, isolated or ignored.
Thank you for supporting the artists, creatives, and side-project builders who were falling victims to the loneliness epidemic.
Thank you for working with, and driving business to, your local retailers and small businesses.
Thank you all, for all that you do for your local economies.
Thank you for giving your space, and your members, your all, all-day. Everyday.
We truly hope that you do take a moment or two this week to celebrate the impact you’ve already made on more lives and livelihoods than you’ll ever know.