Once Upon a Workspace: The Tale of Coworking Evolution

hotdesk marbella

With infographic

Once upon a time, in the bustling city streets of Berlin, a new way of working began to sprout. It was circa 1995 when hackers and visionaries crafted the concept that would reshape the modern professional landscape: coworking. Fast forward to today, and we find this concept alive and thriving in sunny destinations like Marbella, Spain. Whether you’re a digital nomad looking for Marbella hotdesking options or a local entrepreneur seeking shared workspaces, coworking in Marbella has evolved to offer vibrant, diverse environments that foster creativity and collaboration.

Join us as we embark on a fascinating journey in “Once Upon a Workspace: The Tale of Coworking Evolution.” We’ll explore the roots of this innovative work arrangement and how it has blossomed into a global phenomenon. Perfect for freelancers, remote workers, and anyone curious about the future of work, this tale is sure to intrigue and inspire.

How would you define coworking?

We might say that coworking is an amazing space that encourages bright minds to connect and grow together. Or coworking spaces provide an area that is buzzing with entrepreneurs, freelancers, and pros from different fields, helping them join forces, share ideas, and bloom. No matter how we put it, coworking spaces, over time, have evolved into places where community spirit kindles the fire of creativity and opens a world of innovative possibilities.

But, when and where did it all start?

Believe it or not, but the concept of coworking was first conceptualised back in 1995, by a group of hackers from Berlin, Germany. The history of coworking is a colourful one, and its evolution to what it stands for today started with simple idea of sharing minds to create and innovative.

Let’s take a closer look at the tale of the coworking evolution.

Hackerspace – 1995

“Working together as equals.”

Bernard DeKoven

In 1995, the very first coworking space, called C Base was founded by a group of hackers in Berlin, called Hackerspace. The idea was simple, to share both space and knowledge to work on coding projects together. The word “coworking” was first used by Bernard DeKoven, who described it as “working together as equals”. It was also in 1995 that the concept of hotdesking was first introduced in New York by a software company, who coined the phrase flexible desking.

It was shortly after it’s conception that hackerspace started adding seminars and social events, which made the idea of coworking more mainstream, Eventually, this led to the opening of more coworking spaces and at the end of 1995 there were “Hackerspaces” in San Francisco, Santa Clara and Brooklyn, and the trend only grew from there.

Wikimedia Conference Berlin 2009 – MediaWiki Developer Meeting

The First Coworking Space – 2002

The first coworking space opened in Schraubenfabrik, Vienna, in an old, renovated factory, which began as a community centre for enterprises. It expanded to include freelancers and other professionals working with cell phones and laptops.

By 2004, the coworking space in Vienna continued to grow under the name Konnex Communities, which created a local network of coworking spaces, promoting the sharing of innovative ideas amongst the growing IT community.

San Francisco, 2005, the first coworking space to offer desks, free wifi, shared lunches, bike tours, meditation, and massages was implemented by Brad Neuberg. Unfortunately, the coworking space didn’t last long and closed after one year. However, the idea was forever seared into the minds of many, and the full experience concept of coworking only got bigger.

London UK – 2006

In 2006, London opened 40 coworking spaces by a franchise network on five different continents.

In 2006 St. Oberholz in Germany opened its first cafes in Berlin, providing free internet. Coworking Wiki opens in San Francisco, with Chris Messina who created the Twitter Hashtag is one of the founders.  2006 also saw the first full-time coworking space open at the Hat Factory, which was Neuberg’s old space. The founders are Brad Neuberg, Chris Messina, and Tara Hunt. At this time, it was one of 30 coworking spaces throughout the world.

Google – 2007

In 2007, the word “coworking” is indexed in Google’s database and was adopted in the English version of Wikipedia.

By 2008, there was approximately 160 coworking spaces worldwide.

In 2009, Germany opens Betahaus, the very first coworking space, which was featured in the largest news magazine, the Spiegel.

coworking in marbella

#CoworkingDay – 2010

In 2010, the first #CoworkingDay was celebrated across the world. And in 2010, the first European coworking conference took place in Brussels. By this point, there was at least 600 coworking spaces worldwide, with more than half located in North America.

In 2011, the first “Coworking Unconference” was in Austin, Texas, and it was Angel funding that started a large network of spaces. At this point as well, large companies began to explore the coworking idea and opened their own chain of coworking spaces specialising in corporate coworking.

Coworking Worldwide Exceeds 2,000 Spaces Established – 2012

In 2012, Social media platforms like Twitter have a huge increase of tweets (over 50%) with the hashtag “coworking” – over the prior year.

By 2013, more than 100,000 people have worked in coworking spaces a the beginning of the year. By mid-year, the 3000th coworking space was founded. In Ontario Canada, the first coworking space offers coworkers a health insurance plan.

The New York Times – 2015

In 2015, The New York Times publishes a story titled, “Co-Working on vacation: A Desk in Paradise”, the main idea of the story combines coworking and co-living in Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands, a major surfing destination. This is where the Surf Office was born that originally opened two years earlier as an experiment to attract freelancers, surfers and travellers.

In 2016, the coworking and co-living idea took off, and the company WeWork offered residential co-living in New York City, aptly named WeLive.

In 2017, WeWork gets the funding it needs and becomes the most popular and highly valued US private tech company. Also in 2017, 1.2 million people worldwide are working in a coworking space.

Worldwide Coworking Franchises – 2018

Coworking franchises like Impact Hub, Venture X and Serendipity enter the coworking race. Coworking is still growing exponentially and different companies pre-rented over 20% of all the new office spaces in London in 2018.

By 2019, NuvoDesk joins the thousands of coworking spaces across the globe. Also, in 2019 WeWork implodes with a failed IPO that led to CEO Adam Neuman’s dramatic departure. WeWork’s value dropped quickly from $47 billion to $3 billion, which made it possible for the biggest investor SoftBank to take control over the company and change the management.

The Global Pandemic – 2020

The global pandemic hit the coworking industry hard and talk about whether offices will be needed in the future begin to form. On the office market, an uncertain future is to be met, where many industry experts think that the future trend will be cutting bigger offices and replacing those with coworking spaces.

By 2021, and 2022 coworking starts to reclaim its former glory with millions across the globe happy once again to leave home after being ordered by local governments to stay inside. Coworking’s reputation as an innovative way to share ideas takes shape once again, providing a more robust out look for the future.

The Journey Beyond – 2023

Today, coworking is expanding beyond urban cities, with the industry considering the rise of remote working. Freelancers today are seeking flexible workspaces that are closer to their homes in suburban or Tier-II cities. Young entrepreneurs and those in the IT field want more offered in way of accessibility and affordability.

Today more than ever before, a lot more is expected from the coworking communities. This includes lower rental rates and the availability of reputable shared-working spaces with contemporary infrastructure, tech-enabled facilities, and amenities. According to a report by property consultant (CBRE), the flexible space stock in India is expected to cross 80 million sq ft by 2025 from 47 million sq ft currently. A large part of this will be driven by expansion in Tier II/ III cities.

The Growing Concerns for Sustainability

For 2023 and beyond we will likely see coworking spaces place an increased emphasis on environmentally conscious practices. This might include greener building practices to reduce energy consumption, more eco-friendly features, like solar panels, green roofs, and energy-efficient lighting.

Another hot topic and general concern is wellness and mental health. Now more than ever more emphasis and focus is being directed to our young’s mental health and wellness. Workers the world over are prioritising their health and well-being, which means coworking spaces are likely to place an increased emphasis on wellness offerings.

This includes measures such as improved air filtration systems, enhanced cleaning protocols, and the provision of healthy snacks and drinks, fitness classes to healthy food options and meditation rooms. With an increased focus on wellness, coworking spaces are likely to attract a diverse range of workers and businesses seeking adaptable and innovative workspaces. As the industry continues to evolve, coworking providers that can deliver on changing expectations will be best positioned for success.

Centro House - The Best Coworking Space in Marbella

As you explore the exciting world of coworking in Marbella, you may be curious about finding the perfect shared workspace to suit your needs. Whether you’re new to coworking or a seasoned pro, our guide to Marbella hotdesking can provide valuable insights to help you make the right choice. Ready to take the next step in your coworking journey? Discover the best shared workspaces in Marbella today!

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