For centuries, for most of us, work has been associated with a physical space, now work for many has become an activity that you can do anywhere.
This is a much more significant change for the world than the one sentence it took to describe it.
This fundamental change is and will have many impacts on our lives, from commuting, to working hours, family time, how we collaborate and communicate with others.
Human beings essentially thrive on being social and a big impact on our well being is being part of a community and having something to belong to. This for most of us was or still is, between 8 – 6 pm, if not longer, Monday to Friday, a company and a physical workplace, our own desk, pedestal, even for the few, our own offices.
There were people to interact with, people to share ideas, people to get support from, people to manage us and people to eat lunch with.
This environment for many in the rising world of self-employment has gone and has been replaced with mainly solitude.
Solitude at home, where after a prolonged period of this solitude, normally leads to a lack of motivation, a feeling of isolation and a good old dose of ‘cabin fever’.
Often the only interaction is with the cat/dog (delete where appropriate), you find daytime TV has crept in (we’ve all watched a bit of Jeremy Kyle), washing to put on, a trip to shops and if you’re like me a quick game on the PlayStation whilst eating lunch.
So often the freelancer, solo-preneur etc., ventures out in search of interaction, motivation and a break from the isolation. They typically head to a coffee shop, where there will be people and a place to work.
However, for those of us who have done the regular coffee shop caper, it’s poor Wi-Fi, too much coffee to ease the guilt, and noise. What you won’t get is any less distractions and you certainly won’t get any meaningful business interactions. Oh and the trip to the toilet means packing up the laptop and losing your seat.
If predictions of as many of 50% of us becoming self-employed within 10 years prove true, then there will be millions of us with this dilemia and need to do work other than at home or in a coffee shop.
The solution is co-working communities, where not only can you get a proper working environment, decent Wi-Fi, good coffee, but you can get the meaningful business interactions that you crave/need to succeed as a freelancer/entreprenuer etc.
Good co-working spaces will go a step further than just providing a desk to work from, they will have that real community, whereby serendiptiy thrives and those chance interactions lead to new ideas, new partners, new suppliers, new customers and just a person to share a bad/good day with.
This where the fundamental change starts to happen, as more and more of us start to work in these communities and experience the huge benefits that working around others brings to our businesses and ulitmately our soul. We will see a massive acceleration in the abandonment of the corporate paid for employment world.
Most importantly, we will see a shift from that old corporate world to a more prosperous collaborative world, where through a community working together, true sharing and helping will make work an activity that we all love, rather than for many of us, an activity we dislike.
We will become liberated from this 9-5 corporate machine that sucks us up from early in life until, once we are completely used, spits us out into retirement to wait to die.
This will change the face of our cities and communities too, as the current commercial real estate will be used very differently and we will see more residential communities being meshed together with working and educational hubs/communities. So that local communities can be re-formed.
We are living in exciting times, where we stand at a line now drawn in the sand, where back one way is the old school corporate/capitalist world and if we dare to step forward, is the collaborative, co-working, sharing world, where prosperity will be measured in relationships – putting people ahead of material wealth.