What is co-working, anyway?

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What is co-working? Co-working spaces are shared offices.

Many co-working spaces are focused on collaboration, community, and innovation. Some are run more like traditional co-ops than businesses, with members playing a large part in day-to-day operations, while others are run purely as real estate and are usually called serviced offices.

The term ‘co-working’ was first used in 1999 by a man called Brian DeKoven to describe as ‘a method that would facilitate collaborative work and business meetings, coordinated by computers.’ The first few spaces opened in the US and Europe around 2004-2005 and the movement began to pick up steam around 2008. In Asia, it was only around 2011 that spaces started to open. Today in Singapore, there are a lot to choose from, catering to a variety of niches.

Woolf Works JooChiat was opened in mid 2014. We provide a relaxed work space for women who are currently underachieving in their home office and need a new space and a community to help drive productive work and new business opportunities.

We follow the five co-working values that were put together by the international co-working community a few years back:

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Collaboration

The co-working community works best in an environment of trust and openness. We collaborate and support each other where we can, with a basis of trust and respect.

Openness

We believe in transparency and the freedom of ideas, both within the space and with the space itself – open-plan working and the freedom to play around with things as you like.

Community

Us. The people of the space. Learning together, supporting each other, playing, and celebrating together.

Accessibility

We are accessible to all women, all strata of business, and all stages of life.

Sustainability

Our space is environmentally conscious and responsible. Our community is respectful and authentic with each other.

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One of the biggest struggles women (especially mothers) who work from home face is the balance between work and life. Mums working from home often find themselves only giving 50% to both the business and the kids, as they can’t focus on either. By setting clear work hours and leaving the house to work in a co-working space, boundaries are established; this allow women to be 100% business owners and then go home and be 100% mothers.

Working from home can also be lonely and pretty uninspiring. Working from Woolf Works means being surrounded by like-minded women to chat with over coffee, to collaborate with and to refer business to. Our member lunches and social evenings give members the chance to bond and discover deeper ways to connect.

At Woolf Works, we want women to value themselves and their work. We found too many women putting their needs and aspirations behind the rest of the family’s needs. We see co-working as a tool to push women into making themselves top priority and aim to be a hub for women who are passionate about reaching their goals.

This digital age is creating a seismic shift in the way we work. The 9-5 PM corporate job in the CBD is being replaced by flexi-workers who are defining their own times and working on their own terms. Entrepreneurship is booming and the connectivity and flexibility that technology provides us means co-working has a clear place in the future of work spaces.

 

This article was written by Michaela Anchan, the founder of Woolf Works and was featured in  Executive Lifestyle.

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