There’s a whole new phenomenon going on in office space that most people over 50 are clueless about. It’s called “coworking” and if you Google It, you will see that many cities around the United States offer these types of work environments and related services. These offices are not the fancy executive suites like the ones Regus offers, with beautiful wood paneled walls, large professional multi-media conference rooms, a main reception area and a dining area.
We are talking membership fees of $30-a day (unannounced), or a $300-a-month to be a part of a no frills community of independents (most of them in their 20’s and 30’s) that just don’t want to work from a home office or Starbucks. They would rather be in a large room with a bunch of strangers, network, make friends, trade war stories and get their work done. It reminds me of a college study hall, rows of tables and chairs filled with young folks who BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer).
One such well-respected and very well known place is New Work City, in New York. Don’t you just love that name? NWC states it the best, “We are building a new kind of workforce together.” Tony Bacigalupo and Peter Chislett are the co-creators. I spoke with Peter yesterday who told me there are a few older people who cowork at NWC. I dared to ask how old. “I would guess they are in their 40s because they have children in college,” he replied. I gasped and then laughed out loud. “Peter, I am in my 60s. Someone in their 40s is rather young to me.”
The whole premise of NWC and others like it, is that you work with a community of people who support you. If you have a tech question, or give advice on your business model. You might opt to participate in gatherings by and for the members or even make yourself available for happy hours and movie nights, they are there for you..
Peter explained that this concept isn’t new but there are definitely more and more people who prefer to work where, when and how they want. I also asked about the noise level. Is there a quiet room? “People don’t come here for quiet. They can get that at home. People love the stimulation of the noise. We even have a few who picked this environment to write their books. No silence for them. This is all about being among awesome creative and brilliant people.”
At that moment I cried a little inside. Why weren’t there places like this when I was starting out? I want to work in a social club. I wonder how many people have met within the walls of NWC, gotten married, had babies or even formed companies? I will find out the next time I talk to Peter. There is so much more to this story.
Here is a video that Tony made when he first started NWC. Be sure to watch it. It will take you inside the life of independent thinkers.