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The Changing Face of Co-Working Spaces

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by Startacus Admin

coworking spaces innovation

Even within the world of co-working spaces, we have disruptors and innovators. Here’s just a few examples...

We recently wrote about the US initiative Mountains Work, wherein businesses are given the opportunity to go to a small mountain, beach, or resort community to experience what it would be like to live, work and co-work there. Workers will work normal days in the spaces provided by the community and then be treated to all sorts of activities and events representative of life in the town. The aim is to show these businesses how the arrangement can be mutually beneficial and to encourage them to put down roots. 

But there are plenty of other businesses and spaces that are changing the way people see the workplace, and opening up more options for freelancers, self-starters, and the like. Gone are the days that you either had a ‘proper’ job or you worked from your home office and those were your only options. Working from home, of course, always encouraged the inherent stupidity of people, who no matter what your business or level of success would assume you were lazy and a failure. It was in part that sigma, perhaps, that encouraged the rise in café dwellers, lurking in the corners of coffee shops all day with their laptops, buying cup after cup of unwanted coffee so as not to be thrown out. 

Now we have co-working spaces available to those whose needs fall between home office and proper, expensive, full-time office. Places that startups, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed can waltz in, sit down, and work when they need it, be that every day or just a couple of days a week. Our previous article on top London co-working spaces highlights just that. But it doesn’t stop there.

Even within the world of co-working spaces, we have disruptors and innovators.

In Delhi, cafes, restaurants, and pubs are opening up their doors to businesses as part-time co-working spaces. The pub, an employee may have been stumbling out of the night before will be the same place they stroll into with their laptop the next morning to start work. The arrangement is beneficial to both parties, as the workers pay less than they would for a normal office, while the establishment hosting them enjoys a profit during hours they might not normally take anything. 

Similarly, in London, startup Haus is turning restaurants usually closed during the day into co-working spaces. Their flagship premises is in Holborn - Haus at Sway.


Members will receive, along with the obvious workspace and high-speed wifi, tea and coffee, snacks and half-price drinks from the bar when the venue is in operation. Staffed by a community manager to cater for members’ needs, Haus venues provide a convenient and atmospheric workspace for those looking for something a little different.

Brooklyn Boulders Somerville in the States, is perhaps the most unique co-working space in this article. Set in a rock climbing gym, this is particularly suitable for fitness-conscious workers, as the physical activity going on all around helps to keep them motivated. As part of the membership of this co-working space, members get free access to all of the facilities, including equipment, yoga and fitness classes, saunas, and the climbing walls themselves. Rock on! 

If you still want to work from home, there are ways of working around the difficulties that go with it, such as actually making yourself work when the TV is beckoning from the corner. Swedish company, Hoffice, has created a global network for crowdsourcing co-working spaces within individuals’ homes.


The network is free to use, and people are encouraged to pay something towards the host’s costs. For a little more on Hoffice, we wrote
this article about it a while ago. 

We previously wrote about a  charity called 3Space which was doing novel things with some of the UK's empty bank branches by transforming them into fantastic little co-working spaces for startups and non-profit organizations. They have now managed the short-term repurposing of over 45 properties in the UK, highlighting the need and thirst for shared co-working space.

Although more of a standard co-working space than the others in this article, the 3 Space facilated Platform Four is a Manchester based workspace for small businesses, startups, and non-profits that encourages collaboration between members. What makes Platform Four stand out the most is their Buy Give Work initiative.


For every workspace purchased, Platform Four provides a free workspace to a non-profit, brand new local startup, or experimental project, which you also have the opportunity to work with as a mentor or advisor if applicable. In this way, you not only take advantage of the workspace, but do good for others in the process.

Platforms of course exist to link those who need office space to co-working places, but even within this two-sided business model there are those that aim to disrupt a little. Check Hubble for example, which currently focuses on the London market, and links businesses with free desk space in their offices, to those who need office or desk space. Or,, which aims to save money for co-working based businesses in coworking communities, by leveraging the shared buying-power of the overall co-working crowd.

Know any other disruptive co-working spaces or business models? Drop us a tweet or comment on our Facebook page and we can certainly consider adding them into this article.


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Published on: 11th June 2017

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