Posted by: kenwbudd | July 11, 2010

A Short Introduction to Co-working and the Cloud

A co-working facility is an open office environment shared by multiple freelancers and SME companies or company representatives. A collaborative group of connected individuals.

These facilities are often much less expensive to rent and maintain than traditional office space because of the flexibility of ‘office hours’, and they can closer to participants’ homes.

Co-working spaces are still in their infancy in many locations but they are very popular, economic and very efficient. Therefore, they have to be considered as a viable option in these troubled times.

research proposes that there are only about 70 such ‘co-working’ locations in the world, sprinkled throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Latin America. But their potential contribution to growth and recovery is greater than these numbers might suggest.

Just as cloud computing represents a more nimble and spontaneous, multi-sourced data environment that may augur the next new thing in technology, ‘co-working’ sites are the seeds of a less restrained and possibly more creative “cloud office” environment of the future.

Co-working cannot and does not provide a single solution to multiple organisational problems but could be a contributory factor in the examination of effective flexible working practices in difficult and dynamic market exposures.

Here is an indicative list of some problems to be considered and addressed.

  • the space demands of flexible, multi-geographical workforces;
  • the costs of permanent offices;
  • the potential inconvenience of working at home, especially for employees with children and dependants;
  • the inexperience that many employees have with alliances and joint ventures, which are natural outgrowths of shared space;
  • the energy waste and carbon footprint inherent in a commuting population;
  • and the sheer waste of time, resources, human capability, and energy spent moving people back and forth across a metropolitan area, only to have them on the phone or reading e-mail most of the day.
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