Coworking needs more transparency and Coworker involvement

Veröffentlicht am 9. März 2012 von Felix Schürholz in Kategorie: CoWorking Basics, Konzeptionelles, CoWorking News International, Meinung | Trackback URL | Zur Diskussion

As I was just researching on an article on „Free Coworking“ , more precisely on „Free Coworking Grants“, I noticed something that we should become more aware of. In trying to make a better coworking world, we run the danger of becoming slaves to an apparently „cozy“ but artificial design world. In doing so, we tend to relate more to the building and things rather than to our coworkers. To give you an example. There are a lot of coworking sites now that promote coworking offers. A lot of them are very nicely done, with very attractive pictures. One example „SharedDesks“. The example chosen is random, I picked London, and this is what I found. Very beautiful, I think everyone will agree, but something is missing. It is not only the people that are missing in the picture, but more importantly there is no feedback loop. You cannot comment on this or any other coworking offer as a user. And this is the same on all the other sites I found in the net.

In contrast there is a site in the net called „yelp“, where you will find „real reviews“ by „real people“ as the site claims. There you find pictures and reviews of coworking offers. These reviews and pictures can be nice and positive or more in the „ok“ category.* *[Note: While writing this article one negative review (one star) for Citizen Space San Jose was deleted, see picture below. So much for transparency :-(((()]Copy of Ausschnitt Yelp Klein

I think we need more of this feedback from coworkers. To get this we need more transparency and more coworker involvement. Everyone of us can contribute to this. We started „Free Coworking“ to address this need. We need more collaboration, more team work, more social capital. Join our Facebook Group, add yourself to the „Skill-Sharing„, start a local „Free Coworking“ campaign. Here is where you can start: Spaces, Coworker!


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  1. Felix, you are so right!
    We created with this in mind on our website various feedback loops:
    -every visitor is send the day after a review request and the results are shown realtime on the location page. Clicking on the smiley gives you access to the review information.
    -the photos we are sharing on the location pages are displayed using a flickr stream where all photo’s with the right location tag are shown
    -tagclouds on the website represents the knowledge of the co-workers, real time.
    -photo’s of the coworkers are shown to visualize who is present
    -a twitterstream reflexes the sentiment of the coworkers in relation to the location


    In short: 85% of the information of our websites is information aggregated content of our co workers and other visitors…
    Besides the websites, a realtime dashboard on the location site itself than reflexes again this virtual information visible to the co workers, closing the information cycle…

  2. Hello Felix,
    I’m Enrico from the SharedDesks team.

    We have been discussing if we should add a „review“ feature a couple
    of times, and we did not yet come up with a clear decision about that:
    as you noted if you can’t guarantee 100% transparency it becomes
    useless, and there are also some moderation issues ie. you never know
    if a review, both a negative or a positive one, is a true review by a
    real user or if it’s a fake.

    I just wanted to let you know that we are aware of the issues you
    pointed out above, and we are taking them in serious consideration.

  3. Hi Felix,
    I realized that some new co-working spaces in Vienna (Austria) tend to look at co-working as a normal business. Apple-Aesthetics in fancy buildings and inner-city locations. This is keeping away creative, sociable people who are the essential core of co-working spaces. Once again a few people didn’t get the point. The essential value of co-workers is NOT what they could pay for a desk. Hard to tell how long it’ll take until this aspect of culture find it’s way into the mind of those particular co-wo providers.
    I would never ever pay more than 200 € a month for a desk.

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