Co-Working is entering the mainstream

Here is the NYTimes on the topic: While coworking has evolved since Mr. Neuberg’s epiphany in 2005, dozens of places around the country and increasingly around the world now offer such arrangements, where someone sets up an office and rents out desks, creating a community of people who have different jobs but who want to share ideas.

“It’s nourishing on a fundamental level,” said John Vlahides, the executive editor of71miles.com, a travel site covering Northern California, who rents a desk for $175 a month at one of Mr. Neuberg’s original sites, the Hat Factory. “And if you’re not nourished, how can you be creative?”

Coworking sites are up and running from Argentina to Australia and many places in between, although a wiki site on coworking shows that most are in the United States. While some have grown-up-sounding names, most seem connected somewhere between the communalism of the 1960s and the whimsy of the dot-com days of the ’90s, like the Hive Cooperative in Denver, Office Nomads in Seattle, Nutopia Workspace in Lower Manhattan and Independents Hall in Philadelphia.

The coworkers, armed with Wi-Fi laptops and cellphones, are in some ways offering a techie twist on the age-old practice of artists or writers teaming up to rent studio space.

Most coworkers say they were drawn to the spaces for the same reasons that inspired Mr. Neuberg: they like working independently, but they are less effective when sitting home alone.

“Even people who are antisocial feel a need to be around other people for at least part of the day while they’re working,” said Laura Forlano, a visiting fellow at the Information Society Project at Yale Law School who has studied people working in communal offices and cafes.

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