I recently changed the Facebook cover photo for Creative Density with a beautiful image of a laptop, a notepad, and books over a black table. It’s a cliche photo that is suppose to resemble someone at the coffee shop at peace thinking of their great idea. You probably have seen this image on a dozen ads throughout the last year. Over the image I wrote ‘What’s missing? Friends. Start coworking.’
I’m not bashing beautiful tables or moments of silence or the coffee shop. They all have time and a place. I am emphasizing the main difference between coffee shops and coworking. By working in a coffee shop you are getting out of your home but you are still working in a place of isolation. Strangers rarely say ‘hi’ and it is not expected. Friends will gather but their conversations are often softened in fear of disrupting others. Suradict conversations do happen between strangers and friendships are formed but it’s rare.
A coworking space is different because the expectation is different. The setting might be very similar with large communal tables, chairs, funky art, and great coffee but people talk and get to know each other. In a coworking space people choose to be there to work, to solve problems, and to share ideas. There also want to get to know others. Conversations aren’t muted but might move into a conference room or outside to be continued over a game of Bags if they get too loud. Strangers are introduced when they come on and groups of once strangers go out to lunch. It’s these moments of conversation and sharing where new friendships are formed and new businesses are launched.