When Jason Roe (of Ryanair ruffling notoriety) invited me to co-author Coworking.ie two years ago I eagerly accepted. Coworking, officially defined as a ‘cafe-like community/collaboration space for developers, writers and independents’ was a trend I’d been keeping an eye on for many months. The idea is simply for freelancers to take a shared office, imbue it with cafe culture and avail of the networking opportunities afforded.
But there are many definitions of and variations on coworking depending on who you ask. For instance, Jelly is ‘casual coworking’ where people are invited to work from a host home for a day. Jelly provides chairs and sofas, wireless internet, and interesting people to talk to, collaborate with, and bounce ideas off of.
So it’s clear that coworking is as much about collaboration as it is about shared space among independents. Hotdesking by contrast has it’s origins in the corporate environment where a primary motivation was cost reduction through space saving. Typically a a number of employees operated a ‘timeshare’ on a single work station or desk space.
But hotdesking has evolved and broken free from the confines of the company. Now it’s more about flexible temporary space for individuals. And a number of service providers in Ireland are experimenting with different configuration ideas. The appeal to me is that coworking is overkill for my purposes. I work fine out of my own home-office most of the time but would really appreciate the opportunity to hot desk now and again, especially when my work takes me on the road.