Co-working has wider appeal in recession

Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:19pm EST
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By Kristina Cooke

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Attorney Dick Dorsett, laid off a year ago, has recently started going to the office.

But it's not his employer's office and the people around him are not his colleagues. Dick is "co-working".

So-called "co-working spaces" were once the domain of software developers and creative freelancers, who for a fee of about $250 a month, can rent a desk and access to meeting rooms, photocopiers and other useful office facilities.

But the recession has made the idea of working amongst strangers appealing to a broader range of people, from those that recently lost their jobs to consultants eager to stay in the loop.

"I do my best work in a bull pen," said Dorsett, 56, from Tacoma, Washington, who is actively looking for a new job.

"It's instantaneous accountability. Everyone knows what you're doing. It's taken me out of my comfort zone and I'm getting a lot more done than I would at home."

Co-working spaces across the United States have reported increased demand.

Alex Hillman in Philadelphia said his IndyHall space is seeing an increase in people who are "moonlighting", working at night to put extra cash in the bank and build out their network. To accommodate them, he has added a night shift.   Continued...

<p>A generic picture of a woman working in an office, typing on a computer. REUTERS/Catherine Benson</p>