My name is Gabriel Goin and I’m a second-year student in a Bachelor degree program for business and management. To complete my second year of study, I needed to do an internship abroad. I chose Prague because I know a lot of people who went there and they all loved it, so I wanted to discover this city.
Hometown: Mouilleron-le-Captif, France
Fun fact about hometown: Captif means captive, and during the French revolution Mouilleron – le – Captif became Mouilleron -le – libre which means free. Unfortunately they didn’t keep that name.
Occupation: Intern @ Locus Workspace; Student
Field of study: Business and Management
Why did you decide to study business and management? In high school, I did an economics and society diploma, and I really liked a lesson about economics and consumer behavior. That’s why I wanted to continue in that field. I also chose that because I didn’t have a precise idea of what I wanted to do, and I know this field will open more doors than it will close. Did you already have an idea of what a coworking space was before you joined Locus? Yes. I did an internship in one in France last year. Before that, I didn’t know. But the experience is still very different as it was a young coworking space (just 1 year when I arrived), so it was much smaller and the tasks were different because my main goal was to increase the visibility of the company. Why did you decide to intern at Locus? I’m currently in my second year of university and one of the requirements is to do an internship abroad. When I began searching, I already knew that I wanted to intern at a coworking space because of my previous experience, and I really liked it. After hearing about Prague from friends I wanted to discover the city, and Locus was the best option for me because it is an international and English-speaking coworking space. What are some of your goals for this internship? My goals for this internship are to improve my English, mostly my pronunciation, learn more about the job of community and event manager, and gain experience in this job. What kind of responsibilities do you have as a community manager? My main task is to make people feel welcome and comfortable at Locus. I also have to organize events, ensure they run smoothly, and do many other tasks such as social media marketing, blogging…
Here is Brad Neuberg’s original conception (this blog post represents the first public expression of the term as it is used today), which we think captures the spirit as well as any other definitions out there:
Traditionally, society forces us to choose between working at home for ourselves or working at an office for a company. If we work at a traditional 9 to 5 company job, we get community and structure, but lose freedom and the ability to control our own lives. If we work for ourselves at home, we gain independence but suffer loneliness and bad habits from not being surrounded by a work community.
Coworking is a solution to this problem. In coworking, independent writers, programmers, and creators come together in community a few days a week. Coworking provides the “office” of a traditional corporate job, but in a very unique way.
Here’s one of our favorite definitions, from Coworking.com, managed by a team of coworking space managers and owners who have been central to the coworking movement from its early days:
The idea is simple: that independent professionals and those with workplace flexibility work better together than they do alone. Coworking answers the question that so many face when working from home: “Why isn’t this as fun as I thought it would be?”
Beyond just creating better places to work, coworking spaces are built around the idea of community-building and sustainability. Coworking spaces uphold the values set forth by those who developed the concept in the first place: collaboration, community, sustainability, openness, and accessibility.
How was coworking born?
Some think that coworking is inspired by the artist’s studios of the beginning of the 20th century. Indeed somdther and work alone or together. These places were created to improve creativity by meeting inspiring peoples, and to make an economy by sharing the cost with others.
The aim of these places was almost the same as coworking spaces as we know them today.
It’s in Silicon Valley in 2005 that the concept of these collaborative workspaces really took off, with the creation of the first « real » coworking space in San Francisco by Brad Neuberg (at least in name, though there were several similar spaces that didn’t use the coworking moniker that began the same year in other places).
Why join a coworking space?
Coworking spaces offer dynamic locations of exchange and sharing. Freelancers, entrepreneurs, and creatives from diverse fields enlarge your network, but more importantly serve as a resource of experience and knowledge and potential collaboration or inspiration. For many members, however, the most important benefit is purely the positive social energy. Members often feel more motivated surrounded by other focused, hard-working members. One of the biggest benefits is improved work-life balance. Location-independent professionals often work from home or from cafes and face one of two common challenges. Either they spend too much time alone and miss the social proximity and social connections they used to have before they were independent OR they have a partner or children at home and have difficulty explaining to their partner or kids that they really do need to work even though it’s true that they set their own schedule.
Most coworking spaces also organize events that help facilitate both the social relationships, motivation, and professional development. Locus, for example, organizes weekly coffee breaks and lunches, and monthly pub nights and game nights to facilitate meaningful social connections. For motivation, Locus hosts weekly Work Jams, where members sit together at the same table and use a timer to work together for a half day with planned breaks, and weekly critique-free writing meetups to help provide a sacred time and place, and positive social energy, for focused writing. Coworking spaces promote sustainability as key players in the sharing economy. They allow members to dramatically reduce commute times because they are often located in the neighborhoods where their members work, and they reduce operation costs and startup time by providing great office infrastructure to members who could never justify having meeting rooms, data projectors and other high-quality office equipment in central locations if that space was not shared among many other location-independent professionals. Many coworking spaces also serve as a kind of landing zone, helping to connect global and local. About 70% of Locus’s members, for example, come from countries other than the Czech Republic (nearly 30 different countries), with the language of the space being English. This allows newcomers to Prague a ready way to form a community with other people like them, and also with English-speaking Czechs who are welcoming to an international community and reading to share local knowledge. Czech members, who make up about 30% of Locus’s members, get the complementary benefit of ready access to a friendly international community and a workplace where they can practice their English on a daily basis.
Finally, coworking spaces simply offer convenience and accessibility. Coworking spaces have become so widespread that as long as you live in a large city they will often have options that are centrally located OR in your neighborhood, with 24 hours a day, 7 day a week access, and with membership plans that meet your particular needs. Locus, for example, is in both a central location and one of the most prized residential neighborhoods in Prague, Vinohrady. It offers all members smart-phone based access 24/7, 365 days a year, and has membership optionsfrom as little as one day per month to unlimited use. For the many members who travel abroad but would still like a reliable office in Prague, there are options to put your membership on hold for up to a year. And for members who already have a full-time day job but want to start their solo career, there’s an Evenings & Weekends option.
Some statistics about the impacts of coworking
According to global research by Deskmag and Deskwanted:
74% of coworkers are more productive,
86% have a larger business network,
93% have a bigger social network,
Over two-thirds feel more creative and collaborate more on projects
A third reported an increase in income.
Still not convinced?
Come and try a day of coworking for free at Locus Workspace.