What is Coworking? It Might Be Annoying

In many earlier posts I have talked about coworkign being all about “community”, where coworkers “thrive” and “serendipity” happens.

Well one man’s “serendipity” is another man’s “interruption”.

Many coworkers are happy with the opportunity for networking, informal conversation, and the social support of fellow coworkiers. Indeed, that is a key reason for coworking in the first place.

But not everyone delights in these interactions, or finds them beneficial to productivity.

James Cropcho writes in New Worker Magazine about his own dislike for this aspect of coworking.

Having to politely navigate my way out of being an involuntary accomplice to others’ procrastination is annoying, so I gave up and went back to working from coffeehouses.”


Anyone who has worked in an office knows that not everyone enjoys “water-cooler lollygagging and gossipy conversations”, at least not every day (or with everyone). I’ve been there, I certainly can identify with the situation: even when you like and value your coworkers, you don’t necessarily want to hang out at the time they want to chatter.

In turn, I expect that Cropcho is a less than optimal coworking colleague for those who crave conviviality, collaboration, and “serendipity”. He’s interested in doing his own thing, without unnecessary distractions, thank you,

Cropcho writes to praise  “Croissant”, which is a scheduling service in NYC, that lets you rent a desk at short notice for short times. E.g., you might be able to reserve a seat in an hour, for an hour.

No commitment to “the community”, and essentially no “serendipity” going on.

Cropcho gives us another perspective on coworking, one that is minimally interested in the community, and maximally interested in a place to get work done.  He seems to mainly be interested in renting a desk “just in time”, with little use for the rest of the package.

There are probably significant numbers of people who might prefer this flavor of coworking, though I wonder whether they would be a good thing for other coworkers or not.


What is Coworking?


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