In the last post, I mentioned that HeBrews is the community platform where members share ideas and co-work with each other to achieve a common goal. But does a community really matter to coworking space? Yes, I personally think the essence of coworking business is a community. I had a chance to chat with the two guys yesterday who just started web development business six months ago. They are currently working on a website that introduces every coworking space in the city. Our main discussion obviously was coworking space business and its culture. What they were saying was that even owners of coworking spaces in Korea do not realize the importance of community in coworking space business. It is because there is mixture of understanding regarding a shared office and coworking space in Korean market. Are shared office and coworking space the same? I would say no. It could be somehow similar to the shared office in terms of sharing spaces with others, but the most of shared office, particularly in Korea, provides spaces only. The coworking space, on the other hand, can be a type of shared office with embedded uniqueness into it, and that uniqueness is a community.
Our team and I have met different people including a start-up, freelancer, student, and people calling themselves digital nomads. As we talked with these people, we came up with the single issue that they have. People. They need people to share and execute their ideas. Not only do these people need spaces to work, but they also need a space that has people to work with. These are the people who mostly work alone and need to co-work with others to make synergy in their business (or project). They are seeking reliable partners to co-work with. Reliability is a critical issue here, because you never know whom you can really trust to work with. A big company may find no issue to find a right person to work with, because they generously can pay. But a small company like a start-up has fund shortage, leading to have lack of human resource. That is why the coworking space needs to have a strong community, bonding each member into one group and striving for common vision. Going back to the first question, community matters to coworking space. Strong bonding in the community will enable members to trust each other. And this trust will make synergy through collaboration.