Last week Oren Salomon, owner of Dallas Fort Work, randomly dropped by Creative Density for a few hours on his way back to Texas. In our always lovely and honest discussion he articulated something that I always viewed as coworking’s greatest potential; liberation. It’s liberating people to work for themselves and to take advantage of job opportunities hundreds of miles away through remote working. Coworking does this by creating a support system and community for professionals that would otherwise be spending days by themselves watching Ellen, nursing a luke warm coffee, or banging their head caused from whatever form of writer’s block is appropriate for your job.

Yes, coworking is a simple idea to many. It’s a group of friends and strangers sharing a clubhouse to work in. Surprising simple and shockingly effective. (People that have always worked in offices and for companies don’t realize these are real problems)

How is coworking a support system that liberates people:

Realizing you’re not alone.

Dozens are fighting the same problems and if one person has solved the problem then the idea quickly spreads.

Making new friends.

Most people meet people through their work and when people are taken out of this ecosystem their social lives takes a hit. This affects their personal and professional lives.

Learning new skills

Congrats on starting a business, but you’re not a genius. Coworkers constantly learn new skills on web design, operations, how to keep track of revenue …

Building a wall between personal and professional life

Working from home blends those worlds and it means you’ll work way too much, be constantly stressed about work while it hovers over you at dinner, or just never really work. Coworking gives people a defined space.

These are similar reasons to why gyms work even though we can all workout in the park or in our living room. You have a defined place to go and workout, you start to see the same people at the gym and develop friendships and accountability, it’s affordable enough, and you have all of the equipment to try out new things and better your body. Coworking does a very similar thing to nomad and mobile workers.

Coworking communities throughout the world are liberating individuals and I believe this is the reason why it is a more powerful movement than filling up real estate. It’s helping the economy shift by letting individuals start businesses, extend the reach of opportunity to all parts of America, and can be a tool for small town governments to use as a form of economic development.

Oreon helped me remember why we started coworking communities and I’m excited to help the movement spread.