On August 9th 2005, Brad Neuberg sets up the first-ever official coworking space called Spiral Muse in the Mission district of San Francisco. The space is intended to maintain the freedom of working independently whilst providing the structure and community of working with others. Neuberg has to pay $300 (£230) a month to use the space for two days a week. For the first month, no one turns up. After more outreach from Neuberg, an athlete and startup developer named Ray Baxter arrives, becoming the spaces first member and in turn the world’s first official coworker.
The number of coworking spaces and available seats has roughly doubled each year. Today, we are nearing two million coworkers working from thousands of spaces all over the globe.
Coworking in Asia has become very popular as space is limited in countries like China, India, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. The major metropolitan cities in each of these countries are every day coming up with new coworking ideas and spaces, promoting emerging startups and business to adopt the trend.
In 2017, Europe ranked third as a region in terms of the number of co-working spaces, behind the United States (3,205) and Asia (3,975).
London is currently the capital of coworking, with more coworking spaces than New York, San Francisco and Berlin.
Coworking has grown over the past few decades and it shows that the key values seem to have endured. Today coworking spaces run the whole gamut, from the small and the niche to the large and the expansive. Yet, there still remains a through-line that can be found in the emergence of coworking. Namely, a focus on providing community, productivity and an improved work-life to those who may otherwise have been isolated or struggling in dysfunctional ‘workspaces’