juggleHUB at Cowork2016: collaboration, not competition

After the Cowork2016 conference in Hamburg this past weekend we took a brief pause and temporarily eliminated the word „coworking“ from our vocabulary. Why? To clear our heads. Yesterday then a tentative relapse – a post on our Facebook page about the current coworking statistics published by Deskmag. And today we are back in full swing! Coworking, Coworking, Coworking – Yeah!


After the many impressions and conversations from the conference had some time to sink in, we are reflecting on our take-away. Definitely a large amount of motivation – the entire conference crew, from organizers to participants, was an incredibly nice and inspiring bunch of people. You just can’t help but want to be a part of the coworking movement to turn the working world upside down. Coworking, Coworking, Coworking – Baby, are you coworking yet?

The conference also highlighted the biggest challenges the movement faces. First off: Carrying the coworking principals out of the spaces and into the world. Because we all know how it is, when you are intensely involved with a topic, a product or industry you are regularly surprised to find that not everyone else will instantly know what you are talking about, but rather look at you with a huge question mark in their faces.

Co-what? Never heard of it.

This is a problem the coworking scene still faces. Although we are all knee-deep in the subject and can recite the advantages of flexible working, exchange with others and the creative environment a coworking space offers in our sleep – that doesn’t help us if the message is not heard outside of the coworking community. Apparently rumor has it that even coworking space managers do not often visit other coworking spaces.

Albeit, an amusing anecdote from the conference: One coworking space manager is in fact a regular user of a neighboring space where he can finally catch up on all of his administrative work that he never has the time for while running the day to day business at his own space.


Another hot topic was collaboration between coworking spaces. In order to establish coworking in the working world, coworking spaces need to work together closely. Of course each space aims to recruit as many members as possible in order to survive financially. But thinking as competitors will ultimately be counterproductive to the spreading of the coworking idea. The goal should be to help the people that come into your space as much as possible – with contacts, events, workshops, etc. This also means recommending another space if your own space does not offer what that person is looking for. And that is where the difference lies between the idea of coworking and a general desk space rental: the network and the assurance that the other coworkers and space managers will always have an open ear and a helpful tip for you. These are just a few of the many advantages that this form of working together offers.


At the risk of sounding like a know-it-all: from the early stages of our project, we never (or almost never) felt as though we were competing with other coworking spaces. We are convinced, the more coworking spaces there are and the more also aim to include parents, the higher are the chances that the coworking idea will reach more people, be tried by more people and ultimately be accepted as the way to work. A development that we only stand to gain from.


A personal highlight of the conference were the stories Tobias of St. Oberholz had to tell. St. Oberholz has a history worthy of an american blockbuster movie: from „rags to riches“, from café on the corner to the stronghold of the Berlin coworking scene! More recently even the flagship of the co-living movement!

And the best example of what is possible.


What else did we learn this past week?

Coworking, Coworking, Coworking – Yeah!!!


Fotos: LuxLux