We were thrilled to be part of the annual Coworking Conference, held this year at the exciting capital of Portugal, Lisbon. With an emerging startup and coworking scene, the location was perfect, gathering some of the leading figures in the serviced office industry as well as a great mix of entrepreneurs, freelancers and professionals interested in the future of coworking.
In three days, filled with presentations, seminars, discussion panels and informal gatherings, the audience got the chance to cover interesting topics from the field of coworking, the changing nature of today’s workplace and the ways we work.
One of the first impressive charts displayed on the big screen in Sao Jorge Cinema, where the conference took place, was the steady growth of the coworking trend and the year on year increase in the coworking facilities closing into 6,000 worldwide. A concept, that emerged almost 50 years ago in California, coworking has evolved to become an industry on its own, accommodating various types of entrepreneurs, startups, and small to medium size companies, who see benefits in the shared office environment in terms of collaboration, and interaction.
Topics on community and community management were also covered in smaller groups, giving insights into the different practices applied by centres around the world. Success and failure stories were shared, giving perfect examples how to efficiently maintain and expand your coworking community
Pier Paolo Mucelli, Founder of eOffice, was part of a panel of experienced professionals in the Business centre/ coworking sector discussing and sharing best practice in multiplying Coworking directories – definitely the way forward in expanding the reach and awareness of your centre.
A popular topic this year was also coworking in remote locations. In response to the growing demand for spaces offering a share workspace environment, the coworking trend has transported itself to small cities and remote areas with a lower concentration of business activities. This is also in tune with the mobile nature of today’s work and the technological advances that supported this transition. There is an emerging community of the so called “nomad workers”, able to work from any spot on the planet as well as purposefully relocating themselves to the smaller and exotic places, which offer a cost efficient alternative to the big city. Not to mention the favourable climate.
Elaborating on this trend is “Out of the Office”, the book by Carlos Goncalves, founder of AVILA Business Centre Lisbon, which examines the new ways of work adopted by our society, the different factors affecting that change as well as what is installed for the future of the workplace. Definitely worth reading!
The Coworking Europe Conference ended with an organized tour in some of the leading coworking spaces in Lisbon, starting from AVILA Business Centre, member of the eOffice eNetwork. Their stylish office environment offers a professional setting infused with a homey feel, making it a pleasure to work from. Another impressive visit on the tour was Underground Village Lisboa – very much one of the most alternative workspaces we have seen.
The team is now back in London with tons of industry insights, great new connections and excitement to see the evolution of our industry in 2015. See you in the next Coworking Conference 2016!