THECUBE: Five years of Coworking

12th Nov 2014

We turned five in September and we cannot believe how fast the time has gone by. We started before there was a tech city or start-ups or apps. In 2009 the business world was quite different, people were not meeting up, there was little talk on innovation, collaboration was a foreign concept and starting a business was more complex. THECUBE wanted to change all of that – we thought that people should collaborate across industry sectors, we thought people should have access to affordable workspaces, we thought people should work in a beautiful open plan space, and we thought that the economic system that led to the crash needs to change. We predicted that we were not entering a recession, but instead we were entering an anthropological shift. All of these things now seem common place, however in 2009 these concepts were new and in many cases we were told that it would not work. Below are top 10 lessons and observations of being in the workspace industry.

We are not a conceptual workspace anymore, we are now a community and agency

Spaces shape us. It influences the culture of a community, the behaviours of that community, and even our state of mind.

People crave socialisation. We need to feel supported in order to flourish.

People enjoy and flourish through diverse collaboration. Our generation has created a culture of “we” which is willing to share ideas and that is leading us to innovate faster.

People will not collaborate with people they do not know or trust. This has meant keeping our space boutique and slowly integrating people into the community.

Innovation is not due to strategy it is a consequence of culture. You create the right culture and innovation will follow.

Workspaces  are no longer a place to just work, they are spaces with a specific culture. People want to fit in and be part of a community which they identify with.

People are now looking for more than just a building, they want their workspace to be surrounded by culture and ambience. The right area is more important than price in most cases, as people want their start-up and company to be associated with a specific culture.

When we started, Commercial Street had a long way to go before turning into a prominent high street, so we have witnessed both the regeneration and gentrification of East London. We have seen that if you are not inclusive of the native community, you risk creating huge socio-economic divides. Each workspace should have a community platform and give back to the place they are located.

Our socioeconomic culture has changed, giving way to movements like Occupy, Arab Spring, and Anonymous. These groups are questioning how we generate economy, looking at the democracy of government and asking for transparency. All of the reflecting values of a generation looking to create radical change.