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The Joy of Finding Your Place in a Coworking Community


It’s Monday morning, I have a long-ass todo list, and I’m geared up to go into deep production mode between now and early-2020. But something amazing just happened that I have to share.

Months ago, a shy young woman started collaborating with one of the members of NextSpace, my home coworking space in Santa Cruz, Ca.

She would pop into the space periodically to work. Since then, she’s been spending more and more time here.

She generally stays pretty heads-down and quiet.

Moments ago, she came up the steps into the space, looked around and somewhat loudly proclaimed, “Good morning, everyone!”

My heart leapt with joy and my first thought was, “She’s arrived in the community.”

Some people find their place in our coworking community in their first week; some find it a few months in; and occasionally people don’t find it.

I remember the moment I arrived in our community. I walked up the steps and NextSpace co-founder Jeremy hollered across the space, “Hi, Cat!” Then Grace followed, “Hi, Cat!” Then Ed chimed in, then Chris, then Iris, then…whoever else was there until everyone in the open coworking area had warmly greeted me.

It was a fun, unforgettable moment of belonging.

I felt like I was part of something.

And I am.

All these years later, that feeling of having a place in our community stays with me.

To see a new-ish member find her place in our community—to march into the space as her comfortable, authentic self—is what coworking is all about.

We’re not in the business of desks and wifi, friends.

We’re in the business of connection.

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Photo: Kevin Butz