(Note: This post was originally written for Shareable.)
In a fascinating new book by Susan Cain, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, two different work styles are pit starkly against each other: on one side, we have the pro-collaboration camp, and on the other the more inward-looking solitude-is-good supporters.
This debate on the best type of work style has important implications for various models of coworking. Coworking advocates have always prided themselves on the values of collaboration. It is the movement’s mantra. The coworking revolution itself sits at the heart of a general shift toward a sharing and collaborative economy that encompasses household names like AirBnb, Zipcar, and TaskRabbit.
As advancements in connectivity, computing technology, and cloud-based tools make it easier than ever to work anywhere we want, it’s important to re-visit the basic question: What’s the optimum way to work and why?
Small businesses, freelancers, and startups all have a choice of working at their various ‘digital offices’ from local coffee shops and Jellies to coworking spaces. Is coworking still a good option for workers? Do the usual pros and cons of coworking still hold water?
Go Team! Collaboration catalyzes creativity
Going it alone: The case for the solo spirit.
Susan Cain writes in a recent New York Times article:
“Culturally, we’re often so dazzled by charisma that we overlook the quiet part of the creative process. Consider Apple. In the wake of Steve Jobs’s death, we’ve seen a profusion of myths about the company’s success. Most focus on Mr. Jobs’s supernatural magnetism and tend to ignore the other crucial figure: a kindly, introverted engineering wizard, Steve Wozniak.”
And yet, think about what the company would be without the collaboration of these two very different figures? They were coworking, after all.