The beginnings of coworking are tied to a man named Brad Neuberg, to the year 2005 and the city of San Francisco. Since then, the concept of coworking has evolved and advanced a lot, and today we can describe coworking as independent community work.
Brad Neuberg is a software engineer and humanist who in 2005 founded the first coworking space called “San Francisco Coworking Space”. According to Neuberg, the idea arose from the need to limit his working hours, which started in the late afternoon and lasted all night, which was not healthy and at the same time he longed for a healthy community of people who would support and inspire each other. It was then that he realized that he wanted to combine the best aspects of independent work (read: freedom and independence) with the best aspects of working for companies (read: structure and community) and so the first coworking space was created. Initially, Brad's coworking space was part of the feminist cooperative "Spiral Muse", but after a year he moved to "Hat Factory" - the first independent full-time coworking space. Very soon after the USA, the wave of revolutionary concept spread across Europe, and especially in Great Britain and Germany.
Although Brad Neuberg is considered the founder of this revolutionary concept of work, it is true that sometime in the mid-1990s, the ancestor of the coworking space was “conceived” - it was a hacker base called the "C base" in Berlin. The term 'coworking' is thought to have been first used by Bernie DeKoven, an American game designer, in 1999 to describe collaboration supported by computers and new technologies. In the same year, a “42 West 24” space was established in New York that contained flexible tables for teams and individuals but was not centered around a key aspect of today’s coworking spaces — communities.
There are currently a large number of coworking spaces in the world, including large franchises. Large companies like Impact Hub, WeWork and Industrious hold a monopoly over the global market, but there are more and more independent businesses every year. Coworking is a fast-growing industry, and it is expected that by 2024 there will be around 40,000 coworking spaces in the world.
For a more detailed timeline of coworking history click here