Coworking: What is it and how does it work. An image of two people working in a coworking space

Coworking is a way of working that involves sharing the same workspace that usually includes desks, conference rooms and spaces for relaxing. The idea behind coworking is that professionals, freelancers, entrepreneurs, any remote worker often work better in an office environment with other people around them to share ideas and collaborate. It’s also much more affordable than renting a private space.

This relatively new concept of coworking has spread rapidly around the world. Anyone working independently or remotely can benefit from the community environment that coworking offers.

A chart from Google Trends showing the increase of interest over time for the term 'coworking'
A chart from Google Trends showing the increase of interest over time for the term 'coworking'

What is coworking?

A coworking space or a “coworking” is a shared space where people, usually professionals, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and SMEs from different sectors come together to share the same workspace in an office environment with other like-minded people.

A primary driver for the growth of coworking is that workers nowadays often no longer need to have their own private offices, or no longer need to commute to a company office, which means they can work from different locations.

What is the origin of coworking?

Coworking spaces are essentially shared workspaces where people meet to develop their professional projects independently. The origin of the collaborative workspace is not precisely known. However, the modern history of coworking began in 1995, when 17 computer engineers created the first hackerspace at C-Base in Berlin.

A few years later, Bernard DeKoven coined the term “coworking”, but it referred more to the way of working than to the space used. It was not until 2002 that two Austrian entrepreneurs created a centre dedicated exclusively to business activities.

The first coworking space was started by Brad Neuberg in 2005, but it was actually housed at Spiral Muse, a feminist collective.

How does a coworking workspace work?

A coworking space provider usually rents a physical space to people who want to work or have an office. They offer conference and meeting rooms, Internet access, and virtually everything you need to be an efficient and productive professional. The cost of renting this space tends to be less than renting one’s own office.

However, the functioning of a collaborative space depends not only on an office per se, but also on two other key components:

The coworker

A coworker is a person who works in a shared space with other people from similar professions, or other freelancers, entrepreneurs, and teleworkers. This shared space can range from the usual city-based classic office to a rural area such as La Colmena Coworking in Prado del Rey, Cadiz.

What coworkers need for space varies in terms of aspects such as time commitment or budget. There are no set criteria for someone to be (or not) a coworker.


Coworking spaces offer a unique set of services. Options vary depending on the type of coworking space. Some common types of coworking environments provide members with dedicated desks, private offices, meeting rooms, and some offer team coworking spaces.

The more typical coworking services are the following:

  • Reception
  • High-speed Internet connection + Wi-Fi
  • Coffee and tea
  • Printing and copying
  • Networking events
  • Meeting rooms with audiovisual equipment (screens, webcams, etc.)
  • Common areas
  • Registered office, fiscal and administrative domicile.
  • Wellness programs
  • Rest areas
  • Lockers and storage
  • Less commonly, child and pet-friendly facilities are available

The different types of coworking spaces

Coworking spaces are designed to offer remote workers an environment where they can be productive and enjoy working. Some offices may be a better fit for you than others, depending on your type of work. Here’s a look at 7 different types of coworking spaces.

1. General coworking

General coworking spaces are aimed at any professional, entrepreneur, worker, or work area. The main advantage is making it easier for workers with independent professional projects to connect and collaborate.

This leads to new projects and innovations that can help them advance their careers faster than working alone in a cubicle every day of the week. They are usually easy to find in the world’s metropolises.

2. Coworking by profession

Coworking by profession is a more recent trend. In this type of environment, professionals and companies that share the same job are grouped together to form a community with shared interests and habits.

For example, there may be dedicated spaces for software developers, architects, or lawyers where members interact more frequently because they work on similar projects, increasing collaboration among them for new ventures.

3. Coworking for creative people

Coworking for creative people is a unique space that focuses on the needs of artists, designers, and other professionals in this industry. They offer spacious work desks and industry-related equipment such as 3D printers, projectors, etc.

These coworking centres host galleries, workshops and organise events that foster joint creative projects.

4. Coworking for artisans

Coworking for artisans brings together professionals who use manual labour to create things. The layout of these spaces is different from the usual, with desks being replaced by workbenches and rooms with workshops.

You often pay according to what you use: canvases, drills, band saws, lathes, or laser cutters. There will be more noise/dust/disorganisation, but it is a space where your creativity and projects can take off.

5. Rural Coworking

Rural coworking is ideal for freelancers and digital nomads looking to escape the hustle and bustle of cities. It offers a quieter environment in more natural surroundings while still having access to all the necessary services.

La Colmena is the perfect rural coworking to work from. It is located in the Sierra de Cadiz, Spain.

It’s open to entrepreneurs, freelancers, and digital nomads, any type of remote worker. If you want to be part of a community to help grow your business in serene surroundings, contact La Colmena Coworking.

For small businesses located far from large metropolitan areas, rural coworking has emerged as an alternative option that offers a better location without compromising work-life balance or office needs.

Companies can also use rural coworking facilities as temporary offices when they need to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. This type of coworking can also be used for company retreats or events. Some businesses rent them for more extended periods.

6. Adventure Coworking

Adventure coworking spaces are dedicated to those who like a different lifestyle and want to live new experiences. The concept of this type of adventure space allows independent professionals to work outside the office for some time, offering options such as surfing, hiking and more. They are excellent workplaces to enjoy the thrill of exploring new things with other coworkers or clients.

7. Coworking for large companies

In recent years, collaborative workspaces have been a source of success for many companies. Large corporations are starting to see the benefits and send some departments or sections to these joint offices.

What are the benefits of coworking?

The advantages of coworking are diverse. You can find everyone from freelancers, entrepreneurs and SMEs, to digital nomads and remote employees working in a creative environment. Working with like-minded professionals can be a catalyst to growing your business or developing your projects. The sense of community among coworkers is also an essential part of a fulfilling and enjoyable working experience.

Coworking benefits

For freelancers, digital nomads, and remote employees

  • Creates synergies with professional peers (networking)
  • Reduces infrastructure costs
  • Sense of belonging to a community
  • Improves the image of your business (freelancer or startup)
  • Increases work productivity
  • Possibility of making new friends

For SMEs and/or large companies

  • Sense of community for team members
  • Labor flexibility in terms of time and costs
  • Reduces general and overhead costs
  • Increases employee wellbeing and productivity
  • Connection and collaboration with other peers
  • Promoting joint innovation projects
  • Allows to train and/or obtain human talent
  • Generates potential business relationships


Coworking is a relatively new phenomenon in Spain but has been gaining popularity in recent years. If you strive to balance work and family life, a coworking space can help you meet that goal. Check out La Colmena rural coworking, and contact us if you have any questions. There is no better time than now to see how coworking could improve your working life.