How coworking got started: The Timeline | Zen Business Centre in New Delhi , India

How coworking got started: The Timeline

How coworking got started: The Timeline

“He who cannot draw on three thousand years is living from hand to mouth.”

― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Though Goethe, the famous German statesman and writer, might not have been referring to co-working space but it won’t be wrong to mention it in this reference.

The current style of working is different from the earlier one in the sense that it is driven by creative passion. Individuals from all walks of life strive to achieve more and something better .

No wonder, co-working has developed globally and we surely need to have a look at how it actually got introduced.


  • It was in the year 1999 that the term “coworking” was first used by Bernie DeKoven to describe the collaboration of computer and new technologies of the day.


  • Back in 2005 Brad Neuberg started the concept of co-working that involving a physical space where independent and mobile workers worked together under one roof. Neuberg first started the Hat Factory in San Francisco in a work/live loft.


  • The global coworking movement was lead by Citizen Space in San Francisco which was considered to be one of the first coworking spaces.
  • Amit Gupta and Luke Crawford were the two New York City roommates who started Jelly to encourage mobile workers to get together to work in a casual environment. Jelly was started in NYC but it was promoted globally through widespread media attention.


  • In 2007, 75 coworking spaces started operating in the world and the trend got so much attention that the numbers doubled up every year.
  • Jelly groups continue to grow in cities like Austin, Phoenix, and San Francisco and helped people find a permanent coworking space.
  • This was considered to be the year when coworking spaces continued to grow across the world and some really big media houses began to promote them too.


  • The world received 160 coworking spaces
  • Most major cities throughout North America and Europe have a coworking community

2009 to 2011

  • These two years saw a rapid increase in the growth of coworking spaces when over  1,130 communities were established at the end of 2011
  • There is a coworking space owned and operated by ING Direct in Toronto to help attract and interact with banking customers. It was the first-ever company that used coworking as a corporate promotional means.
  • Since the industry is growing rapidly, Europe and the USA are hosting coworking conferences to spread awareness and knowledge. This way veteran’ operators and new coworking catalysts can both get to know about the idea.
  • It was in places like NextSpaces in California that the first chains of coworking spaces started to develop.


  • More than 2000 coworking spaces were started
  • Mobile workers were offered new flexible work solutions by Att&t and Accenture through LiquidSpace that used coworking spaces to derive collaboration.
  • NextSpace gets over $800,000 in funding for expansion and opens its 7th location.

Going Into the Future

Coworking is an idea through which people will continue to work and connect with their community. We can see that it has already shifted the way people work and has also encouraged a huge number of people to start their own businesses. The coming years promise more growth and more such casual coworking spaces with more people showing interest in the idea.

  • How coworking got started: The Timeline

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