Inside CoWork Jax

January 26, 2012 14 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Come celebrate the grand opening of CoWork Jax, tonight from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Mayor Alvin Brown will be presented, along with several other prominent Jacksonville community leaders to speak about the space and Downtown Jacksonville. Food and beverages will be provided. In the meantime, Metro Jacksonville takes a sneak peak inside downtown's first coworking space.

About CoWork Jax

CoWork Jax is a coworking space and community where professionals, entrepreneurs, freelancers and others establish their primary or secondary office while collaborating, conspiring, and growing their business in a community-focused environment.

What is Coworking?

Coworking is a style of work which involves a shared working environment, sometimes an office, yet independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.

Some coworking spaces were developed by nomadic internet entrepreneurs seeking an alternative to working in coffeeshops and cafes, or to isolation in independent or home offices. A 2007 survey showed that many employees worry about feeling isolated and losing human interaction if they were to telecommute. Roughly a third of both private and public-sector workers also reported that they didn’t want to stay at home during work. Coworking offers a solution to the problem of isolation that many freelancers experience while working at home, while at the same time letting them escape the distractions of home.

Many misconceptions abound about what coworking encompasses and how it distinguishes itself from business accelerators, business incubators and executive suites. These types of spaces do not seem to fit into the coworking model because they often miss the social, collaborative, and informal aspects of the process, with management practices closer to that of a Cooperative, including a focus on community rather than profit. Many of the coworking participants are also participants in BarCamp and other related open source technology activities.

Coworking is not only about the physical space but initially and mostly about establishing the Coworking community first. The benefits of Coworking can already be experienced outside of Coworking spaces and it is recommended to start with building a Coworking community first before considering opening a Coworking space. However, some Coworking Spaces don't build a community, they just get a part of an existing one by combining their opening with an event which attracts their target group.

A lot of Coworking communities are formed by organizing Casual Coworking events (e.g. Jellies) that can take place in people's living room or in public places such as suitable cafes, galleries or multi-functional spaces. During these events Coworkers can experience the benefits of Coworking and get to know each other which lowers the barriers to join a Coworking space later.


The term "coworking" was coined by Bernie DeKoven in 1999, and in 2005 used by Brad Neuberg to describe a physical space which he firstly called '9 to 5 group'.

Neuberg organized a coworking site called the "Hat Factory" in San Francisco, which is a live-work loft that was home to three technology workers, and open to others during the day. Brad was also one of the founders of Citizen Space, the first "Work Only" coworking space, and the space that spawned a global movement. Now, coworking spaces exist worldwide, with over 700 locations in the United States alone.

San Francisco continues to have a large presence in the coworking community, and is home to a growing number of coworking spaces including the pariSoma Innovation Loft, HubSoMa, and Citizen Space. The San Francisco-based consulting firm Citizen Agency has actively promoted coworking, starting a space called Citizen Space which rents desks but also allows free drop-ins in the public spaces.[29] Coworking has also spread into many other metropolitan areas, with cities such as Portland, Oregon now offering several thriving coworking venues.

Benefits of Coworking

Coworking gives you a built in community of collaborators, brainstorming partners and kindred spirits.  Get all the benefits of a professional office without the cubicles and sky-high rents. CoWork Jax is all about innovation – for our own ventures and yours.

* 42% of all coworkers report higher income since joining a cowork space*

* Avoid home office distractions and loneliness

* Separate your work and home life

* Cheaper than paying for dedicated office space

* Community support leads to increased productivity

* Collaborate, network and make friends

CoWork Jax is located in Downtown Jacksonville on the second floor of the historic Woolworth's Building at 5 West Forsyth Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202.  For more information visit:

Article by Ennis Davis