- Occupation-specific coworking spaces are coworking spaces designated only for one trade, such as writing, marketing, or graphic design.
- These targeted coworking spaces offer a place for like-minded and similarly employed people to collaborate, network, and share resources.
- While potentially advantageous for everyone, the business model can be unstable with its limited audience, and memberships can be pricey for those who do fit the target demographic.
Coworking centers are designed to enable members to get more work done by both allowing for independent and deep work, and to foster collaboration with like-minded individuals sharing the coworking space.
Some operators throughout U.S. cities are taking that goal of connecting like-minded individuals to another level by launching occupation-specific coworking spaces.
The theory is to reach those who aren’t getting enough benefit from a typical coworking center. What if you are a writer in a coworking space with no other writers? Or a graphic designer in a coworking space with no other graphic designers?
While cross-disciplinary exchanges are valuable, inter-disciplinary exchanges are indispensable for craft-building and for networking within a specific industry.
Occupation-specific coworking spaces now offer distinct professional groups a place to work and learn together.
Who you meet while you work matters
Apart from fulfilling the desire to work alongside those in the same career field, occupation-specific coworking spaces can include valuable benefits for members.
LinkedIn is great for occupational social networking, but there is still nothing that beats in-person networking. Especially in the creative world, who you know can often matter more than how good you are at your craft.
Simply socializing during breaks from focused independent work — coffee refills, lunch, bathroom breaks, etc. — is where a massive percentage of the unique benefits of occupational coworking spaces will occur.
Are these benefits enough to generate profit for operators?
One of the drawbacks to coworking spaces in general is that many workers simply cannot afford to use them. The same drawback is in place for occupation-specific coworking spaces, only it can be much worse because they are, on average, significantly more expensive than general coworking spaces to use.
The costs for members can shrink the market for occupation-specific coworking spaces unless their prices drop.
No data currently exists on the demand for occupation-specific coworking centers, but much can be gleaned from the fact that narrowly-focused coworking spaces, such as The Wing (a female-only coworking center), are closing up shop soon after starting business.
Occupation-specific coworking spaces have a questionable business model because the demand for such services is unclear at best, as well as too expensive for many workers.
When considering either managing, buying, or using an occupation-specific coworking center, the price, viability, and benefits of the specific coworking space need to be weighed before making what will be an impactful decision – the vital point is to ensure that impact is positive.
Diving deep into how individual occupation-specific coworking centers function before embarking on joining or running one is essential so it’s not a waste of time and money.