Coworking Creates Community
Visit the Cedar Rapids Gazette for a great article on the Fairfield CoLab and the benefits of coworking.
“Casey Hynes, guest columnist
On any given day at the Fairfield CoLab, you’ll hear members brainstorming SEO tactics, talking through marketing plans, and hashing out coding issues in their clients’ HTML. In the kitchen, spontaneous debates arise about the merits of GMOs, raw food diets, and the value of work-life balance. Occasionally you’ll catch references to the Maharishi Effect or Ayurvedic practices, a nod to the Transcendental Meditation movement that took up residence in this small town in the 1970s.
And sometimes it’s quiet at the CoLab, as members pop in their ear buds, put their heads down, and focus on building their businesses. In each of these instances, however, you can see a nascent but enthusiastic community developing.
The Fairfield CoLab opened to the public in September 2015, the culmination of nearly a year’s worth of hard work and volunteer hours. The founding members tore down walls and sanded floors in what is now the CoLab’s home, a building overlooking Fairfield’s central square. Though it’s been scarcely more than six months since the official launch, the CoLab has become a hive of entrepreneurship and dialogue in this town of roughly 10,000.
Coworking spaces have sprung up across the state, from Gravitate in Des Moines to Vault in Cedar Rapids to IC CoLab in Iowa City. David Tominsky, director of programs at the New Bohemian Innovation Collaborative (NewBoCo) in Cedar Rapids, says there are at least 19 coworking spaces in Iowa right now, but he suspects there are more. Although they cater to different communities, these coworking spaces share common traits. Chief among them are community and leadership.
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