Community Matters: COW – A Co-Working Group For Co-Working Spaces

Our OG Membership Manager Grace has been with us since the beginning, so she knows a thing or two (or thousand) about the potential, successes, and challenges of co-working communities. She’s got a super exciting new venture up her sleeve, and today she’d love to tell you a bit more about it.


I met Amy by chance when she came for a meeting at Work.Life to speak to my boss. It was a classic mix-up with the calendar, and he wasn’t around.

I couldn’t let her leave, so I stepped in to take the meeting in his absence, not knowing who this person was or what the meeting was about. Let me tell you, I am so glad I did.

We spent that morning ranting about the challenges we faced in our respective co-working spaces, the future of the industry, and celebrating the fact we jumped ship from our previous jobs into this exciting, collaborative realm.

After befriending Amy, I met other co-working managers and realised we all faced the same challenges. We were all talking about the same fundamental issues, but on our own we weren’t really able to get anywhere to do something tangible about them.

After talking endlessly about recycling, whether we should be using Slack to communicate, the perfect coffee bean, and right temperature for air-con, we thought it would be beneficial for us all to meet up and go through these challenges together. To problem solve as a unit.

We all spend each and every day creating and encouraging community amongst our members, yet we sit on the sidelines and have no community of our own. This didn’t seem right – especially for a group of people who love community so much!

COW aims to change this – we want to come together, putting competition to bed, and build a network for the co-working industry.

If you’re wondering why we called it COW, the acronym stands for Collaboration of Workspaces, and is a sort of homage to Seth Godin’s Purple Cow theory.

He says the key to success is to find a way to stand out, to be the purple cow in a field of monochrome Holsteins. Of course, I agree with Seth, he is a marketing demigod after all, but I also believe that collaboration and openness has a great role to play in success.

One of my favourite sayings is: “If you want to go fast, go alone but if you want to go far, go together.” I have seen magical things happen in our co-working spaces, which were fundamentally born out of a chat at the coffee machine. If we can practice what we preach as co-working operators I think we will transform the way we work for the better.

It’s an exciting time for co-working and the Future of Work, and by collaborating as a community to tackle challenges, brainstorm future ideas, and ultimately move the industry forward, we could transform the way we all work for the better.


If you know someone who would benefit from this working group then please sign up to the mailing list at http://collabofcowo.co.uk or send us a note at collabofcowo@gmail.com.