Issue 56

Coworking and Romania

Paula Năsălean
Project Manager @ Ruby Tribe

One of the main concerns of employers nowadays, is how to motivate their employees so that they become more productive and satisfied with their job. Since this is not an easy task, the search for a solution continues: from gym subscriptions to parking subscriptions, from financial compensations to bonuses or team buildings.

If you are an employee, the HR people are in charge of this, but what happens when you don't have a boss? What happens when you are your own boss, or when you are a consultant, freelancer or just doing home office?

The challenge is big. It is different from person to person of course, but on average, people in this type of situation get mobilized pretty hard. When we work from home, we subject ourselves to different risks. We get disconnected from the world, which can limit ourselves, because we don't get to exchange new ideas with anyone and the days start to look alike.  A big minus of working from home is that the place that usually serves for rest and relaxation loses this quality and becomes the space where we can negatively charge ourselves with problems from work. Therefore, we can't enjoy our private space anymore. It can also create a state of captivity which generates frustration and lack of productivity.

In a situation like this, we can alternatively try to work from a coffee shop, but this has its disadvantages: it can be uncomfortable to stay in the same coffee shop 6-8 hours every day, and the level of commitment to work is not so high when everybody around us is laughing or are just there to relax over a cup of tea or coffee.

So, when more and more people began to have this issue, a potential solution came about: coworking spaces - a place where we can come to rent a spot to work in, but without the stuff that comes when we rent an office. Here we just pay for our own place, and let others bother with administration. A coworking space is not your typical office, because people who work there don't have the same employer, they are totally independent from one another, but they do work together at the same table, in the same room or under the same roof.

Coworking spaces emerged somewhere around 2005 in the US. The biggest number of this type of spaces is in San Francisco and this concept became very popular due to the globalization that brought the possibility to deliver a product online, to any corner of the world, no matter where you are.  In time, Europe also joined the club, the biggest hub being in London UK. Another effect of globalization is the well-known startup. I don't want to write about this subject, thousands of articles have been written about it, but I want to stress that startups created a niche in the market for spaces similar to coworking ones, which offer the same services as a coworking space can: room, administration, secretary, accountant, and besides this, it also offers support services, mentorship and supervision of the product. These spaces for startups are called hubs.

There are plenty advantages of working in a coworking space or a hub:

The first coworking space in Romania appeared in Bucharest many years ago. Now the number got to 7, all having a capacity for hundreds of people. From the capital, the phenomenon spread in the entire country: Brasov, Cluj, Timisoara, Constanta, Iasi, Sibiu, Oradea, Sfantul Gheorghe and Targu Mures.

The first coworking space in Cluj was born in December 2011, at the initiative of a man born in Holland, but who had contact with the IT world in Eastern Europe and identified the need for such a place in Transylvania. This is the story of Cluj Cowork, a space that initially had only 15 seats, and which now has over 40. Being placed in the central area is a big advantage. Like the other coworking spaces, here we can benefit of unlimited wifi, event room, heat, water, tea, fresh coffee, printer, flipchart, video projector and access to all its events. Any coworking space has its particular design, and for those interested in such a place, it is very important to look for whatever suits them best.       

Since then, besides Cluj Cowork, Cluj Hub and Impact Hub also appeared. The three spaces offer more than 250 seats.     

If you have any curiosity regarding this coworking spaces you can take an hour or two, or even an entire day, go there and feel the atmosphere of a different working style. The first day is usually free.




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