Guest Blog written by Jeremy Neuner & Ryan Coonerty, Co-Founders of NextSpace and Authors of The Rise of the Naked Economy
Ready to give up your cubicle, your commute, and your daily grind? Tired of trading your freedom and flexibility for the “security” that comes from a “real job.” Frustrated by the “either/or” choice between having a career and having a family? Ready to find a way to make a living and make a life on your own terms? Then you’re ready for the Naked Economy.
A year ago, we published our book, The Rise of the Naked Economy: How to Benefit From the Changing Workplace. The book profiles a group of brave pioneers who are finding new ways to work: from Ben Gran, who traded a job that was literally killing him for the freedom and flexibility of being a freelance writer in his hometown in Iowa, to Heather Stephenson, who integrates being a successful entrepreneur with being an awesome mom. Since the book came out, we’ve been inspired by hundreds of people—many of them members at NextSpace, the coworking company that we started in 2008—who are challenging the status quo of how, where, and why we work.
“We’ve been inspired by hundreds of people who are challenging the status quo of how, where, and why we work.”
What’s driving this shift in work? No surprise, the biggest driver is the rapid growth in mobile technology (fun fact: the mobile smart phone is the most rapidly adopted technology in the history of the human species). Combine mobile technology with ubiquitous Internet connectivity, cloud-based applications, and new marketplaces for talent (think: Elance and oDesk) and, voila!, a revolution of work is born.
But it’s not just technology that’s causing our society fundamentally to re-think work. Instead, people like Ben and Heather are motivated by a deep, almost primal, desire to take control of their work, their lives, and their well-being. As Danny Crichton wrote in a recent TechCrunch column, “Through labor marketplaces and mobile apps, we are creating a world where workers are fundamentally in control of their economic lives.” By seizing this control, we can create an economy and a society that are happier, healthier, more productive, and more innovative. That’s the essence of the Naked Economy.
“We can create an economy and a society that are happier, healthier, more productive, and more innovative.”
We love running a coworking company because we get to spend our days immersed in a community of people who are passionate about creating the Naked Economy. In fact, we think this collective desire to make a living and make a life on our own terms—rather than on terms dictated by big companies—will drive the continued growth of the coworking industry. Sure, coworking spaces provide mobile workers, telecommuters, and entrepreneurs with flexible, inexpensive alternatives to working at home or at the local coffee shop. And the early rise of the coworking industry stemmed from meeting that need. But flexible workspace is just the beginning. The collective actions of the workers who see coworking not just as a workspace, but as a way to take control of their economic and social well-being, will be the force that propels the next wave of growth in the industry. We’re hopeful and confident that the impact will a happier, healthier, more productive, more innovative society.
Interested in joining the Naked Economy? Check out one of NextSpace’s locations!
About the ShareDesk Blog Series ‘The Future of Work With…’
‘The Future of Work With…’ is a blog series profiling members of the ShareDesk community. We are speaking with our diverse network of entrepreneurs, business travellers, industry thought leaders, freelancers, and flexible workplace operators, and sharing their stories and experiences on how they dream up a more flexible future for work.
Are you part of the ShareDesk community and have an interesting story to share? Contact us.