Coworking in rural areas – a guideline for local politicians

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The main question when it comes to the topic of rural coworking spaces is: How does a coworking space in rural areas work?

Many politicians see coworking as THE solution for their empty towns and as a universal remedy for the lack of youngsters. They believe that putting a sign „coworking“ on an empty salesroom of the town is enough. But it is not! Coworking lives through the community. And that is where to start, by building a community. It doesn’t matter how great the venue is, how nice the furniture is and how cheap the prices are – if you don’t have anybody building the community and promoting coworking at every occasion possible, then you are lost.

That person what you need is a good communicator, somebody who likes to share ideas and motivate others to be in that community as well. But more than motivating others it is being a role-model because human beings learn from examples. If you found that person don’t take it for granted that he/she does it forever and please appreciate their work (…and remember they do not live just from love and water…).

If there is just a small part of people attending regional coworking gatherings, be happy with what you get. These people are the right ones to transform your town with their ideas. Also if you think: “I just see the same people at all these events”, that’s good, these are the people really wanting to change something. People engaging in coworking are mainly people who want get things done and to really do something not just for themselves but also for others. That also has spill over effects to other parts of your community.

So if you want to make the coworking kind of mindset (sharing, cooperative…) socially acceptable in your town you should support these initiatives. Coworking spaces are the best locations to develop new projects especially for your region.

Also for people who are new in town or just visiting as tourists can build up connections to like-minded people. A coworking space is the place to go when you want to find out about the TO-BE events, good restaurants or just a place to sleep.

Other positive aspects that you should not expect in the first place but be happy if they occur: Your local coworking space becomes the hot-spot of innovation, because if different experts work together on the same aim, great new solutions can be created.

People who never have heard of your small town come to have a coworking retreat in your quiet surrounding because they appreciate getting some work done that they always postpone at home. People will explore your beautiful surroundings and bringing friends when they visit the next time. This trend is called coworkation and the amount of people who are traveling the world while working is increasing. For these working nomads regions should develop touristic packages. To promote them it is good to be connected to the European Coworking movement and part of the world-wide community.

Here you can find examples of rural coworking spaces that attract coworkers from all over the world:

Mokrin House in rural Serbia http://www.mokrinhouse.com

Coworking Bansko in rural Bulgaria https://www.coworkingbansko.com/

Coconut a workation retreat in Germany http://coconat-space.com/

Have fun building your own community!