Arguably, the internet is the technology that has left the biggest mark on the first two decades of the 21st century. Invented three decades ago, the internet has slowly infiltrated pretty much every aspect of our lives.
We use it to keep in touch, to order food, to share our experiences with others, to entertain ourselves, to find a significant other, to check out the latest Betway soccer betting odds, to shop, to pay… and the list could go on and on and on.
And, increasingly, we use the internet to work. There are myriads of jobs that can be done just as well – perhaps even better – from home or pretty much everywhere else as if they were done at an office. And a certain class of these jobs’ practitioners have cut their ties to the traditional corporate environment, choosing to work remotely from wherever they might be.
These digital nomads are envied by many others for their flexible schedule and location independence. Sometimes, in turn, they too need an “office” where they have not only a fast and stable internet connection but a supportive community, a coffee machine, and a printer they can use. This is why coworking spaces were invented.
What is a coworking space, after all? Well, it’s pretty much what it sounds like: a place where several workers – freelance professionals, digital nomads, internet entrepreneurs and such – can share a workspace.
These “spaces” are usually run by entrepreneurs offering workers space for rent with amenities like a desk and a chair (obviously), internet access, sometimes even consulting, technical support, and such. They are a popular alternative to coffee shops and diners especially because they are a meeting point for like-minded people that can often form a community. Besides, coworking spaces are a viable solution to one of the most pressing problems remote workers face: isolation.
Developer, Brad Neuberg, came up with the idea of coworking in 2005 while remotely working on various projects but missing the community of office space. The idea started to grow slowly but steadily, and ultimately became popular. Coworking is especially widespread in the Asia-Pacific region but you can find coworking spaces pretty much everywhere today – yes, even in Pretoria.
Coworking in Pretoria
One of the more notable coworking spaces in Pretoria is Grounded Work. Among others, it offers its coworkers unmetered, fibre-based WiFi, a six-seat boardroom for meetings, coffee, food, a courier service, air conditioning, and other amenities. Its rates are pretty affordable and flexible, covering every need, from that of a digital nomad spending just a few days in the city to local companies looking for a long-term commitment.