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The dramatic increase in freelancers, especially technology industry soloists, is driving a new trend called “coworking” — the sharing of workspace on the basis of a desire for community that its proponents see as a basic human need.
“Never before have we been so isolated,” Convivium Coworking’s Deborah Reese said, of the growing army of solo entrepreneurs and self-employed people who populate the United States work force — either because the recession undermined their faith in working for others or because the internet and other mobile technology freed them to work anywhere they wanted.
Reese manages the 3,000-square-foot office space in Albuquerque, where people purchase memberships to occupy a desk or couch with all the amenities of the modern office.
Those perks are nice, she said, but freelancers seek out coworking space largely for the camaraderie, increased productivity and creative inspiration of working around others.
The core values of the coworking business model — including collaboration and community — are nothing new. Self-employed entrepreneurs, professionals and artisans for centuries have found ways to pool resources and complementary talents in mutually beneficial ways.
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