Working Remote While Traveling - Digital Nomad Information Series
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was precautionary. Being such a new phenomenon, such ‘teething problems’ are to be expected for co-working spaces, and possible solutions include community initiatives and increased Wifi security protocols.
Overall, I experienced an atmosphere of friendliness, tolerance and openness. There was a high level of trust with co-workers leaving their mobile media devices (including laptops) unattended during lunch breaks, a higher level than experienced in a large office or café. There existed a feeling of camaraderie between the co- workers, as if the commonalities of their work status were communally acknowledged. I believe this space was well suited in design and practice to the work patterns, behaviours and routines of Berlin’s freelance community, and a beneficial new spacial development for work-based mobile media consumption.
One could ask if co-working spaces are essentially corporate ventures and profit- driven business manifestation of a contemporary capitalist system. After my personal experiences of the communities they create and support however, I do not believe this to be the case. Many co-working spaces in Berlin are 'next-to-no profit', the space run not for a profit but to foster a community. Many co-working space managers earn their income from other sources, jobs they complete sitting alongside their co-workers. The co-working trend facilitates greater public engagement and social interactions, simultaneously allowing reclamation of the sacred 'third space' by finding a new home for 'digital nomads' and decreasing need for work-based mobile media use in other public spaces including cafés.
As mobile media continues to evolve and an increasing number of ‘digital nomads’ move away from conventional office environments, more resources are needed to define, structure and resource their physical ‘techno spaces’. Co-working spaces can be seen to represent a wider trend in the re-negotiation of mobile media use in public spaces and acceptance of new work and identity structures, a trend that would subsequently lead to a declining need for work-related mobile media use in 'the third space'.
These issues are multi-tiered, complex and constantly evolving, so as new work identities develop and the use of work-based mobile media continues to rise in public spaces, more research is needed on the social behaviours, routines and needs of these media users. As Hampton & Gupta (2008:847) write, "observations of spaces
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