Cracking the code: What is pro-working, co-working and grown-up co-working?

By Ben Barlow

There are always trends in the world of business, buzzwords being flung around and new practices taken up. One of the most recent has been that of the co-working movement. This is a style of working within a shared office environment, where people are not all working for the same employer or purpose. Like all trends, it has grown and developed into various offshoots, each of which offers different advantages and advantages.

A Working Revolution

The requirement for co-working and its many developments has grown out of various needs by individuals and businesses. First, having a lot of people working together in the same place for different employers offers a great opportunity to network, share ideas and pick up inspiration. For self-employed individuals and those who work from home, it also provides some level of social interaction that may otherwise be missing from their working day. Finally, it offers a much cheaper way to use working space than buying or renting an entire office for your company, especially considering all the overheads that includes.


Co-working is where it all started. A shared office or other working environment is used by various individuals working independently. In the space people will be working towards their own goals and targets but have the social interaction and opportunity with others to bounce ideas off. For freelancers, this reduces a lot of isolation, can improve productivity and innovation as well, in an informal environment.


The disadvantages of co-working can come from the informal setting though, which is why pro-working started to emerge. Many co-working spaces suit start-ups and creative types, whereas established businesses require space that is professional and allows for more formal networking. Using serviced offices in desirable locations ensures this, with stylish and sophisticated offices creating a more professional feel and environment. The basic principles remain the same; to work, network and socialise.

Grown-up co-working

Growing out of pro-working, grown-up coworking is similar to pro-working, with professional office space used. However, it is more traditionally organised, with private meetings arranged to discuss and share ideas, though open collaborative space is usually available as well. It can take different forms, depending on the businesses, individuals involved and their specific requirements.

If your business or you as an individual are thinking about new ways to work, network and pick up inspiration, then one of these models may well be the best for your company.