Coworking Centres

Digital Enterprise Centres – Tapping into the Gig Economy

Digital Enterprise Centres are ‘Co-working’ places of work, simply offices rented in small units to one person or more at a time, so that they can enjoy the benefits of those facilities but without having to pay for the entire place.

They share it with other individuals and micro-businesses like themselves. For example in Essex they are offering ‘The Common Room‘ and RuralConnect describes ‘the Hub Club’ in Hexham.

Cowocat_Rural

The EU case study for Cowocat_Rural explains how the project seeks to transfer the pioneering experience of coworking to rural areas in Catalonia, Spain. ‘Cowocat_Rural’ works to attract young skilled professionals to rural areas and to tackle outmigration.

StrathardHub

In Scotland the StrathardHub offers a great example of the role the local Community Trust organization can play.

As they write on their blog the Strathard Community Trust operate the StrathardHub, a newly refurbished co-working space in Aberfoyle:

“For some the shared office space provides a framework for new professional relationships and new ways of working. For others it is a way of keeping in touch with your professional networks or simply taking a break from the routine of working by yourself, or the weekly commute.”

Check out their community plan.

Directory

Our directory section for Coworking Centres lists Scottish centres offering per seat and other flexible pricing options, and you can follow the Scottish Coworking Network for regular news updates about available office space.

Virtual Working Hubs for the Gig Economy

Providing local coworking offices enables rural communities to cater for growing digital workforce of the ‘Gig Economy‘ – Digital Enterprise Centres for Rural Coworking.

Their role as Hubs is key – While the Gig Economy is inherently about individuals working alone as freelancers, often via online virtual tools and booking methods, there is still considerable value in facilitating physical collaboration.

They can concentrate basic, key resources like broadband / wifi, printing and telephones, and also facilitate a sense of commune, ideal for the practices of mentoring and incubating. Broadband boosts would add £1.4 billion to Scotland’s rural economy.

Action Plan

It is in the recommendations from the Scottish Rural College that they are identified as ‘Digital Enterprise Centres’, with the recommended action being:

Establishing hubs in rural towns which businesses can use or visit for better connectivity, start-up workspace, hot-desk space and training.