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What is coworking and how it works

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Coworking, co-work, or co-working are relatively new concepts in the world of work that have been gaining momentum in recent years. In simple terms, the meaning of coworking is sharing a workspace with other professionals, newly established companies, digital nomads, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. This co-working concept has been embraced by many because it offers a wide range of benefits that conventional office spaces simply cannot match.

On the web, there are thousands of unanswered questions about coworking: Coworking meaning, coworking definition, what is coworking and what is it for, coworking signifies, coworking concept, what does coworking mean... We'll explain it to you!

Barcelona is not just a tapestry of modernist architecture and idyllic beaches; it is also a hub of innovation and professional collaboration, thanks to the emerging concept known as coworking. The city has enthusiastically embraced this trend, transforming the work dynamics and entrepreneurial culture at an accelerated pace. But to understand this evolution, we must first ask: What does coworking mean, and how has it deeply rooted itself in the Catalan capital?

What does coworking mean?

The term "coworking" goes beyond the mere definition of sharing an office space. In the bustling metropolis of Barcelona, what does coworking mean? It means creating a business fabric where collaboration and community are the norm, not the exception. This Mediterranean city, a melting pot of cultures and innovation, has adopted the concept of coworking not only as a work model but also as a lifestyle.

Coworking in Barcelona embodies a spirit of collectivity and shared growth, where competition gives way to cooperation. This working model is synonymous with a new professional era, where spontaneous interactions and networking opportunities abound in every corner of these dynamic spaces. It is here that the meaning of coworking is enriched by the diversity of its members, from programmers and designers to writers and entrepreneurs, all converging in an environment that stimulates productivity and creativity.

Therefore, when we ask, "What does coworking mean in Barcelona?" we are talking about a vibrant ecosystem that not only provides a desk and an internet connection but also offers a meeting point for like-minded individuals, where collaboration is encouraged, successes are celebrated, and challenges are supported. The meaning of coworking in this city translates into an enriching experience that allows professionals from different sectors to grow together, sharing knowledge and fostering a community of mutual support.

what is coworking

The definition of coworking and its manifestation in Barcelona

Understanding the definition of coworking involves recognizing a paradigm shift in the conception of work and workspaces. It is an approach that prioritizes cooperation over competition, well-being over mere efficiency. In Barcelona, this definition comes to life in the numerous coworking spaces that dot the city, each with its unique character and particular community.

Barcelona has become a hotbed of coworking spaces, where diversity and adaptability are key. These places are not just a set of desks and chairs; they are living ecosystems that breathe the energy of the city. In these environments, coworking means more than sharing resources; it is a constant exchange of knowledge and experiences that catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship.

In every neighborhood of Barcelona, from the innovative [email protected] district to the historic streets of the Barri Gòtic, coworking takes on different forms, all united by community and collaboration. The spaces are designed to be flexible and adapt to the changing nature of modern work, whether for a digital nomad seeking a fast internet connection or a startup in need of a meeting room to pitch to investors.

The definition of coworking in Barcelona also includes a strong emphasis on sustainability and social responsibility. It is not uncommon to find spaces that prioritize energy efficiency, recycling, and social inclusion, reflecting the values of a city striving to be a pioneer in green and social initiatives. These places are microcosms where work and personal life harmoniously intertwine, giving life to the true spirit of coworking.

By the way, this is how our coworking space in the Gràcia neighborhood of Barcelona works. You can book a free tour by clicking here. And if you want to stay and work for the day, you can get a day pass here. (with no further commitment than that).

A multifaceted term: coworking meaning

The meaning of coworking (also searched for as "coworking meaning" on the internet) goes beyond the simple idea of several individuals working under the same roof. It is a dynamic concept that encapsulates a new way of addressing the professional and personal challenges of the 21st century. In Barcelona, this meaning expands to embrace the idiosyncrasies of a city that is a melting pot of cultures, where each coworking space reflects the diversity and creative richness that define it.

In this Mediterranean city, coworking means the opportunity to work in spaces imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit and the innovation that flows through its streets. These places are not just workplaces; they are synergy centers where professionals from multiple disciplines converge, from technology and design to marketing and art. The concept of coworking in Barcelona adds value to its users, providing a context where collaboration and joint creation are not only possible but are at the very heart of the experience.

The meaning of coworking in this city also expands to the dimension of well-being and balance between work and personal life. Spaces designed with sensitivity to natural light, green areas, and relaxation zones reflect a deep understanding of how the work environment influences productivity and creativity. In summary, in Barcelona, coworking means a tailored response to the needs of an ever-evolving work world, an environment where quality of life is as important as the quality of work.

Coworking: what it is and what it represents in practice

So, what does coworking mean in everyday life? It implies flexibility and a reduction in fixed costs for professionals. In Barcelona, coworking also translates into a gateway for international professionals to integrate into the local community, offering an anchor point in a city that values both diversity and local talent.

It is a shared office space, with private offices, where projects can be fostered, and newly established companies can find support. In this shared space, everything is shared: internet connection, common areas, and rest zones. These are just a few highlights of what coworking offers. Keep reading. Coworking is very popular because it offers many benefits that traditional offices cannot match.

In this article, we will delve into the world of coworking and coworking companies, exploring the different types of coworking spaces and how they work, as well as the growth of the coworking industry in the last 5 years. Additionally, we will take a look at the growth of coworking in the city of Barcelona specifically.

First, let's take a closer look at the different types of coworking spaces. There is a wide variety of coworking centers available, each catering to different needs and preferences.

Open coworking spaces are a popular choice, as they offer a shared workspace that is open to everyone. On the other hand, private coworking spaces offer more privacy and are often used by companies or teams.

Another type of coworking space is the dedicated desk or Fixed Desk, which is a reserved workstation for one person. Finally, there are also virtual coworking spaces, which allow professionals to collaborate remotely.

coworking definition

The meaning of coworking and its socio-economic impact

The interpretation of the meaning of coworking in the Barcelona context goes beyond a mere work concept; it is a true revolution in the economic and social dynamics of the city. Coworking spaces have emerged as catalysts for transformation, providing startups, freelancers, and small businesses with access to high-standard offices in strategic areas of the city, all without the traditionally associated prohibitive costs. This democratization of quality workspace not only drives economic growth by providing professionals with an accessible and flexible operational base but also fosters a new entrepreneurial culture centered on collaboration and shared innovation.

Furthermore, the coworking philosophy embodies a sustainable approach that resonates deeply with contemporary values. By encouraging the shared use of infrastructure and resources, these spaces significantly contribute to reducing environmental impact. Companies that choose to work in coworking environments thus reflect an ecological awareness model, optimizing energy consumption and reducing waste. This perspective not only improves the environmental responsibility of companies but also promotes greener work practices.

In summary, the meaning of coworking in Barcelona is synonymous with socioeconomic progress and a more conscious and ethical approach to business. It is a phenomenon that highlights the city's drive toward innovation and sustainability, redefining the commercial fabric and establishing new paradigms for business success in the modern era.

The operation of coworking: A flexible structure

Exploring the dynamics of coworking in Barcelona, one discovers a work ecosystem structured around flexibility and adaptability. The city of Barcelona, known for its vibrant culture and progressive business approach, has wholeheartedly embraced the coworking model, adapting it to its dynamic and entrepreneurial spirit.

In these spaces, professionals, whether freelancers, entrepreneurs, or established company teams, find a system that suits their changing needs. The process is simple: users select and pay for the desired service, which can be a monthly membership or payments based on the occasional use of the space. This fee grants them access to a fully equipped workspace with ergonomic desks, high-speed internet access, and all the essential tools for an efficient workday.

However, coworking in Barcelona stands out by enriching the basic offering with a variety of premium amenities and services. Common spaces like meeting rooms are designed to facilitate idea exchange and collaboration in a professional and stimulating environment. Rest areas, on the other hand, invite relaxation and informal networking, allowing members to recharge and foster professional relationships in a more relaxed setting.

The service offering extends to include cafes that not only provide quality coffee and healthy snacks but also become meeting and socialization places. Gyms and wellness areas within coworking spaces reflect the importance that Barcelona places on the balance between work and personal life. These facilities provide a convenient escape for those looking to maintain an active lifestyle, integrating personal care into the daily work routine.

The flexibility of these coworking spaces in Barcelona is also evident in the variety of available options, from shared desks that encourage collaboration to private offices for those requiring concentration and privacy. Additionally, some facilities offer spaces dedicated to events and workshops, allowing professional communities to organize seminars, talks, and training sessions, thereby contributing to the continuous professional development of their members.

This coworking infrastructure not only responds to work needs but also reflects a commitment to sustainability. By sharing resources and spaces, individual ecological footprints are reduced, aligning companies and professionals with environmentally conscious work ethics.

In summary, the operation of coworking in Barcelona is a tangible example of how the city combines its innovative character and social awareness to offer workspaces that are both productive and inspiring. With an offering that ranges from basic flexibility to the most exclusive services, coworking in Barcelona sets a standard that goes beyond the mere provision of space, becoming a comprehensive platform for professional growth and synergy.

coworking space barcelona

The growth of coworking in Barcelona

The growth of coworking in Barcelona is undeniable. Over the last five years, the city has seen a multiplication of coworking spaces, reflecting the demand for a more adaptable and communal work environment. In line with global trends, Barcelona has experienced a notable increase in the number of workers choosing coworking as their preferred work mode.

This growth can also be attributed to the strong presence of startups and entrepreneurs in the city. The coworking ecosystem in Barcelona has become a catalyst for these emerging companies, providing not only a place to work but also access to an invaluable network of contacts and knowledge.

The coworking industry: A growing phenomenon

The coworking industry, with its promise of flexibility and community, has not only captured the imagination of freelancers and startups but has also begun to attract large corporations and professionals from all industries. In Barcelona, a city known for its innovative spirit and vibrant business culture, the expansion of coworking has perfectly aligned with the dynamic lifestyle and needs of an increasingly mobile and digitally connected workforce.

Looking ahead, the coworking industry in Barcelona can only expect to continue its upward trajectory. With more and more people and companies recognizing the benefits of this work mode, coworking spaces are destined to become an even more permanent feature of the city's work landscape.

This significant increase in coworking acceptance is reflected in the numbers: in the last 5 years, the number of coworking centers has increased dramatically. In 2017, there were around 14,411 coworking spaces worldwide. In 2020, that number had grown to more than 30,000, and Barcelona has been an integral part of that growth. The Catalan capital has not only seen an increase in the number of these spaces but also in the quality and diversity of the services they offer.

Beyond the numbers, the impact of coworking on how we work and collaborate is profoundly significant. These spaces have introduced new forms of synergy and creativity, allowing individuals and companies to share resources and knowledge, in turn fostering a more cooperative economy and a more integrated business community.

In 2020, an estimated 3.8 million people worked from coworking spaces, a number that has undoubtedly continued to grow as remote work has become the norm for many companies during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. This upward trend is not only a reflection of the demand for more adaptable workspaces but also of the desire of professionals to find a sense of community and collaboration in their work life.

In Barcelona, these spaces not only offer a desk or an office: they are innovation incubators, where a constant flow of ideas and the diversity of their members fuel personal and professional growth. Networking events, workshops, and talks are common, adding layers of value that go beyond the physical workspace.

For independent workers, the meaning of coworking goes beyond convenience; it represents an opportunity to expand their network of contacts, an advantage that in the past was often only available to those working in large corporations. For companies, coworking spaces offer a solution to reduce infrastructure costs and increase flexibility, which is crucial in a rapidly changing job market.

Thus, as the coworking industry continues to expand in Barcelona, it does so not only in numbers but also in influence, affecting the way the city thinks and lives work. With a rich mix of creative spaces, technological hubs, and business communities, Barcelona is positioning itself as a leader in the coworking revolution, a place where the future of work is being redefined every day.


In conclusion, coworking is a relatively new concept in the world of work that has been gaining momentum in recent years. With a wide range of benefits that traditional office spaces simply cannot match, it's no wonder that the number of coworking spaces and the people using them has grown significantly.

From open spaces to private areas and dedicated desks, there is a coworking space for everyone in the flexible coworking model. Furthermore, the growth of coworking in the city of Barcelona specifically has been significant in recent years due to the thriving startup scene in the city and the large number of freelancers and entrepreneurs.

As the coworking industry continues to grow, we are likely to see more and more individuals and companies opting for coworking spaces as their preferred workspace.

If you want to learn more about coworking in Barcelona and what betahaus can offer you, don't hesitate to book your free tour here or contact us through this platform.

Come and discover one of the best coworking spaces in Barcelona!

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