Coworking through Disaster

When you work from home and disaster strikes, it’s likely yours to face on your own. A pipe bursts, the Internet quits, your computer crashes — you’re the only one around to take action.

Not so with coworking.

At COWORKQC, we have intentionally created a community of people who, as we like to say, “work alone, together.” This is obvious everyday as we observe people brainstorming, collaborating, walking down the street to grab lunch, hiring one another, and generally enjoying the workday together. This sense of kinship is evident on the most average day, but was even more so last Monday night when a disaster took place outside our space and literally flew right through our window.

A tire burst through the west window, narrowly missing a coworker who had set up his computer along the adjacent bar.

A tire burst through the west window, narrowly missing a coworker who had set up his computer along the adjacent bar.

Once the news spread, the initial panic subsided, and we established that no one was hurt within the coworking space, we began to breathe a bit. Only two people were working at COWORKQC at the time of the accident, but within 20 minutes six of us had gathered at the space to check in on one another. It was a flurry of phone calls, of sadness over the horrific accident not 25 feet from our front door, of interviews with law enforcement...and coworkers showing up to help.

Had you been peering through our street level windows two hours after the accident, you would have seen something remarkable transpiring inside as police and rescue crews continued to investigate the scene outside. One community member and her (off-site) employer brought in mountains of food leftover from the large event her organization had held just up the street earlier in the evening. Another community member opened a bottle of wine to calm nerves as we waited for the go-ahead to board the broken window and sweep up shards of glass. Together, we ate meatballs and spinach dip and marveled over the video footage our security cameras picked up. We shook our heads at the thought of how our coworker Kris had narrowly escaped tremendous harm. And we lamented—over and over again—the woman who perished in the senseless crash.

Coworking provides a beautiful space to sit down with your laptop/notebook/business partner and complete the important work you do—this is an obvious and tangible benefit of a COWORKQC membership.  We were reminded last week of a less palpable, but perhaps even more valuable benefit of coworking: Meaningful relationships and the generous gift of community.