A Look Back At the History of Coworking

It started with the cubicle.

In the early 1960’s, American office furniture designer Robert Probst created Action Officetm with Herman Miller, an office furniture supply company. Probst envisioned an open-plan office in which coworkers could group their work spaces into organic clusters, with different desk heights, to create stations for projects and brainstorming centers. In other words, he was trying to make the world a better place to work.

Unfortunately, this innovative and space-saving idea is represented in reality with the well-known image of dehumanized, compartmentalized desks separated by collapsible walls.

With the advent of the Internet, work at home became a more viable option for both corporate employees and freelancers. What could be more convenient than skipping the long commute entirely? Although the convenience cannot be denied, working at home often results in distraction, and can psychologically loosen the discipline necessary to meet a deadline.

The evolution of the office.

The coworking movement represents a compromise between the two, encouraging a dynamic and creative atmosphere among its participants, providing a space apart in which to establish a routine, with a location convenient to home. Each coworker benefits from the presence and interaction of fellow entrepreneurs, business owners, and professionals, and experiences the freedom and flexibility of a home office schedule. It is the sort of place that combines the focus of a library, the energy of a coffee shop, and the liberty of a studio. In southwestern Connecticut, that place is Stamford Innovation Center.


Herman Miller. “Forward Thinking: Why the Ideas from the Man Who Invented Cubicles Still Make Sense.” Research – Herman Miller. (accessed May 7, 2014).

Ellard, Ph.D., Colin. “Mind Wandering: The Psychology of the Home Office.” . (accessed May 7, 2014).

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