Discussing Coworking

Discussing Coworking

© Высшая школа экономики


Nowadays, education mostly changed its vector from the paper routine tasks to the more digitized and computerized environment, especially in the HSE university. These tasks presume group projects, diverse research works and collaborative activities, which engage creative thinking and innovative ideas, free access to the Internet and sockets to charge your laptop to work a little bit longer on your papers.

Because of this, a myriad of us, students, are willingly to meet each other to discuss these tasks somewhere or to find a place where a student can plunge headlong with his deadline task in a convenient area. It is captivating to change the studying environment and to be surrounded by congenial people, who are working on something and concentrating on the process. What is more, it is a unique opportunity to get acquainted with someone, a good chance to establish social bonds not only for foreign students, but also for domestic students. Social capital is a considerable thing in modern society, so it is a noble idea to change familiar settings. 

To make these ideas stronger and broader, I have decided to ask students from HSE university about the places where they can spend their time and do important things. 

– Why do you attend coworking places? Which distinctive features make these places special? What do you find attractive in their setting?

Vladislava (student of the 2nd year): For long-term focused work or study, I need a quiet place without distractions. Coworking, in this regard, is a perfect place. I live with my family and I have a lot of pets, so I am often distracted by some little things. It is also important for me to physically separate the zones, so it is difficult to study in my own bedroom or in the kitchen, because these are areas for relaxing or eating. 

Coworking also saves - working environment immediately sets the right mood. Moreover, you are not working alone, but you are in a place with like-minded people who also work. For me, coworking is a small ecosystem in which everyone is fueled by inspiration and energy for work or study from others.

– What else are crucial parts of these zones? 

Vladislava: The design also defines a space and a mood. It is always nice if there are options of a free coffee or tea, as well as the use of appliances unavailable at home.

Which disadvantages of coworkings can you mention? What are your predictions about coworking usage in the near future? 

Vladislava: I can only mention the fact that coworking is located too far from my house, and it takes time to go there. I see that the culture of coworking is developing in our city. And most motivated people will attend even if they are not so close to home.

Also, I’d like to highlight some bits of the discussion about the coworkings with HSE students.

What are the main advantages of coworking?

Katarina (student of the 2nd year): This is a great place not only for work, but also for recreation and communication with colleagues, friends, classmates on various matters: academic, extracurricular, etc. I am attracted by the calm atmosphere of a room, which at the moment can change to a game room, as well as the presence of a large number of free seats and tables for working or meeting friends.

Polina (student of the 4th year): Coworking meetings became my favorite part of the university routine. Thanks to the presence of such spaces in the city, students have an opportunity to conduct group projects. These places have a special atmosphere that sets you up for work. For me, it is much easier to focus on an important task or work in coworking, unlike a relaxed home environment.

So, where can we go to find this atmosphere for working? 

First of all, coworking spaces in HSE University are the best way to do your homework or group projects not far away from the classroom, where you have just heard the lecture. The buildings of HSE in Saint-Petersburg have many places for self-education and teamwork - the university is perfectly equipped and adorned: zones with sofas and tables, desks with comfortable chairs, the spaces with personal computers and isolated rooms for team discussions. 

It is good to spend a lot of time in the university, as the environment seems to be close and familiar, however, sometimes students need to change the setting. So, here is the list of coworking and other places, where students may spend their time and perform their tasks:


a chain of coworkings, located in different parts of Saint-Petersburg and equipped properly. They offer diverse opportunities to their guests: to rent a laptop (you can mention this aspect during the registration), print or scan anything you need. What is more, this coworking chain offers a kitchen zone, where you can cook something and drink a free coffee (but do not forget your beloved cup).  

“Точка кипения” (“Tochka Kipeniya”, which means “boiling point”)

the coworking supported by the state (as these coworkings are also located in different Saint-Petersburg universities). These places are free, and you can meet diverse people here: businessmen, who meet to discuss the latest news in their industries; students, who discuss their IT start-ups and participate in case-championships; and different voluntary organizations, who hold meetings here. 

“Библиотека имени Маяковского” (Mayakovsky Library)

a perfect place to find tranquility and concentrate on your work - the library presents the working places nearby book shells with a picturesque view. What is more, it allocates you with not only web sources via wi-fi, but also with print books. At the library you can also drink coffee and relax. 

“Библиотека Роста и Карьеры” (BIRO, Library of Development and Career)

a convenient place, where you can find fancy books or work alone, preparing for exams or doing some research.

“Пространство Линии” (“Prostranstvo Linii”, Line Space)

a multifunctional place, where different things are located: shops, exhibitions, lectures and places for work. Thus, you can not only discuss your work here and analyze data, for instance, but also enjoy cultural objects or buy some crafts. What is more, there are some cafes, where you can have a snack. 

This is not a comprehensive list, as you can find a lot of sundry places to cowork in Saint Petersburg. Some of them require hourly payment, but a variety of coworkings are available for free. 

These places are a crucial part of modern society. Coworking brings people together, regardless of their tasks and purposes. Here you are surrounded by congenial people, who aim to succeed in their work as you do. What is more, it allows you to change the working conditions. It is also a good chance to get new acquaintances and attend new places. 

Which coworking would you like to attend?

Text by

Daniil Gurin