Collaborating, not Competing by Vanessa Gillette

            From day one, I knew that working in Barcelona would be vastly different from working back home in the U.S. It was immediately apparent in the relations between coworkers. Whereas in businesses in the states, coworkers follow rules of strict professionalism, here we greet each other with kisses on the cheeks and warm friendliness. Back home I will be in a panic if I am clocking into work 10 minutes late, yet here I am perfectly accepted when I arrive a few minutes late on a stressful morning. Last week, I learned another difference between business operations in Barcelona and in the states. Many businesses in the same field choose to cooperate rather than compete.
Here in Gracia, there are nine coworking spaces who are essentially offering the same product; work space. Yet rather than fight each other for clients, they have developed a network where they work together, celebrate each others accomplishments, and build each other up. I believe this sort of collaboration exemplified through Silicon Gracia should be the model for small businesses throughout the world. The idea of cooperation and collaboration is not revolutionary, yet in the American business world it is practically nonexistent. It takes a change in business mentality to accept collaborating with the competition instead of competing, yet I have been able to see the benefits during my internship. A few weeks ago, some of us in Gracia Work Center went on a trip to Llafranc with some of the coworkers from CoworkinGracia. Last Wednesday, Start2Bee hosted a Caipirhina party for local coworkers to socialize. Even more, last Thursday us interns were able to visit some of the different local coworking spaces. These visits have really opened my eyes to the concept of Silicon Gracia as I was warmly welcomed into each coworking space.
Interns and coworkers from Gracia Work Center and CoworkinGracia visiting Nodak Coworking.  


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